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Science Says What You Wear Largely Affects How You Think And Behave

Science Says What You Wear Largely Affects How You Think And Behave

“What you wear can influence your thinking and negotiating skills, and even hormone levels and heart rate” – Matthew Hutson

We all know that the way we dress speaks a lot about our personality, but as the years pass, numerous scientific studies have shown that what we wear also affects the way we think and behave. Even though these researches are mainly small, due to a great number of them, the first results mostly show that we actually feel different while wearing different types of clothes.

Some clothes make us feel more confident and more creative, other types of clothes makes us feel physically stronger and finally, a certain type of clothing makes people consider us more intelligent, unique and/or rebellious.

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Clothing affects your self-confidence

According to a paper from Social Psychological and Personality Science, a certain number of subjects were instructed to wear casual clothing and formal clothing before taking intellectual tests. Those wearing formal clothing performed much better in the given tasks, especially when it comes to creative and organizational tasks, which confirmed higher creativity capabilities. So, next time you are facing a demanding task at work, make sure that you dress up, as it will make you feel more confident and focused.

Communication and clothing

Another important aspect of your character that it is affected by clothing is communication. In a study reported by the Journal of Experimental Psychology, subjects were required to wear formal and informal clothing in negotiation meetings. Those who wore business suits performed much better, as they assorted dominance over the person with whom they were negotiating.

On the other hand, those wearing informal clothes, sweatpants to be precise, had much lower testosterone levels and had lower scores when it came to persuasion skills. So, next time you are negotiating for a business deal, make sure that you suit up.

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Attention and clothing

An interesting research published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology back in 2012, showed a higher level of concentration with people who were told that they are wearing a doctor’s white coat. The study participants wore a painter’s smock, whereas others wore doctor’s coats. The ones dressed in doctor’s coats displayed incredibly higher results in attention demanding tasks. So, next time you are lacking focus, simply put on a doctor’s coat and immerse yourself in that concentration demanding task.

Effects of color on physical performance

The color of your clothes is not something you would expect to be affecting your physical or mental performance, however, two different researches showcase the effects of color on people’s physical and mental performance. The first study was published by the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology where the sportsmen were dressed in red and blue sport shirts. Those wearing red performed much better when it came to lifting weights before combat sparring.

Another important effect of the color red was that the heart rate of the participants wearing it was higher during the whole training process. Even though those wearing red sport shirts were more aggressive, it did not bring them more victories during combat practice.

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Clothing and breaking the social norms

This study is particularly interesting, as it is dedicated to those who decided to break the rules of what they are expected to wear. We are all familiar with different social norms and respective dress codes followed by people in certain institutions. For example, when we think of a stock broker, we imagine a man wearing a suit; when we think of a surgeon, we imagine a man in scrubs, etc. However, according to several experiments published in the Journal of Consumer Research, breaking the expected dress code slightly can improve how you are perceived by the crowd.

According to the article, a man attending a black-tie affair, courageously decided to show up with a red tie. The results were astonishing, as people viewed this individual as someone who has a higher status and who is more capable and successful in all aspects of life. He was perceived as someone who is very confident and breaking the dress code brought about positive opinions. Another very interesting scenario was a professor in red Converse sneakers, who captivated the audience more easily as they valued his uniqueness.

The later interviewed audience revealed that the man was considered more intelligent and much more competent throughout the lecture. These examples clearly show that it’s possible to show your rebellious character by going against the established rules a little bit. But don’t overdo it, as it can seriously backfire.

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The odor

Even though our clothing style greatly affects the way we behave and think, the smell is equally important. Some clothing items are easy to deal with, whereas others can be quite difficult to clean. The part of our wardrobe that causes the most problems are the shoes, but there are numerous creative ways to reduce the odor they give off. As published in an article on livescience, scents greatly affect the way we think and behave, so keep that in mind when dressing for a certain occasion. It’s equally important that you look good and that your clothes smell nice.

The aforementioned studies show how important dressing actually is. When you are getting ready for the next business meeting, keep in mind that your clothes actually say much more about you than you might think.

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Aleksandar Ilic

Blogger, Social Media Butterfly, Guitarist

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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