Whether you’re a wfh or just need to do some admin chores (laundry, dishes, finally cleaning out your closet), being productive at home can often seem like a chore. well, according to tiktok, there is a trick for that: wear shoes inside.
yes, something as simple as putting on and lacing up your favorite running shoes can give you that much-needed boost of motivation. Here are the experts on why this productivity hack is so effective, especially for people with ADHD.
how wearing shoes indoors can help you be more productive
context-dependent memory, which refers to environmental cues that trigger our memory, is one reason why wearing shoes inside your home can make it easier to check things off your to-do list . “Shoes can activate people’s brains for productivity because traditionally, they wear shoes when they’re active and productive,” explains Marcy Caldwell, PsyD, a licensed clinical psychologist and adhd specialist. Conversely, psychologist Sanam Hafeez, PSYD, says that walking around the house barefoot or in slippers can make you feel more relaxed and less likely to be productive.
A lower initial hurdle to productivity is also at play here, making it easier to get things done. “Because when you kick off your shoes and relax on the couch, for example, the amount of effort required (and thus the hurdle to start the task) is greater if you need to do one more thing, even just put your shoes on.” shoes, “dr. says caldwell. And once you’re on the go, staying productive is easier. “So if you have your shoes on and get moving on one task, it will be easier to do another. That’s why it can be helpful to keep your shoes on when you get home, it keeps you in productive energy instead of switching into sleep mode.” relaxation.”
dr. Hafeez adds that running shoes, in particular, can trigger motivation because we already associate them with movement. Plus, they’re comfortable, flexible, and lightweight, making it easy to move around the house and complete physical tasks.
why wearing shoes inside is helpful for people with adhd
although dr. hafeez says that anyone who needs a productivity boost can benefit from wearing shoes inside the house, in particular, he says it can be helpful for people with adhd. “People with adhd are notoriously procrastinators, and running shoes can force them to get up and go,” he says.
dr. Caldwell agrees, adding: “This is particularly useful for adhd brains because the executive function of initiating a task is energy intensive. And because adhd brains have a limited executive functioning energy supply, they feel the drain.” of energy to start a task more sharply. than neurotypical brains. therefore, strategies that keep the ball rolling, and thus reduce startup expense, are particularly useful.”
in addition, dr. Caldwell points out that adhd brains have a hard time keeping things on their minds. therefore, having external cues, such as seeing the shoes or feeling them on your feet, can trigger your brain because it associates shoes with productivity.
Although there is no evidence or research on the use of shoes to increase productivity, dr. Caldwell says there is research supporting the difficulty of the adhd brain in initiating tasks and working with memory. and she also points out that there is research on the benefits of cue-dependent memory. “He had test subjects learn information both on land and underwater, then they were tested on that information, and they showed a greater ability to recall the information in the same environment in which they first learned it,” she explains. beyond research, although, anecdotally, drs. caldwell and hafeez have found this trick effective. “I think I can get on with the sneakers but I can’t wait to take off my heels or other shoes,” dr. hafeez says.
other ways to increase productivity at home
If you live in a shoeless house, you can still reap the benefits of this trick. to do it, dr. cardwell recommends having a pair of “productivity shoes” that you only wear indoors. she suggests any type of hard-soled shoes like sneakers. “Ideally, they’re the kind of shoe you’d want to take off if you were to sit on the couch and relax because you want to combine them in your brain with being productive,” she says. in other words, the slippers won’t be as effective because they will tell your brain to relax.
dr. hafeez says that you can also get a similar effect by changing your clothes. so if you’re still wfh, for example, putting on real clothes in the morning instead of staying in your pajamas can help you jump start your day right away. Likewise, if you usually get into comfortable clothes as soon as you get home, use that momentum to check off a task you’ve been putting off before changing.