During this pandemic, it’s tempting to stay in our pajamas all day, but getting dressed can be key to staying productive

Perhaps the most insidious element of COVID-19 is the effect it has on our productivity. As we work from home (WFH), it can be tempting to stay in our pajamas all day, but this is much worse for you than it seems.

During the first couple of weeks back home, I slept in until nine or ten pretty much every day. Since I don’t have in person classes anymore, I figured there’s no reason to get ready early. 

This resulted in me getting good sleep, but not being nearly as productive. I fell behind on assignments and had to stay up late to finish them on time. Then I would sleep in again because I was up so late. In mere days, I had transformed my habits for the worse and my productivity was paying for it.

Let’s face it — while we are not in school, we are not out of school. This means that we still have work to do. We can’t throw in the towel just yet. 

That’s when I rediscovered the importance of routine. 

Waking up to your first alarm, making your bed, brushing your teeth, showering, drinking a cup of coffee and the other basic parts of your morning routine are all essential to productive days. Getting dressed is just as important as all the other parts.

According to a New York Times article, vesting up in professional attire is a form of control, especially when everything else is so out of control. 

“The traditional suit … was a form of protective gear, a means for demarcating boundaries between public and private, work and leisure, the exigencies of the corporate world and the intimate needs of one’s family life,” Guy Trebay said in the article.

Cards on the table, I haven’t been putting on a traditional suit each day to go to online classes. I’m not a businessman. I’m a college student. I’ve been getting dressed each day in outfits I would normally wear to school (well warmer versions of them since it’s far colder in Reno, Nev. than Azusa) — flannels, sweaters, t-shirts, jeans, chinos, etc. 

While this might not seem much nicer than sweats and oversized comfy shirts, it is noticeably different. That’s the key, according to Mason Donovan in a Fast Company article.

“When I change into casual clothes, it’s a physical and visual distinction, and it helps me set boundaries … Otherwise you could feel like work never ends. Your personal life could take over work time or your work commitments can take over personal time. Clothing helps create a distinct separation,” Donovan said.

Part of a good routine is a good work-life balance. Since I can’t go to the library or a coffee shop like I usually would to study, I needed to figure out a different way to separate work and relaxation. Getting dressed in real clothes is the perfect method.

Once you’re dressed, you can begin your work day. Then when you’re done working, you can change back into your sweats and unwind. It’s that simple.

But if you want to make it more complicated, you can look at all the other benefits of getting dressed.

According to a GQ article, getting dressed can improve your mood and restore a sense of normalcy. As the world reels in the aftermath of the coronavirus, we could all use some normalcy.

Staying in your pajamas keeps you stuck in a rut, while getting dressed sets the mood for a new day, according to a Refinery 29 article. 

Finally, one of the silver linings of not seeing anyone is that no one has to see you. Since no one sees what you wear, you can try new outfits that you wouldn’t normally wear out of the house. Put on some skinny black jeans with a Hawiaan button down or plaid dress pants with a striped shirt. No one will judge you because they can’t see you (family excluded). Maybe you’ll find a killer combo that you wouldn’t have otherwise discovered and now you have it in your arsenal of fire fits.

I know it’s easier to stay in your smelly pajamas all day, but doing the right thing isn’t always easy. Get dressed and watch as your mood and productivity improves. We’ve only got three weeks left. End the semester strong.