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6 Secrets To Upgrading Your Professional Images

6 Secrets To Upgrading Your Professional Images

Many people feel that we are living in a more casual world these days, and that it isn’t as important to have a professional look as it once was. Actually, it is more important than ever, and those who look professional are going to be more successful than those who don’t care about the images that people see and don’t take the time to make themselves look professional in their images. Here are some tips to help you make your images more professional.

1. Your Goals

Knowing your goals will help you decide if it is time to change your images. For instance, if your images show you as a fun-loving type and you want to be taken more seriously, then it is time to make some changes to your images. Or, you may appear too serious, and you want to appear more spontaneous and fun. Your images should reflect your goals. Remember, if you want to make waves in the business community, your images shouldn’t show you riding the waves or doing other un-businesslike activities.

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2. Timing

There are certain times when it is a good idea to upgrade your professional images. For instance, if you are moving into a new line of work, taking on a public role within your company, etc., this is a big change, and your images should reflect that. Or, you may just be bored and feel that you are stuck in a rut, and changing your images may be the thing to help you get out of that rut. Talk to friends, colleagues, etc. and find out how they see you, and ask if they think you need to upgrade your images at this time.

3. Your Context

Take a look at your environment, and ask yourself what the norms are within that environment. What shows status in your community? Who do you want as your audience? How do others that you admire present themselves? The more you understand the context of your appearance in your images, the better able you will be to change the images to those that work for you and make you look like the professional you are.

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4. Uniform

For instance, if you wear a uniform for your job, you can add to your professional images by using customized patches on the uniform, rather than direct embroidery, which is much more expensive. Learn more about patches at WikiHowPatchSuperstore.com and YouTube.

5. Working with Pros

Before you go out and have new photos taken, you need to put together a team of people who are going to ensure that your images are exactly what you want them to be. Your team should include a personal stylist (or a free styling service such as one from J.Crew) and a hair stylist instead of a traditional barber. Your photographer should be a professional, and not just a friend or family member who takes good pictures.

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6. Efficiency

In addition to upgrading your images, you should be upgrading your overall style. Make sure that you do this with efficiency. The whole point isn’t to be vain, but to find standard clothing that you can wear regularly that become somewhat of a uniform. Take your stylist with you and buy everything at once, instead of making multiple shipping trips by yourself and just buying one or two pieces at a time. This way, you will tend to get clothing that all mixes and matches and becomes your personal uniform.

You might be surprised at what upgrading your style can do for you, and for your career (not to mention your love life). Just look at the Trivago guy. Just last year, he was considered “creepy” by many. Now, he is cleaned up and has a more professional look, and “creepy” has turned into “hottie”. You can do the same thing with a stylist and efficiency.

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Featured photo credit: Chris Zerbes via flickr.com

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Jane Hurst

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Last Updated on October 22, 2019

How to Focus and Concentrate Better to Boost Productivity

How to Focus and Concentrate Better to Boost Productivity

We live in a world of massive distraction. No matter where you are today, there is always going to be distractions. Your colleagues talking about their latest date, notification messages popping up on your screens, and not just your mobile phone screens. And even if you try to find a quiet place, there will always be someone with a mobile device that is beeping and chirping.

With all these distractions, it is incredibly difficult to concentrate on anything for very long. Something will distract you and that means you will find it very difficult to focus on anything.

So how to focus and concentrate better? How to focus better and produce work that lifts us and takes us closer towards achieving our outcomes?

1. Get Used to Turning off Your Devices

Yes, I know this one is hard for most people. We believe our devices are so vital to our lives that the thought of turning them off makes us feel insecure. The reality is they are not so vital and the world is not going to end within the next thirty minutes.

So turn them off. Your battery will thank you for it. More importantly though is when you are free from your mobile distraction addiction, you will begin to concentrate more on what needs to get done.

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You do not need to do this for very long. You could set a thirty-minute time frame for being completely mobile free. Let’s say you have an important piece of work to complete by lunchtime today. Turn off your mobile device between 10 am and 11 am and see what happens.

If you have never done this before, you will feel very uncomfortable at first. Your brain will be fighting you. It will be telling you all sorts of horror stories such as a meteorite is about to hit earth, or your boss is very angry and is trying to contact you. None of these things is true, but your brain is going to fight you. Prepare yourself for the fight.

Over time, as you do this more frequently, you will soon begin to find your brain fights you less and less. When you do turn on your device after your period of focused work and discover that the world did not end, you have not lost an important customer and all you have are a few email newsletters, a confirmation of an online order you made earlier and a text message from your mum asking you to call about dinner this weekend, you will start to feel more comfortable turning things off.

2. Create a Playlist in Your Favourite Music Streaming App

Many of us listen to music using some form of music streaming service, and it is very easy to create our own playlists of songs. This means we can create playlists for specific purposes.

Many years ago, when I was just starting to drive, there was a trend selling driving compilation tapes and CDs. The songs on these tapes and CDs were uplifting driving music songs. Songs such as C W McCall’s Convoy theme and the Allman Brothers Band’s, Jessica. They were great songs to drive to and helped to keep us awake and focused while we were driving.

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Today, we can create playlists to help us to focus on our work. Choose non-vocal music that has a low tempo. Music from artists such as Ben Böhmer, Ilan Bluestone or Andrew Bayer has the perfect tempo.

Whenever you want to go into deep, focused work, listen to that playlist. What happens is your brain soon associates when you listen to the playlist you created with focused work and it’s time to concentrate on what it is you want to do.

3. Have a Place to Go to When You Need to Concentrate

If you eat, surf online and read at your desk, you will find your desk a very distracting place to do your work. One way to get your brain to understand it is focused work time is, to use the same place each time for just focused work.

This could be a quiet place in your office, or it could be a special coffee shop you use specifically for focused work. Again, what you are doing is associating an environment with focus.

Just as with having a playlist to listen to when you want to concentrate, having a physical place that accomplishes the same thing will also put you in the right frame of mind to be more focused.

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When you do find the right place to do your focused work, then only do focused work there. Never surf, never do any online shopping. Just do your work and then leave. You want to be training your brain to associate focused work with that environment and nothing else.

If you need to make a phone call, respond to an email or message, then go outside and do it. From now on, this place is your special working place and that is all you use it for.

Every morning, I do fifteens minutes of meditation. Each time, I sit down to do my meditation, I use the same music playlist and the same place. As soon as I put my earphones in and sit down in this place, my mind immediately knows it is meditation time and I become relaxed and focused almost immediately. I have trained my brain over a few months to associate a sound and a place with relaxed, thoughtful meditation. It works.

4. Get up and Move

We humans have a limited attention span. How long you can stay focused for depends on your own personal makeup. It can range from between twenty minutes to around two hours. With practice, you can stay focused for longer, but it takes time and it takes a lot of practice.

When you do find yourself being unable to concentrate any longer, get up from where you are and move. Go for a walk, move around and get some air. Do something completely different from what you were doing when you were concentrating.

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If you were writing a report in front of a screen, get away from your screens and look out the window and appreciate the view. Take a walk in the local park, or just walk around your office. You need to give your brain completely different stimuli.

Your brain is like a muscle. There is only so much it can do before it fatigues. If you are doing some focused work in Photoshop and then switch to surfing the internet, you are not giving your brain any rest. You are still using many of the same parts of your brain.

It’s like doing fifty pushups and then immediately trying to do bench presses. Although you are doing a different exercise, you are still exercising your chest. What you need to be doing to build up superior levels of concentrated focus is, in a sense, do fifty pushups and then a session of squats. Now you are exercising your chest and then your legs. Two completely different exercises.

Do the same with your brain. Do focused visual work and then do some form of movement with a different type of work. Focused visual work followed by a discussion with a colleague about another unrelated piece of work, for example.

The Bottom Line

It is not difficult to train your brain to become better at concentrating and focusing, but you do need to exercise deliberate practice. You need to develop the intention to focus and be very strict with yourself.

Set time aside in your calendar and make sure you tell your colleagues that you will be ‘off the grid’ for a couple of hours. With practice and a little time, you will soon find yourself being able to resist temptations and focus better.

More Resources About Boosting Focus and Productivity

Featured photo credit: Wenni Zhou via unsplash.com

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