Counterproductive Productivity

Our generation is now solely focused on one crucial thing when it comes to achieving anything, and that is productivity. Whether it’s downloading new applications that will help us to boost our productivity, or brushing aside things that will hold us back. We’re willing to do anything when it comes to boosting our productivity.

The notion in almost everyone’s head nowadays is: the more productive I seem, the more successful I’ll come off. We can’t argue with this, given that we count our successes by the number of successful tasks we’ve achieved whether they are large scale or small scale. Eventually, each successful task adds up and paints the bigger picture: that so-and-so is now a very successful person.

We’re somehow robbing the productive portion of productivity in the hopes of attaining productivity. We may think we’re being even more productive than ever by attempting all these activities out there, that society has convinced us will “supposedly boost our productivity”. However, we actually need to take a few steps back and focus on the things we had swept to the side. We dismissed these things cause we were convinced they would be hampering our productivity. Among these things is “fashion”.

Something I personally inadvertently brushed aside, cause I felt it was hampering my productivity at a certain point in my life was fashion. We’ve seen iconic figures do the same including Mark Zuckerberg and the late Steve Jobs. They brushed fashion aside cause they believed it would hinder their productivity. They had the mindset that time shouldn’t be wasted on something insignificant such as picking your outfit, when that time could be dedicated to something more productive, in other words working on their “successful businesses”.

This notion has affected a lot of people, including myself. They were able to get this far, so we should be able to too, I hear you say, but no. If it works for you then props to you, but don’t force yourself to have this mindset.

Being into fashion doesn’t make you any less productive.  Yeah, you’ll be required to dedicate a portion of your time to work on your outfits. Where do I get time to dedicate to this I hear you ask? That shouldn’t be hard. For all you know you could be claiming “you’re being productive” and spend your time listening to a podcast on improving your productivity, or completing a questionnaire online that is going to determine whether you are a productive person or not.  You could spare this time instead toward working on your outfits instead.

When I say pick out your outfit wisely, I’m not talking about rocking designer outfits daily, but somehow looking presentable. The clothes we wear as we all know affects other people’s perception of us. If that wasn’t the case, why would we continuously be worried about what we wear to certain events or job interviews? In the realm of fashion, you’re given endless options to express yourself. You are given the chance to let people see as much of your personality as you want. If you’re a reserved person or simply not interested in fashion, that’s okay too. Don’t let the broad horizons of the fashion realm overwhelm you, just pick what you’re comfortable with.

Below are two scenarios where fashion can definitely boost your productivity, instead of doing the contrary. They have affected me to shift my mindset, and perhaps they’ll shift yours too.

focusing on fashion isn't counterproductive

Working in loungewear versus an outfit you picked out

Working in our pajamas may be the dream for most of us, or simply throwing on sweats and a random t-shirt. Yet say if a future employer was to see you in this state, have you thought of the impression you may be giving off?

And worst case scenario, you end up getting too comfortable that you end up falling asleep in it. Now, is that productive? Next time you get the impulse to throw on loungewear and attempt to work in them, just try to answer the question “What would a future employer think if they saw me in this?” That should quickly change your mind.

Stepping out of your comfort zone

If your job requires you to step out of your comfort zone on a continuous basis, but you’re treading waters is this productive at all?Absolutely not. Studies have shown that how we dress can affect our confidence. If you need an extra push of confidence stepping up your outfit game can be a start. (More on this on next week’s post-stay tuned) Say for example you’re supposed to be promoting a product. Will a customer be likely to listen to a person dressed in a hoody and sweatpants speaking in a low voice, or a person dressed reasonably speaking in a more confident way. Probably the latter. Instantly throwing on a good outfit won’t give you the confidence you need, but it will surely boost your confidence. A little confidence can go a long way. As you slowly develop your confidence, it is a matter of building upon it, and how you do that is totally up to you.

People cherish effort, so seeing that someone put effort into picking their outfit shouldn’t be deemed as unproductive or as an unnecessary waste of time. We never know who we may run into, perhaps a future employer, the President or even an iconic figure. We don’t want to be giving them the wrong impression that “we’re unproductive” when in fact we’re all about being as productive. We don’t want to be shutting doors of opportunities without even being able to step foot over the threshold. It’s that first impression that matters. Nothing else. If you’re lucky perhaps you’ll get a chance to explain the 100 other ways you’re productive minus your questionable outfit choices. Otherwise, you’re simply left with that first impression you made.

Focusing on fashion and dedicating time to picking your outfit is not counterproductive. It is merely productivity expressed in another form, and shouldn’t be brushed aside.  What is your thought on this? Do you regard fashion as something that hampers your productivity? Do share your thoughts down below.

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