How To Get Dressed in the Morning (Among Other Things)

pajamas and laptop.

I experienced a plethora of unforeseeable problems upon casting off the shackles off full-time office work and proceeding with freelancedom:

  1. I don’t want to wake up. Ever.
  2. When I finally wake up, I’m too lazy to even shower. Besides, my fuzzy, Cookie Monster pajama pants are way comfortable.
  3. I’m not quite sure what to do with myself.
  4. By the time I figure out what to do, I’m ready for a lunch break. This leads to a four-hour America’s Next Top Model marathon.
  5. Due to guilt over the lack of daytime productivity, I work late into the night, when I should be preparing dinner, or bonding with my husband.

Obviously, despite my eagerness to leave behind the 9-to-5, I still required some semblance of a schedule. A few moves that keep me on track:

Continue to set the alarm. If you sleep away the morning, by the time you wake up, you’ll be more preoccupied with lunch prospects than client prospects. Though I wake up later than I used to, I still set the alarm for a respectable 8 a.m., which allows me to get some early-morning work done before I…

Remember to shower. I don’t know about you, but I have trouble functioning if my hair’s not clean. I don’t know what it is…while some light work tasks can help nudge me toward consciousness — checking e-mails, scanning through my Google Reader, flipping through Glamou…um, I mean… Anyway. It’s the shower, and the act of “getting dressed for work,” that really prepares me to dig in.

Don’t skip meals. I mention this more for the sake of nutritional health than for its effect on productivity levels, though good eats can, of course, increase your energy levels.

Know what to-do. Before going to bed each night, draw up a list of tasks you’d like to complete the next day. In addition to clearing your mind and helping you sleep, it will keep you from floundering during your waking, working hours. Don’t beat yourself up if the list isn’t complete, unless the list isn’t complete because you were drawn away from the computer by the lure of MTV reality programming. Don’t allow yourself to turn on the damn TV, unless everything on the list has been attended to. I keep a notebook next to my bed in case I think of anything last-minute, but I also keep a number of lists going at Tada List.

Know when to stop. Amazingly, despite being a slow starter in the mornings, I never know when to stop, which results in a life that is constantly wrapped up in work, or work-related musings. I have tried to instate a “curfew,” at which point I must stop working. No matter what. Unless I really need to-no! I must stop working. Do as I say, not as I do.

Anyone else have any productivity tips?


  1. I absolutely agree that taking a shower, and following a morning routine (just as if you were getting ready to “leave” for work)is important to me, too.

    I also agree that it’s easy to let the day slip away without a plan or a list of what you wish to accomplish. Sometimes even though I stayed busy all day very little was accomplished. Having that list forces you to focus on what’s important and also allows you a visual record that you can check off, proving to both you and others that you actually did something useful! 🙂

  2. Charlotte says:

    Reward yourself when you do the day right.

  3. @David: Yes, that visual list is key. It gives me such a sense of pleasure to cross something off on my to-do list.

    That and every time my husband comes home, he asked me what I worked on that day. I think he’s checking up on me.

    @Charlotte: With more coffee???

  4. These are great tips. I’ve been working from home as a remote employee for almost 5 years. It helps that I have deadlines but the showering and dressing thing is major. I am always more productive if i get out to the gym before work, shower and dress for the day and “go to work” just like I would to an office. I’m new to the site. Looks good. I’ll be interested and keeping up, with my job I never know if I’ll make it each quarter as writers are always the first to go. Freelancing looks like a good option.


  1. […] first two steps are identical to the ones I mentioned way back at the beginning of this blog, when I was talking about being a disciplined freelancer. […]

  2. […] corporate world have got it all wrong. They think that we sit around in our fuzzy pants all day, watching A Double Shot at Love and playing Minesweeper. They think we’ve got it easy. And this causes […]

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