When I tell people that I work from home, the first question I’m often asked is, “Do you get to work in your pajamas?” Let’s face it, being warm and snuggly in an oversized pair of flannel pajamas in winter and staying cool and comfortable in practically nothing in summer is appealing. It’s just one of the perks that come with having an office 10 feet from your bedroom, but have you ever considered the perks that come with wearing business attire even when working from home?
Consider the frame of mind you tend to be in for as long as you keep your pajamas on: I’m tired. I’m lazy. I want to go back to bed. I need a cup of coffee…yawn. Now consider the frame of mind you tend to be in once you get dressed into something snazzy: I’m ready to go! I’ve got a burst of energy! What should I do next?! I need a cup of half-caf, no-foam, non-fat, vanilla soy latte—make it a venti! Whoo!
With a perked up mind, you will find your desire shifts from wanting to crawl back under the covers to wanting to sit in front of your computer and get things done!
Don’t let your can-do attitude fade, though. Keep yourself going by making sure you have clear goals in front of you (literally—write them down on a piece of paper and set it down in front of you). Break larger goals into smaller portions so that you can reward yourself by checking items off your list as you continue to work throughout the day. A sense of accomplishment will make you hungry for more.
Try to keep your desk organized and as neat as possible. A clutter-free workspace will contribute to a sense of professionalism, not to mention you will save time by being able to find everything you are looking for. You might want to add a few decorative touches to your office—perhaps a family photo, an inspirational poster or calendar, a small stack of your business cards, or anything else that will remind you that you are performing or training for a job and that job is important. Create an atmosphere which gives you a feeling that you are at office and not home.
This isn’t to suggest that you run out to Macy’s and buy a faux-leather-trim jacket and pants suit by Anne Klein for a small fortune, but instead to consider leaving the pajamas and bunny slippers behind in exchange for an outfit you’d be happy to answer the door in. If you really want to dress the part, add some accessories (omitting the clunky bracelet that drowns out the tappity-tap-tap of the keyboard, of course) and slip on a pair of shoes.
Changing your clothes changes your attitude. Once you dress in professional attire, you will feel more like a professional. You will notice your posture improve, your focus sharpen, your motivation increase, and, consequently, you will be more productive. Don’t believe me? Try it. I dare you.