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Wear clothes when you work at home…

…otherwise it’ll feel like a Saturday.

Maybe a suit and tie squash your individuality. That cool, you don’t have to wear them. But one thing I’ve learned about myself even before I started freelancing is that I’m much more focused when I’m wearing clothes (not in pajamas or underwear). Back in college, if I wanted to finish a paper I knew I’d have to be dressed to do it.

It’s fine to check your blogs or even write some kinds of blog posts in the morning while you’re wearing your pjs and drinking coffee. But to make it feel like work, you’ve gotta be dressed.

I find that opening my windows and moving my computer to a table (vs. sitting with it on the couch) also gets me more focused. Half of work is how you approach it.

And I’ll confess that when I use the sewing machine I do it best in my underwear–but that’s because that’s how I’ve always sewed (and the sewing room used to get hot in the summer). Maybe you’ve always written in a big Santa hat. Great, that works for you.

Honestly, I don’t care much about what you’re wearing. Rather, it’s important that you take your work seriously (whatever that means for you), whether it’s at the office or in the comfort of your couch.

Kacie at Sense to Save wrote an excellent blog post this week about freelancing being a serious business. You’re not just the employee, you’re the manager and owner too. It’s work.

Too bad. Because it’d be so nice to do nothing but blog all day in my pjs.

{ 2 trackbacks }

The Friday Gathering for 12/07/2007 | Gather Little By Little
December 7, 2007 at 11:47 am
money news blog » The Friday Gathering for 12/07/2007
December 10, 2007 at 1:46 pm


FinanceAndFat December 5, 2007 at 1:53 pm

Great post. This is absolutely true and something I learned the first time I went full-time as a freelancer. You want to be comfortable, but you should wear something close to what you would wear if you were working at an office in your field.

Curtis December 5, 2007 at 2:07 pm

I had a meeting Monday night with a local Realtor about getting in the business (something I’ve always longed to do). While I could do much of my work from home if need be, their offices are just a block from the house, so to keep it serious I can go in there regularly. Now is the perfect time to try for me as I’m an hourly contractor at my job with a flexible schedule. So, I can adjust the amount and time of my hours to work around starting a new career.

But, it does suck that I can’t stay home and work in my underwear!

Looby December 5, 2007 at 3:12 pm

I’m actually the opposite, I seem to get most work done when I am in my pjs tucked in bed with my laptop on my knee, I think I developed this habit writing my thesis in a freezing student flat with no heating in the north of Scotland. I do however have to get up, showered and dressed before returning to bed for this to work, maybe I’m just odd. 🙂

Lynnae @ Being Fruga December 5, 2007 at 3:31 pm

I’m with Looby. I always write my blog posts at night, in my jammies, laying on the bed or couch. I think I need to be relaxed to be creative.

On the other hand, I take care of almost all other blog business at the desk during the day, and yes, fully clothed. 🙂

PiggyBankBlues December 5, 2007 at 6:09 pm

when i’m working on my freelance writing/researching, i put on some decent clothes. when i’m working on my novel, i’m lucky if i’m out of my PJs by lunchtime…

Christine December 5, 2007 at 6:54 pm

Underwear! Shock! Giggle!

I have two hats which I use when I’m working (though not always — they’re more for last-ditch efforts).

One is a plastic 20-s style fedora-like hat. It is striped white and yellow. It is my “do not disturb” hat — when I’m wearing it nobody can interrupt my work, including myself.

For writing, I have a pink feathered hairband with big shiny stars and more feathers on two metal-spring antennae on top. It’s very silly. I’ve built the mental association between it and writing, though, so it works.

Hmm… maybe I should start wearing that to my exams.

Flexo December 5, 2007 at 7:12 pm

I think it’s all about habits. For most people, acting and living the part of a focused worker comes from where they are used to being focused — in the office. So people who are used to doing their best in an office will benefit from making their home environment to match, even down to the clothes. But that habit can be broken and new ones can be formed…

Hilda December 5, 2007 at 9:56 pm

DF can answer his phone and talk business in his underwear. I could never do that. I have to put on jeans and shirt for me to work on something…even if it’s just washing dishes!

Lisa Braithwaite December 21, 2007 at 2:05 am

I don’t have to be dressed to be productive. In fact, I like to get a few hours of work done in the morning before my workout time at 11:00. Why 11:00? I don’t know, it just works for me!

It would be silly to take a shower and get dressed only to then undress, get into workout clothes, get sweaty, shower again and dress again.

So this works for me. I guarantee that my clients and colleagues are not on the other end of the phone wondering why I sound so unfocused!

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