Bleary eyed, day after day he or she sits at home staring at the computer, clad only in a pair of scruffy (and somewhat smelly) pajamas. Alone.
If the freelancer is a guy, it’s been at least a week since he shaved. And of course, a female freelancer wears no makeup.
That is the stereotype anyway. Everyone knows that freelance writers rarely leave home and have poor personal hygiene, right?
If truth be told, there have been days when I’ve worked in my pajamas. But I don’t do that often, do you know why?
I’ve found that I feel more professional and do better work when I dress for my workday–even when I work from home. My guess is that the same is true for you.
(By dressing for my day, I don’t mean formal attire. Most days I don a clean tee-shirt and a pair of jeans. I’m still all about comfort.)
In this post, I share three reasons why you should get out of your pajamas and out of your home office.
Reason 1: You’ll Feel Better
Like it or not, we associate certain items of clothing with certain experiences. For example, I can still remember what I wore on my first date with my husband … and that date was years ago.
And what experience do we associate with wearing pajamas? For most of us, that’s sleeping and slouching around the house.
So, if you try to work in your pajamas, you’re battling your own subconscious to get things done. And that can be tricky.
Besides, there’s something refreshing about getting a shower and getting dressed. It can jumpstart your day.
Plus, if the doorbell rings do you really want to answer the door in your PJs?
Lydia Dishman at FastCompany published an excellent discussion about how clothing affects attitude, The Surprising Productivity Secrets Hidden in Your Clothes. The bottom line is what you wear does make a difference in how you feel and what you get done.
Reason 2: You Need to Move Around
Most of us sit too much.
Sitting in front of a computer for hours on end can hurt your health. If you don’t believe it, read the frightening statistics in this piece by Joey Held on The Freelancer by Contently, How Sitting Ruins the Body (And What You Can Do to Fix It).
Even something as simple as going for a walk around the block can help offset the negative effects of sitting all day. Plus, a change of scenery may help stimulate the creative process.
For me, I know that getting out of the house and spending some time in a different environment helps. I can’t begin to count the number of times I felt “stuck,” and took a break by getting out of the house. Almost every time, I returned to my work fresh and inspired.
Reason 3: Face-to-Face Networking & More
I’m a big believer in social media. It is worth your time.
While online networking is important, it’s not all there is.
People like to see who they are dealing with. One way to let people get to know you face-to-face is to get out there and meet people. It won’t happen in your home office.
Volunteer. Join clubs. Take a class. There are dozens of ways to meet people. One of them is right for you.
Besides getting to know prospective clients, as a freelance writer you need to have a strong support group. Most often, this group consists of friends and family.
Sure, you can (and do) connect with your support group with social media and through email. But those bonds grow stronger when you get together in person with those who mean the most to you.
As a freelancer, do you make sure you get out of the office? What’s your typical attire for a freelancing workday and why?
Share your thoughts on this topic in the comments.