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All the Essential Items for Men’s Minimalist Outfits

All the Essential Items for Men’s Minimalist Outfits

When you picture success, you may think about the great accomplishments of people like Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs. You’ve likely read articles about how these successful people get inspired and stay productive. One thing you may not have noticed was that some of the most influential people in the world take a minimalist approach to style.

Your style can communicate who you are and what you stand for before you ever open your mouth. Since we know that we never get a second chance to make a first impression, many of us spend lots of time agonizing over what to wear. We want to be successful, and we’ve been taught that we have to dress for success. Looking great doesn’t mean reinventing the wheel every day, though.

Some of the greatest minds of our time have adopted a minimalist wardrobe

You probably can’t picture Steve Jobs without thinking of his go-to outfit: a black turtleneck and jeans. When you think of Mark Zuckerberg, your mental image is likely to be him in a pair of jeans, a grey t-shirt, and possibly, a hoodie. Barack Obama is always in a blue or grey suit. We imagine them this way because these influential people have committed to wearing the same outfits over and over.

People who choose to wear the same thing over and over value simplicity and minimalism in their clothing choices. Taking the decision-making out of getting ready in the morning is an intentional move that influential people make to save time and energy. We humans can only make so many decisions per day before we suffer from decision fatigue.[1]

Mark Zuckerberg’s fashion philosophy

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    Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, put it most succinctly. When asked to explain why he wears the same clothes every day, he said:[2]

    “I really want to clear my life so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community.”

    He explains that spending his time and energy on frivolous things prevents him from putting his energy into his company. Mr. Zuckerberg knows that if he spends 30 minutes every day deciding what to wear, he loses three-and-a-half hours per week that he could devote to his work or his family. Think about how much time you spend picking out your outfits.

    You can take a page out of Zuckerberg’s book

    The average person makes a whopping 35,000 decisions per day.[3] Many of those decisions relate to mundane things like what to pack in your lunch or which shirt you should wear. The more time and energy you spend on the mundane, the less you have to devote to the extraordinary.

    Having a minimalist wardrobe doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice style. You can still look professional and put together, without fretting over fashion. By limiting the number of choices you have to make and choosing versatile pieces, you can design a sharp-looking hassle-free wardrobe for yourself.

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    Essential looks for a minimalist wardrobe

    Depending on where we work and how we spend our time, there are certain outfits that we should have in our closets. If you can nail down some quality go-to pieces in each of these categories, you can do away with the closet full of decisions you have to make every morning.

    At Lifehack, we’ve put together a list of essential looks, and we’ve identified some great pieces to help you pull them off.

    1. Smart Office Casual

    Looking sharp doesn’t mean that you need to have a different suit or set of accessories for every day of the week. Dress professionally without coming off as too formal with these items. This is the perfect look for the office.

      1. Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Dress Reversible Belt with Polished Nickel Buckle $21.02
      2. Zachary Prell Granite Soft Knit Blazer $398.00
      3. BENGAL Leather Satchel by Ted Baker $449.00
      4. Williams Cashmere Men’s Crew-Neck Sweater $37.84
      5. Men’s Knoxville Plain Toe Gore-Tex Oxfords $143.00\
      6. Goodthreads Men’s Slim-Fit Wrinkle-Free Dress Chino Pant $30.00

      2. Laid Back Executive

      A quality polo shirt and a pair of chinos enable you to look put-together and casual. This look is perfect for those less-formal meetings and casual afternoons out.

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        1. G-Star Raw Men’s 5620 Deconstructed 3d Low Tapered Cerro Stretch Jean $120.00
        2. Men’s Twin Tipped Polo Shirt-m1200 by Fred Perry $52.99
        3. Leather Backpack by Jack Spade $398.00
        4. Conway Sneakers by Vince $225.00

        3. Ready for the Gym

        Going to the gym is about getting results and being healthy. There’s no need to get fussy about fashion if you have a few solid and functional garments.

          1. Surge Short 7″ by Lululemon $85.00
          2. Tech Short-Sleeve Shirt by Under Armour $14.99 – $46.99
          3. A-PIE Fashion Breathable Sneakers Mesh Soft Sole Casual Athletic Lightweight $14.99
          4. Barnaby Tapered Joggers by Jack Wills $85.63
          5. Under Armour Resistor 3.0 Lo Cut Sock $21.99 
          6. Assert Convertible Duffel Bag/ Backpack by Lululemon $163.58

          4. Street Smart

          For casual everyday wear, there’s no need to waste time rifling through t-shirts. If you are interested in emulating Mark Zuckerberg’s style, these are the types of items he wears on a daily basis.

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            1. 501 Original-Fit Jeans by Levi’s $39.99
            2. Modern Fit Tee by Woolrich $22.45
            3. Raven Hoodie by All Saints $104.36
            4. Men’s Basket Classic B&W Fashion Sneakers by PUMA $74.95

            5. Finishing Touches and Accessories

            To add some flair to your outfits, consider a few simple accessories. Many of these work well with several of the outfits we’ve put together. Having versatile accessories ensures that you can look your best without having to spend too much time digging through extensive collections.

              1. Herschel Men’s Roy RFID Blocking Wallet $24.99
              2. Venture Navy Leather Bracelet by Links of London $225.00
              3. Expedition Scout 40 Watch by Timex $38.50
              4. Major II Bluetooth On-Ear Headphones by Marshall $85.95
              5. Bleu de Chanel cologne by Chanel $225.00

              Keep it Simple and Practical

              Wardrobes can quickly become expansive, but if you take time to curate your collection and identify versatile pieces, you’ll be able to put together a look for any occasion.

              Featured photo credit: Anthony Quintano/ FlickR via flickr.com

              Reference

              More by this author

              Brian Lee

              Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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              Last Updated on December 9, 2019

              7 Techniques to Stay Focused and Avoid Distractions

              7 Techniques to Stay Focused and Avoid Distractions

              The world has become a very distracting place, you don’t need me to tell you that. Where once we could walk out of our house or office and disappear into our own world with our own thoughts, we are now connected 24 hours a day to a network that’s sole purpose is to make us available to anyone and everyone at any time they choose to disturb us.

              Of course, it is very easy to sit here and say all you have to do is turn off your electronic devices and just allow yourself several hours of quiet solitude; but the reality is far harder than that. There is an expectation that we are available for anyone whenever they want us.

              However, if you do want to elevate yourself and perform at your best every day, to produce work of a higher quality than anyone expects and to regain control over what you do and when you will need to regain some control over your time, so you can focus on producing work that matters to you…

              The good news: You do not have to become a recluse. All you need are a few simple strategies that will allow you enough flexibility in your day to stay focused to do the work that matters and still allow you to deal with other people’s crises and dramas.

              Here are 7 ways you can stay focused and be less distracted.

              1. Find out When You Are at Your Most Focused

              According to research, brilliantly documented by Daniel Pink in his latest book, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, our brains have a limited capacity to stay focused each day.[1]

              From the moment we wake up to the time we turn in for the day, we are using up our brain’s limited energy resources and, depending on the time of day, we will be moving between strong concentration and low concentration.

              This means that for most people, their optimum time for sustained concentration and focus will be soon after they wake up. For others, it could be later in the evening—a kind of second wind—but that is rare.

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              Once you understand this, you can take time to learn when you are at your best and to protect that time on your calendar as much as possible. If you can, block it off and use that time for the work you need to do that requires the most concentration each day.

              2. Get Comfortable Using ‘Do Not Disturb’ Mode

              We have the ability to switch our electronic devices to do not disturb mode. Where all notifications are off and your phone or computer will not alert you to a new email or message.

              Now after testing this function for a number of years, I can happily report that it does work.

              When I sat down to write this article, I put all my electronic devices to do not disturb, closed down my email and began writing. I am safe in the knowledge that until this article is written, and I turn do not disturb off, there will be no interruptions or distractions.

              Of course, it is not really about whether do not disturb works or not, it is whether you are willing to turn it on or not.

              Most people believe they have to be constantly available for their boss or customers. This is not true at all. What has happened is because of your always available status, you have conditioned these people to turn to you first whenever they have a problem.

              You are not actually helping them at all. You are preventing them from having to think for themselves and develop the skill of problem-solving. By not being so readily available, you help them a lot more.

              What it comes down to is your boss and customers are going to be far more positive with you, if you deliver your work to the highest quality and on time than you being available 24/7. Trust me on that. I also tested that one.

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              3. Schedule Focus Time Every Day

              This technique is a lot easier than you may think.

              First, you figure out when you are least likely to be disturbed. For me, that is between 6 and 9 am. for a lot of my clients, they find the first 90 minutes in the morning at their workplace is when they are not likely to be disturbed. This is important because you want to be building consistency.

              Most people start their day by checking their email and other messages. While they are doing that, they are not going to be bothering you. Now there is no rule about when you should be checking your email. The chances are email is not going to be where you want to spend your most focused time, so you can decide to check your email at say 10:30 am.

              Dedicate 30 minutes from 10:30 am to 11:00 am for email processing and use the first 90 minutes of your day for doing your most important work. You will surprise yourself by how much work you get done in that ninety minutes.

              4. Plan Your Day the Night Before

              One of the inevitabilities of life is there is always a plan for the day. The choice is whether the plan you have is a plan of your own making or not. If you don’t have a plan, then the day will take control of you. Other people’s priorities, urgencies and dramas will fill your day. As the late Jim Rohn said:

              “Either you run the day or the day runs you.”

              If you take control and make it a habit to plan out what you want to accomplish the next day before you go to bed, you will find yourself staying more focused on your work and be less likely disturbed.

              Now when I say plan your day the night before, I do not mean you need to spend an hour or so planning and mapping out every minute of the day. Planning your day should only take you around 10 to 15 minutes and you only need to decide what 10 things you want to complete — 2 “must do” objective tasks and 8 “would like to do” tasks. What I call the 2+8 Prioritisation Technique:

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              Do not be tempted to go beyond 10 tasks for the day. When you do that, you do not have enough flexibility in your day to handle crises and other unknown issues that will pop up throughout the day.

              When you do not build in flexibility, you will soon stop planning your day. Only plan tasks that will have the biggest positive impact on your work and projects.

              5. Learn to Say “No”

              I am sure you’ve been told this before. We are wired to please and this results in us wanting to say yes to every opportunity that comes our way. The problem is we cannot do everything and every time you say “yes” to one opportunity, you are saying “no” to another opportunity. You cannot be in two places at the same time.

              Jay Shetty shared an inspiring video on JOMO “Joy Of Missing Out”. Here’s the video:

              Rather than allowing ourselves to be succumbed by FOMO (the Fear Of Missing Out), we should replace that ‘fear’ with the “joy” of missing out. Because of our need to please, we say yes to things we really don’t want to do; yet when we do that, we miss out on doing things that bring us joy—creating something special, spending time educating ourselves and just having some quiet alone time with ourselves.

              Learn to say “no” every time you get a notification to your phone. Ignore it. Learn to say “no” to your colleagues when they want to gossip. Learn to say “no” to volunteering when the thing you are being asked to volunteer for does not excite you. Just learn to say “no”.

              By saying “no” to opportunities, distractions and interruptions, you are saying yes to better and more meaningful things. Things you do want to focus your attention on.

              6. Create a Distraction-Free Environment for Your Focused Time

              This has been possibly the most powerful tip I learned when it comes to focusing on what is important. Have a place where you do only focused, high-concentration work.

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              Now this place needs to be clean and only have the tools you need to do your work. If it is writing a report or preparing a presentation, then it needs a table and a computer, nothing more. Files, paper and other detritus that accumulates on and around people’s desks need to go. A clean, cool and well-lit environment is going to do a lot more for your focus and concentration than anything else.

              The dining table in our home is where I go for undisturbed, focussed work. I take my laptop or iPad, and only have my writing app open. Everything is closed down and the computer is in “do not disturb” mode. There is nothing else on the dining table just my computer and my water tumbler.

              Because that is my designated focus area, I only go there to work when I have something that needs total focus and concentration. I am there right now!

              7. Be Intentional

              The reality is, if you absolutely need to get something done then you need to be intentional. You have to have the intention of sitting down, focusing and doing the work.

              There’s no magic tricks or apps that will miraculously do all your work for you. You need to intentionally set aside time for undisturbed focus work and do it. Without that intention, you can read as many of these articles as you like and you still will not get the work done.

              It is only when you intentionally set yourself up to do the work, turn off all notifications and do whatever it takes to avoid distractions will the work get done.

              The Bottom Line

              The strategies and tips I shared in this post will go a long way to helping you become better at focusing on the important things in your life. No matter what they are, you are in control of your time and what you do with it and where you spend it, never give that control away to anyone else.

              Protect it and it will be your servant. Give that control away and it will become your master and that is not a good place to be.

              More About Staying Focused

              Featured photo credit: Manny Pantoja via unsplash.com

              Reference

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