Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

12 Nov 2005, 11:49 a.m.

Alan Alda, Terrell Owens, and Merlin Mann

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2005 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

Fred Clark mused recently on the use and misuse of the word "professional." The word these days basically means "polite" or "courteous" rather than "competent at one's trade or craft," but commenters argue over whether courtesy is part of certain job definitions.

My particular life hack when it comes to "professional behavior" is dressing in a business-casual manner when I need to have a productive day at work. It tricks me into working. Or it helps.