Work and how to decide when enough is enough

Employment and chronic fatigue syndrome aren’t two easy friends. They don’t like each other. The pain and fog make work hard to do, the fatigue makes it hard to be there.

Friday night is here, the end of the week where I haven’t managed to work the meagre (compared to how many hours I used to work) number of hours my doctor has said I can work. I’m too tired to be up and contemplated bringing my work laptop to bed and trying to get some more done. Looking at the laptop, I considered what I would say to someone else planning the same thing. “There is nothing urgent that needs to be done, rest now and try tomorrow or next week,” is what I’d say. So I took my own advice.  Good advice as what I’d get done would probably need to be re-done later as I doubt it would be very good!

It is hard to to know when to stay and work and when to go and rest. Sometimes I know I’m procrastinating, I actually like that because I’m well enough to do something interesting with my procrastination, like cook or do something in the garden, then I come back to work.  It is harder when I’m not feeling great and I don’t know if I should push a little or just go and lie down. Mostly lying down wins and it is the right thing to do, I come back fresher later or it gets worse I know I was right to stop when I did.

I know I’m lucky to have a job where I can work from home and do the hours whenever I can. But it is a balancing act and I still struggle with it.

How do you decide how much to do? The same thing probably applies to sewing projects or gardening or looking after other people, not just to work. Any advice appreciated!

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About someonesideaofluxury

writing from home with my feet up
This entry was posted in Life with myalgic encephalomyelitis and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Work and how to decide when enough is enough

  1. I’m afraid I’m not a good one for advice on this, as I tend to do the push/crash thing. You would think after all these years I would learn!

  2. Joanna says:

    Maybe doing what you are doing here, keeping a log of what level of activity gives which results , will over time give you a better sense of what you can manage or not. I tell myself I am bad at making choices and decisions, but if I try to whittle it down to choosing between two things if I get stuck – and then just choose and see what happens next. And if I feel later I would have been better making the other choice , I acknowledge it and try (don’t always succeed!) not to beat myself up about it. If I am too tired or foggy to make even a choice of two things, then I know it is time to rest up or take time out. Nice to meet you and thanks for visiting my blog, Joanna

  3. To be honest, without brain-fog I’d be useless at pacing as once I get absorbed in an activity I won’t realise I’ve done too much till it’s too late. As it is I can rarely do most things for long before brain-fog hits and forces me to stop. I do find if I alternate small amounts of very different activities (physical, cognitive, relaxation) that I can do far more than if I just keep plugging away at the same task. Sometimes I decide ahead of time how long I can do something for and set an alarm to let me know when to rest/change task.

  4. aussiechick says:

    I am now at a point where my body has given up after working too hard. It seems like we can never win! One day at a time!? One hour at a time if need be!?

  5. My medical certificate says “work in 45 minute blocks and meetings <45 minutes" so less than hour in my case!
    That is no good for you, I hope you are resting and not worrying about work too much. Has your work been supportive?
    I worry about not being able to work enough which is no good for me and it took six months off work entirely, then a whole year of just working eight hours from home a week before I could do more. Slowly, slowly…

    How are you going with your sleep now? I find that a couple of cups of T2's 'Sleep Tight' (lavender, chamomile and lemon balm I think) and codeine (always easier to sleep when not in pain) helps me, I hope you find something that helps you. Getting enough sleep is the first piece of the puzzle. I think it is 1000 piece puzzle and I only have 150 pieces so far 😉

  6. Pingback: Working vs not working with ME (or the time I lost my job) | someone's idea of luxury

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