Why I Never Work in My Pajamas

I work from home as a writer and a data management coordinator, which means long hours of typing away at my laptop while my rabbits play quietly by my feet.

Some people call this ideal, and I'll admit that it's a pretty sweet setup, especially for someone with kids or a bustling social life. I don't have either of those things, so the solitude puts me on edge most days.

Still, I get comments like you're so lucky that you don't have to drive to work, and you're so lucky you don't have to deal with office drama. But my favorite unsolicited comment is this: you're so lucky that you can work in your pajamas.

Laptop on Bed

But I have never worked in my pajamas

And here's why: my mind and body will not respond like I want them to if I'm wearing the same clothes that I slept in.

It's the same logic that I used when I decided not to use the same shirts (like road race t-shirts) for exercise and as pajamas. I get mixed associations if I wear a shirt for running and also for sleeping. Should I get energized and start stretching? Or should I grab a book and make a cup of herbal tea?

I got into a bad habit in the past couple of months where I only wore exercise clothing while working because I thought it would help me be more active. That didn't work either; I found myself feeling exhausted before my afternoon/evening runs, versus the fresh energy I get from putting on running clothes right before a run.

So now I've learned to categorize my clothes based on the energies they evoke.

Why I dress up to work from home

My new routine includes pulling on a pair of jeans or a favorite dress first thing in the morning. I wash my face, splash some rosewater on my cheeks and comb my hair into a presentable shape.

Feeling good about myself is an essential ingredient to finding my flow, so I do my best to raise my self-esteem so that I can increase my productivity.

I am only wearing clothes for single purposes these days, which is a far cry from my previous attempts at applying one piece of clothing in as many ways as I could.

That means I have more clothing than I did a year ago, but this practice has helped me streamline my energy. I still consider my wardrobe simple, but I've expanded beyond the limits of what minimalism originally meant to me. (Read more about why I'm moving away from the word "minimalist" here).

Work Clothes

A note on assigning (and recognizing) energies

I'm not a feng shui expert (or even a casual practitioner), but I do pay attention to where, when and how energy flows in my apartment.

I keep my workspace out of the way of the day-to-day flow of the apartment, and I make sure that it's not the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning or come home from a relaxing day off. If I'm working on something creative (like blogging), I take my laptop to the dining table so that I can come at each post with fresh eyes.

I often see beautiful photos of bloggers writing and drinking coffee on their heavenly-white linen bedspreads. It looks divine, but I can really throw my self out of physical and mental alignment if I work from bed. Not to mention that caffeine + bed is a contradiction that I can't process.

I'm practicing this intention with more than just the clothes I wear and where I work. I've allowed it to spill over into the music I listen to, how I schedule my days and even which notebook I choose to write in. It's given me more control over the ebb and flow of my mind, which makes a huge difference in the long run.

So, how about you? Do you (or would you if you could) work in your pajamas?

Why I never work in my pajamas