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Study Finds That What You Wear Changes The Way You Think Of Yourself

Study Finds That What You Wear Changes The Way You Think Of Yourself

The old saying says that the clothes don’t make the man. But science might be able to prove that wisdom wrong.

According to a recent study, people who wore expensive clothes from recognizable brands tended to be more confident.  The researchers also found a correlation between smart dressers and higher levels of performance.

Of course, it was not the clothes themselves that resulted in a job well done. But the clothes on your back have a significant placebo effect that is hard to ignore.

In the study, researchers told participants that they were using a Nike golf putter when swinging their club. In reality, they were using a generic club. When the participants believed they were holding the same clubs that golf pros like Rory McIlroy uses, their performance improved by around 20%.

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Yet, the boost is not all physical. The researchers also gave a math quiz to some participants while the participants wore earplugs. The researchers told them that the earplugs came from 3M and were a high performance variety.

The participant performance on the math quiz improved by 20% when they thought their earplugs were high end.

Basically, this study proves that your lucky suit or lucky glove is not lucky per say. But these items might really have the boost on your performance that you believe they do. That’s good news

Frank Germann, an assistant professor at Notre Dame who worked on the study, said “when you think that you have this performance brand, you have higher-state self-esteem. As a result, you feel better and your self-confidence is elevated at a certain task. In turn, you’re less anxious, and because of that, you’re performing better.”

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That means, if you’re going on a work trip any time suit, it would be a good idea to pack your favorite suit, because you’ll get much more out of a conference or networking event if you do.

Great Marketing Performance

The products themselves don’t just have an effect on how you feel about yourself. In fact, the brand power alone can change the way you think and act.

In another study performed at Duke University and published in 2008, researchers found that people’s exposure to logos may cause people to change their behavior. The behavior changers are based on the traits they associate with the brand attached to the logo.

In the study, participants were asked to complete a task after seeing to an Apple logo or an IBM logo. Those who saw the Apple logo completed the task with a creative flair compared to those exposed to the IBM logo.

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Apple ran a now infamous “Think Differently” marketing campaign in the late 1990s. It featured advertisements that included prominent creative figures like Albert Einstein, Nelson Mandela, Jim Henson and John Lennon.

It helped prominently position Apple against established companies and made IBM look like a dinosaur.

The “Think Differently” campaign would go on to cause viewers to associate Apple with genius and creativity.

Similarly, participants exposed to the Disney Channel television logo behaved more honestly than those who viewed the E! Entertainment channel logo.

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The innocence of Mickey Mouse likely had a strong impact on those who saw the logo. This was especially true in comparison to the channel best known for hosting the Kardashian clan.

The strange thing about the change in these behaviors was that the change was automatic. People weren’t thinking about them and they weren’t shown the emotive advertisements. They reacted to the images in real time and adjusted themselves according to their perceptions of the brand.

A Real Placebo Effect

Through these studies, science is telling people what they already know. A great outfit or product is like social armor. The right item can make you feel empowered, confident, humble, smart or strong. The closer your attachment is to it, the stronger your feelings will be.

So don’t deny yourself the flashy tie or Jimmy Choo heels. If you associate them with positivity and success, these items may help bring it to you in spades.

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Last Updated on June 2, 2020

Easy Tasks or Difficult Tasks First? Which One is More Productive?

Easy Tasks or Difficult Tasks First? Which One is More Productive?

Procrastination is probably the biggest detriment to our productivity. Conventional wisdom dictates that the best thing you can do is make that procrastination constructive. When you don’t feel like doing one task, usually one that requires a lot of will- or brainpower, you do another, usually less labor-intensive task.

Recently, though, conventional wisdom has been challenged with something Penn State refers to as “pre-crastination.”[1] After doing a series of studies in which students pick up and carry one of two buckets, researchers theorized that many people prefer to take care of difficult tasks sooner rather than later. That theory poses the question of whether this pre-crastination or the more widely acknowledged constructive procrastination is more effective.

Here is a look at whether people should do difficult tasks early or later on to achieve maximum productivity.

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Doing Easy Tasks First

The Pros

One of the hardest parts of working is just getting started. Constructive procrastination eases this hardship, because working on easy tasks requires a smaller mental or physical commitment than if you tackled difficult tasks firsts.

If one of the foremost deterrents to your productivity is simply getting going, it makes a lot of sense to save the difficult tasks for when you’re in more of a groove.

The Cons

If you eat a frog first thing in the morning, that will probably be the worst thing you do all day. — Mark Twain

On the surface, there don’t seem to necessarily be any disadvantages to doing easy tasks first. However, in Eat That Frog, the book writeen by Brian Tracy challenges that.

Based on the above quote from Mark Twain, Eat That Frog encourages avoiding procrastination, even if that procrastination is constructive. Tracy wants you to “eat that frog,” i.e. do your difficult tasks quickly because the longer it’s on your plate, the harder it will become to do the thing you’re dreading. If you have a habit of dreading things, Eat That Frog makes a solid argument to hold off on your easy tasks until later in the day.

Doing Difficult Tasks First

The Pros

Brian Tracy postulates in Eat That Frog that if you do your difficult tasks first, your other tasks won’t seem so bad. After all, after you eat a frog, even something unappetizing will seem downright delectable.

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Tracy also recommends that, if you have to eat two frogs, you should eat the uglier one first. The metaphor is a very easy way to get your head around the new concept of pre-crastination.

If all of your tasks seem somewhat torturous to you, you might be able to ease the pain by getting rid of the ugliest “toads” as quickly as you can.

The Cons

The primary disadvantage of doing your difficult tasks first is probably that it will make it especially hard to get started on your workday.

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A lot of people aren’t exactly at their peak performance mode when they enter the office. They need to ease into the workday, maybe have a cup or two of coffee to stimulate them.

If that’s you, doing your most difficult tasks first would probably be a costly mistake. Hold off on “eating those frogs” until you have the willpower and fortitude to choke them down.

Conclusion

Should you do easy or difficult tasks first? It seems like a cop-out to say that it depends on the person, but sometimes that’s the honest answer, and that is definitely the case here.

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Hopefully this article helps inform you of what type of worker you are, offering clues to whether you fall into the constructive procrastination or pre-crastination camps. Good luck on your pursuit of maximum productivity!

More Tips for Beating Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Courtney Dirks via flickr.com

Reference

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