Productivity Begins With Your Feet

So this week, I made one simple change to my normal routine. No biggie. Just something I’ve been meaning to do.

And this one easy adjustment made me more than twice as efficient as I normally am—yowza! I was finishing tasks left and right! I was on a roll! Mmmm…cinnamon roll…

That one little change? Would you believe I just…put on some shoes?

Shoes, huh? Shoes are the answer to all our productivity woes?

It sounds too good to be true, but it IS true.

When someone works from home (like myself), there tends to be a gradual slide into a more relaxed, sloppy life. First, you’ll start wearing jeans, then yoga pants, then some days you won’t even bother to shower.

One day you’re a powerful corporate executive, and the next day you’re like one of those weirdos on Hoarders.

When I worked in a corporate office, I wore 3- to 4-inch heels every single day. I liked how powerful I felt striding down the corridors. I’m so businessy!

After I moved to California and started working from home, I got rid of most of my high heels and spent the days puttering around in my gym socks.

But even if you don’t work from home, I bet you’ve noticed this change in yourself on the weekends. We’re just not as formal or pulled together when we’re chillin’ in the house.

So is it any wonder that we’re not as productive when we’re not dressed to impress?

Our homes are our sanctuaries; where we can just be ourselves. Putting on shoes goes against that “sit and stay awhile” mentality.

We may be more comfortable in our own homes, but we’re also less happy with the amount of errands, tasks, and other to-dos we accomplish while there. We can get shit done in the office, but all bets are off when we’re home.

The solution is simple: wear shoes in your home.

But really? I don’t know anyone who actually wears shoes in their house.

Despite feeling a little silly, I put on a pair of respectable black heels. I instantly stood up straighter and felt more powerful as I walked around. I felt more alert and competent, even while sitting at my desk.

I’m convinced that I got more done because the shoes made me feel better about myself. I got my “you can do it!” confidence back.

I challenge you to wear shoes inside your house. You can try this whether you work from home or just in the evenings or on the weekends.

Take note of how you feel. Are you getting more accomplished?

OK, and if you’re concerned about tracking dirt and germs all over your carpet, buy a pair of shoes that you will wear ONLY in the house. These “house shoes” should still be a proper pair of work shoes—no bunny slippers or flip flops. Ask yourself, “Would I wear these shoes if I were in the office or meeting with a client?”

Have you tried wearing shoes in the house?

In the comments below, tell me what kind of shoes you wear on a typical work day and whether you think your shoes affect your confidence and mood.

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  1. Lyosha Gont on September 3, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    I didn’t expect to read here my hubby’s shoe recepie. Thanks for this post, now I understand him better

  2. Angeline on September 3, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    I tried the “getting dress everyday” thing when I worked from home. It was okay, but I eventually found I was just as productive (sometimes even more so) when I forgot about what I was wearing and just jumped in to work, even in my pajamas. Even so, I never wore shoes in the house (it’s the clean freak in me). The only exception: for the phone interview I had for my current job. I definitely got dressed for that to get me in the mood.

    At work, a good pair of comfortable and pretty heels keeps me walking tall.

  3. Shybiker on August 30, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    So true. Our clothes send messages to our brains and affect our productivity. I maintain a sharp distinction between my work and the rest of my life. I even change watches!

  4. Megan Gann on August 30, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Shoes are always my biggest motivator. I definitely get more done in a kickass pair of boots than a pair of slippers, flipflops, or sneakers.

    Although – I don’t wear shoes in my room. It’s just become a rule to take them off at my bedroom door. Reduces grit.

  5. xvavaveganx on August 30, 2012 at 8:47 am

    OMG you are so right! I especially notice this on the weekends when I have free time that I just dress like a slob. I am sure I’d be more likely to get things done than sit around and be a lazy ass.

    I’m also with H&K, on the rare occasion I got to work from home I was in bed with a laptop in pjs. Yikes!

    • Sage Grayson on August 30, 2012 at 10:34 am

      I’m such a slob on the weekends, and then I wonder why I don’t get as much done. I’m vowing to make an effort to dress more professionally even if I’m just working at home by myself. It puts me in a good mood too. 🙂

  6. H&K Style Journey on August 30, 2012 at 4:51 am

    This is a very great point! My husband works from home periodically for the new business and he totally agrees with getting dressed and wearing shoes. Just because you are working from home, you should still get dressed and ready as you were going to the office. I know from my experience working from home that if I stay in my pjs, it’s to the couch not the computer desk, ha ha! Heather

    • Sage Grayson on August 30, 2012 at 10:33 am

      It’s great advice and I don’t know why I never thought of it before. You wouldn’t wear work heels with pajamas, right? Wearing shoes makes me step up my game in many aspects of my life.