- by Don
If you work from home, your coworkers will never see you, so you can work in your sweats… or PJs… or underwear… or whatever. Right?
There’s certainly some truth to this one. If you work from home or from your RV, you will likely have more flexibility about what to wear than if you are in a corporate office.
I can work in my PJs!
Then again, you may be in a position where you participate in teleconferences, in which case you won’t want your hair to look disheveled, and you’ll want to be presentable—at least from the waist up!
My friend Jerry teaches online classes for an international company. His company schedules classes based on the home timezone of the students. Because classes are likely to start at any hour, he teaches from a home studio. While his face appears on camera, the rest of him doesn’t. So he has some flexibility in his attire. While he normally plays it safe and dresses in business attire, he doesn’t always... “Don,” he once told me, “I once taught a class in my underwear, just because I could!”
Even if no one sees you, you may find that dressing for work helps you have better focus and be more productive.
Why? Because what you wear can impact how you feel. How you present yourself—even if it’s only to yourself—will very likely likely affect your mindset.
Michael Hyatt says that when he doesn’t feel like working out, he’ll decide to just change into his workout clothes. Changing clothes doesn’t take much effort, and after all, they’re comfortable, so he can talk himself into taking this one step. But you know what happens? Once he’s in his workout clothes, he suddenly starts feeling like working out. Getting into the right clothes helps him get into the right frame of mind.
The same can happen with your work attire. In this article on work/life balance, I told the story of my friend, Gary. Gary was one of the first people I knew to work from home. And although he could have dressed pretty casually, he chose to wear the same clothes that he would have worn to his office. Why? Because it helped him set boundaries with himself and kept him in the proper mindset.
Getting into the right clothes will help jumpstart the proper mindset [for work].
Pay attention to how you function
The key is to pay attention to yourself.
Some people are much more comfortable in their PJs or sweats than in more traditional “work” clothes. And being more comfortable helps keep them relaxed, which in turn helps them focus on their work.
But that’s not the case for everyone. For some of us, wearing PJs is a signal that it’s time to go to bed. If I’m dressed for bed, then I don’t want to work. Even if I don’t go straight to bed, I want to relax and read, or maybe watch some TV. I don’t want to focus on work. So for me, wearing PJs to work is a bad idea, even if no one will see me.
On the other hand, I can be very productive while dressed casually. When I quit my job to go full time in my business, I stopped wearing dress clothes and started wearing jeans to work. It’s more comfortable, and besides… dressing casual seems more appropriate for an RV Business Coach, right? I mean, who would wear dress slacks, a dress shirt, a sport coat, and a tie in an RV?
The key is to not let your attire be a distraction—for you or others. Instead, dress in a way that helps you feel good about yourself, that is comfortable and not restricting, and that helps you remember that you are indeed at work. Doing so will help you focus. And when you focus, you’re much less likely to waste time and procrastinate. And that, in turn, will help you accomplish your goals.
Have you found that what you wear affects your ability to focus? Please leave a comment sharing your experiences.
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