The Sweatpants Conundrum

When I considered what to post on this morning, there were two topics that came to mind. Both have to do with working from home. I labored in indecision for a while, but when I considered that I already needed to implement the second choice for myself, I decided to go with it.

It all comes down to this. Take a survey and ask any professional or blue-collar layman about the perks of working from home. Two of the top answers will be about making your own hours or being your own boss. The third one will likely involve the novelty of getting to wear sweats to work.

Now turn around and ask the same question to someone who works from home. Particularly, ask them what they wear when “going to work.” The answer may surprise you.

It’s a common theme that is spoken about across various WAH blogs, sites, articles, and anything else having to do with working from home. It’s true, the allure of being able to show up at “the office” wearing nothing more classy than what you wore to bed is definitely appealing.

But it doesn’t work.

The mind is a curious thing. It responds to stimulation in our environment and circumstances. It judges our attitude by the mood that we set, and responds accordingly. Sweatpants are inherently relaxing. They are comfortable, perfect for a lazy day of doing absolutely nothing.

So that’s what ends up happening. In fact, I did it myself just this morning. I followed my usual morning routine, which involved, among other things, goofing around on the computer for an hour or two. In my sweatpants. And I got nothing accomplished.

When I was ready to work, I logged in to my usual site and started my work day. But I wasn’t focused. Because I was still wearing sweatpants. After a short time with no progress, I realized my problem, and promptly got up to change. I dressed in pants I knew I was prepared to go out in and set to work.

Within five minutes, I had selected my workload for the day, had my room straightened up, and prepared today’s blog post.

You don’t have to dress up. But at the least, get dressed. It makes all the difference.

– Jeans, khakis, or other pants. Comfortable enough to wear, but nice enough that you wouldn’t be embarrassed to go out in.

– Put your hair up. I throw mine back in a simple ponytail. If it’s in the way, it annoys me. Remember the girl in that awesome movie, A Series of Unfortunate Events? Violet. When her hair was pulled back, it signified something. It meant she was working. It’s the same here. If you’re not going to fix it up, at least brush it!

– Deodorant. Need I say more?

– A shower, if needed. I don’t take a shower every day- usually about every other day. But when I’m having a really hard time getting the umption to work, often a shower will clear my head and make me feel more prepared.

– Grab something to eat. They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and that’s not just cliche. That first meal sets the standard for the rest of the day. I’ll admit, I’m really bad about that one. My breakfast usually hits around 11 am. But then, my workday starts around 12, so it works out.

– Make a cup of joe. If you need an additional boost, go for it. I’ve cut down on the amount of coffee I used to have, but I still enjoy a good cup of coffee to get my mind going.

Now get to work! What are your workday routines?

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