Do This Don’t: Throw Out All Your Comfy Clothes

Something happened when I started dressing like a fully functioning human again: my productivity increased, and I felt more professional.
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Nikki Yeager
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Something happened when I started dressing like a fully functioning human again: my productivity increased, and I felt more professional.

I recently started working from home, which is terrible for my hygiene. Since I was five years old, the main reason I got out of bed and brushed my teeth was because I had to be somewhere and -- gasp! -- people would see me.

In my first few days of freedom from an office, I lounged around in pajamas and sports bras while taking conference calls and scheduling demos. However, something felt just a little bit off. How could I reasonably explain the product I’m selling on a call with three purchasers while dressed in what I like to call “garbage-dump-chic”? Even though the people on the other line couldn’t see me, I could feel myself slouching and getting slightly sloppy with my wording. You know, like I was talking to someone while wearing pajamas on my couch. Probably because that’s exactly what I was doing. 

So I made a rule for myself: because working at home is still working, I must get ready for my day as I always have: by putting on pants. To remove all temptation, I immediately threw out my comfy clothes because all they do is take up an excessive amount of space. Goodwill got a great donation that day, and after my comfy-clothing purge, I felt like a huge weight lifted from my closet shelves. 

It was wonderful. 

 Goin’ to Goodwill.

 Goin’ to Goodwill.

Until the next morning when I had to wake up and get dressed before work -- the luxury of laziness was gone. 

But something happened when I started dressing like a fully functioning human being again. My productivity increased because I felt more professional. Not that I let myself succumb often, but while wearing pajama pants I would occasionally watch videos of cats jumping in boxes. Wearing a dress and tights again makes me feel more like I would at an office, so I’m reluctant to watch cat videos or allow myself any other distraction. When I do conference calls now, my speech never slips into sloppy territory because I feel exactly how I’m dressed: professional. 

My office and my coworker.

My office and my coworker.

Best of all, I’ve started leaving the house after “work” more often. When wearing pajama pants for more than eight hours in a day, it’s hard to muster the energy to put on shoes and go socialize after 5pm. However, when I’m already dressed to go out, it’s just a matter of walking outside. So I actually do -- I walk outside and interact with other people. It’s amazing!

Now that I’ve found this wonderful little trick, I wonder if there’s truth to that whole “dress for success” concept? Maybe now that I’m dressing like I work for a business, good things will be bestowed upon my business. Or so I hope.