Here is the thing: when you are a freelancer and work from home, why you should wake up early in the morning, get dressed, do your make up and get ready to leave? Uh-oh, leave? Oh, yeah, I mean leaving from one room to another, of course! Well, and here is another thing: why should you not do that and work in your pajamas all day instead?
I used to like working in my pajamas a lot at the beginning of my career. If you think about it in a fun way, it is a good feeling. While everybody else is working inside of offices and wearing work clothes, we are at home working with our own PC, having a cup of coffee or tea, wearing flip flops and why not… in pajamas! Is it a privilege? Lets forget for a moment about how hard it is being your own boss and answer YES, it is a privilege! There is nothing wrong enjoying working in your pajamas. It is comfortable, you feel relaxed, you do not need to worry about getting new suits every week, etc. Isn’t it nice?
In the paragraph above I said I used to work in my pajamas and yes, that does mean I do not do that anymore. Do not take me wrong, I do like working in my pajamas, but with time I realized that this attitude was not bringing anything good to my everyday development as a professional. Every freelancer needs motivation, and working from home can be a little depressing as you do not interact with colleagues, do not see too many people very often and even do not have time to take a break and go for a nice walk on a nice sunny day. Another thing that is really important is discipline. You need to plan your daily schedule and goals. Here are some little changes that considerably improved my production, motivation and work performance:
- Set up the alarm and wake up early. I know that this is very hard (nobody likes the alarm clock), but setting up your working hours (just like anybody else) is really important. Make yourself get up on time for work.
- Start a morning gym routine, or schedule daily morning bike rides/jogging/walks. This a great motivator to get up and get going, when you come back home and shower and get dressed, you will find a new level of energy. Remember we need both our mind and bodies to preform at a high level each and every day.
- Get dressed and ready to work on time. The fact that you do not need to go anywhere to work does not mean that you do not need to dress yourself up. Put on something comfortable, do your usual make up, try a different hair style for that day. Get ready to work on time. Here is the motivation: you own your own business, you are the boss so why not increase your self-esteem and getting dressed instead of wearing pajamas? Why not respect your working hours and start on time? The benefits: high self-esteem, high productivity, self-confidence, commitment, discipline.
- Make sure to have a lunch break just everybody else. Working from home does not mean that you do not have the right to stop to have your lunch. Avoid doing that in front of the PC. Leave your workstation for half hour and you will see a huge result: a rested mind and more strength to work during the second half of the day.
- Make sure to take other small breaks during the day. Here is a great explanation for this topic taken from a blog of a colleague: ” I have realized that I need to make time to pause throughout the day. Not just lunch breaks either: I have to write in those breaks that would be normally scheduled if I worked for anyone but me. And it works. I feel better about my work, and I feel like I get more done. It also helps your brain reboot. Working on a frustrating project? Take a time out, do a 3 minute dance party in your office where you dance around like a damn fool to whatever floats your boat. When you sit back down to tackle that thing that was bugging you, you’ll be able to look at it with a fresh set of eyes.” I personally enjoy a 15 minute walk on our trail, it recharges my batteries every time.
- Set up a “closing time”. It is very important to have a time set to strop working, and it is not because we work from home that it means we will be available 24 hours . Freelancers need to sleep, watch TV, be with their family, have dinner and take care of their personal life. There are many benefits from working at home, why not make sure we enjoy them!
After thinking about all of that, I completely changed my routine and working hours. If you would like some inspiration, here is what I do:
- Wake up at 7 AM
- Go to the Gym and come back 8:30 AM
- Get ready to work (shower, breakfast etc) by 9 AM
- Lunch time at 12 PM
- Back to work at 12:30 or 1 PM (depending on the volume of work)
- Afternoon walk at 3PM
- Stop working at 6 PM
Now that we got the main points about why it is important to get dressed and avoid working in your pajamas, what are your new plans?