Illness and Efficiency

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Back in November, I wrote an article titled What (Not) To Do When You Are Sick. I am sick again – nothing major, just a bad cold – and the topic of working while sick comes to mind yet again.  As I am a stubborn sort, I made some efforts earlier in the week to post-produce some of my work.  Since I am also the cautious sort, I didn’t actually share any of those works and I let the preliminary-final products sit in place until I was able to look at them again.  I’m glad I did.  As I woke the next day, I realized that these photos were not ready for public consumption.  My past experiences and better judgment told me to table these works for a day when I’m feeling better.

So I’d like to revisit the concept of working while you’re sick.  The reality is that you go to work with minor illnesses all the time.  I’m at work today, in fact.  But I have some comfort in knowing that I have a staff I have trained very well as a fallback, and I have a lot of comfort in knowing that what I do is almost second nature to me at this point.  I have, after all, done this job for almost nine years now, I can fake it pretty well.  But I will admit that I am far more efficient when I am healthy as opposed to today.

But what about hobbies?  Photography is a hobby for me.  I surely can afford to postpone my work on that hobby until I’m healthy.  There are a number of benefits for doing so.  First and foremost, I really should be resting any spare time that I get.  So the hobby can wait.  Second, any hobbyist is working to improve their skills – and that’s best done when healthy.  You certainly cannot expect to get the most out of your work if you aren’t being efficient.  So you might as well save the practice for a time when you’ll be most efficient.

As is the nature of most hobbies, you’re really only working on that hobby in your free time which may be limited.  So it’s hard to give up that time that could be spent on your hobby.  But lets face facts, you’re going to beat the illness much faster if you’re resting and relaxing and not focusing on hobbies and work.  So the more time you spend resting, the sooner you’ll get back to your hobby at a more effective time.

So again I say:  Don’t work on your photography while you’re sick.

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About Author

D. Travis North is a professional Landscape Architect, a Freelance Photographer and founder of Shutter Photo. Ever since he picked up his first SLR, his father's Nikon N2000, he's been hooked on photography. Travis likes to photograph urban environments, architectural details and has a new-found interest in close-up photography. His work can be found at D. Travis North Photography. Follow Travis on twitter: @dtnorth.

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