Survive a sick day as a freelancer

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The best part about being your own boss is you don’t have to report to someone else when you’re sick or need a doctor’s note. Unfortunately that also means you’re responsible for hitting deadlines or suffering the consequences even if you’re under the weather; there’s no one to fall back on. Still, you can totally survive a sick day as a freelancer.

Survive a sick day as a freelancer

This post is inspired by the fact that I’m fighting off an awful cold at this very moment and was couch ridden for two days with the flu last week. My immune system is awful and with five kids germs are constantly brought home.

If you’re too sick to do a full day’s work here’s some things you can do to keep things running when you’re sick.

Catch up on invoicing

This might not be for everyone but I invoice using an app on my phone so I can do it while laying on the couch. You can, at the very least, send out reminder emails for those unpaid bills.

Email clients if you expect delays

Most people are pretty understanding when you let them know what’s going on. What people don’t like is being left in the dark. Let them know you’re sick and that their project is delayed and apologize. Hopefully they understand.

If you are up to it, complete some easy tasks

Maybe you’ve taken some meds and you feel well enough to work on something. Stick with easy, paid tasks that you can get out of the way and mitigate any loss of income.

Read a book or watch education videos

Can’t move? Study instead. You won’t feel like you’ve wasted your time as much if you learn something you’ve been meaning to.

Update your blog

It might not be paid but writing a fun post is helping your business and doesn’t require a whole lot of effort on your part.

Follow up on emails or networking

Another one you can do from your phone. Reply to some emails you’ve been meaning to get to while you can focus on just that or get in touch with some people you think can help grow your business.


If you’re really sick or something must be done it might be worth paying someone else to complete the task rather than losing the trust of a client or customer. This is a last resort but is something more people should take advantage of when they can’t manage everything.

You can survive a sick day as a freelancer!

Let’s face it – most of us who freelance don’t really take sick days, we just work sick. Sometimes it’s OK to just take a day off and recover so don’t feel bad if things slip a little bit.