This guest post is by Chris Martucci of WhatBlag.com.
For those of you who work from home, lethargy can be your greatest adversary. It’s not always easy to get your head in the game when you’re sitting on your couch in your tighty-whities eating a bowl of Fruity Pebbles. But don’t be so quick to blame the Fruity Pebbles—Fruity Pebbles are delicious. The problem is something psychologists call Languid Attire Syndrome.
All right, I made that up. Jokes aside, the truth is that I can’t find any good research on the positive effects of wearing business attire (please let me know in the comments if you can hunt down some relevant studies). What I can give you is my own personal experience.
Get a routine
I recently graduated from college where I studied, among other things, pre-law. I currently spend most of my time writing for my blog and preparing for my Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). As you may have guessed, and you would be correct, I do all of this from the comfort of my home.
Sometimes, a little too comfortably.
I found that it was difficult to roll out of bed, flip on the tube, and hammer out some advanced linear logic games. So here’s my new and improved morning routine:
- Get up around 9am, grab my Macbook and scan RSS feeds. Send intriguing articles to Instapaper for later reading.
- Brew my morning coffee. Start making breakfast.
- Hit the gym for at least one hour
- Shower around noon and get dressed—that means button-up shirt, tucked in to jeans, sleeves rolled up, optional tie (half-Windsor).
- Sit at my enormous desk, and turn on some classical music: it’s business time.
Now of course, you must find a morning routine that works for you. What’s important is that you develop a routine and make it a habit. The same way that hitting the pillow signals to your brain that it’s time to go to sleep, making a habit of getting dressed in the morning, even when you’ve got no where to go, signals to your brain that it’s time to get serious.
I heard a story of a man who would get up every morning, put on a suit and tie, leave the house, get in his car, drive around the block, and come back home to “work.” When his day’s work was completed, he would pack up his things, get back in his car, drive around the block once again, and return “home.” Perhaps this is an extreme example of breaking up the day between work and play, however, it is not entirely absurd. Assuming that this man actually exists, he has found a routine that works well for his needs.
So try this. Get out a pad and paper and dash off a morning routine for yourself. Specify times for each task and stick to them as best you can.
Don’t overburden yourself—start small, otherwise you may never make a habit of such a daunting schedule. My routine consists merely of waking up, eating breakfast, going to the gym, and taking a shower. Easy stuff, but it makes all the difference. Oh, and it’s marvelously rewarding by the end of the day when I get to loosen my tie, unbutton my collar, kick back, and relax.
Fruity Pebbles, here I come.
Chris Martucci is the creator of WhatBlag.com, a weblog dedicated to the liberal arts, technology, and organization. He currently lives in Saint Augustine, Florida, where he recently graduated from college.