I’ve been sick, which means my life has been devoid of productivity. It also means that I’m caught up on House of Cards. My wife and I have a ritual with this series. We wait until we get the stomach flu, then we plow through an entire season.  I know. It’s an unusual ritual, but it works for us. 

Why is it that when we get sick, work seems impossible? Logically, it really doesn’t make sense.  I am going to feel bad regardless, why cannot I stomach (figuratively and literally) hopping on my scheduled conference call to prep for my speech to Best Western's international clients? What is it about reviewing the newest info-graphic that makes me shiver, then sweat (probably just the fever)?  If it’s simply because I need sleep, then how did I find the time for House of Cards?

Sickness is a good reminder of a broader reality. Intentional focus takes energy. The less energy we have, the more difficult it is to focus on the right things at the right time.  Here’s what this means for us today: if we want to be productive, we must guard the things that give energy (sleep, consistent exercise, healthy diet).  Beyond the ‘of course I know I need to do that,’ try this:  assign your hardest tasks for the times of the day when you have the most energy. (ie. first thing in the morning). And save House of Cards for the next time you have the stomach bug.