Willpower is a limited resource. In today’s modern world we need to make thousands of small, and several big choices every day. Every decision we make drains our energy and willpower, like a battery, and by the end of the day, we’re completely exhausted. That’s when we start making bad decisions. Junk food looks more tempting, beer and TV sound more interesting, social media is better than getting work done. Exercise? Who has the time to do it now when I am so tired?
Science has estimated that the average adult makes around 35,000 remotely conscious decisions every day. Each decision carries certain consequences, good or bad. One of the earliest decisions we need to make every morning is what we are going to wear (except for people who decide the night before). And this decision is so big and important, that can improve or ruin our whole day.
Imagine the following scenario. You woke up at 7:30am with a blazing sound of an alarm. You’re done with the bathroom routine in 10 minutes. Followed by breakfast and coffee, it’s time to get ready. You open a closet overfilled with clothes. First outfit – no, I have an important meeting today. Second – it’s too cold for it. The third one – I don’t have matching shoes.
By the time you chose the outfit is long past time you need to go in order not to be late. But now, already, is too late. You’re stressed and panicking. You put on the final outfit and run to the car. Clothes you chose are not comfortable, colors are not matching, or some third reason you’re not happy with it. Then traffic. By the time you’re at work, you’re stressed, mad at the entire world, and you have wasted precious energy on choosing clothes.
Your morning defines your whole day. And the clothes you choose better be right because you’re going to be in them for a while.
Now, imagine the second scenario. You wake up peacefully before the alarm. Do some stretches, meditate, drink coffee or tea in peace. Eat something healthy if you decide to have breakfast. 10 minutes before you need to go, you come to the closet, open it, take your clothes, get ready, and in a few minutes, you’re already on your way to the office. Happy, relaxed, and ready to tackle the day. You’re wearing your favorite clothes and look fantastic in them. You feel like a million bucks.
Which scenario sounds more appealing to you?
I don’t think there is a person on Earth who doesn’t want to be more productive – especially entrepreneurs. One way to increase productivity is by simplifying the decision-making process and save energy and precious willpower. How to do that? By building amazing habits. And one of those habits can be creating a personal uniform.
When we simplify the decision what to wear every single day, our focus and willpower can be directed elsewhere. Decision fatigue is real and can immensely affect our choices. What to eat for lunch? Which route to take? Which shirt to wear? Should I exercise today or not? Which movie to watch, etc.
This is especially important for people who build companies from the ground up. Their mind is needed for other things. That’s why many entrepreneurs, business owners, politicians, and successful people choose to have some sort of personal uniform. They simply wear the same, or similar clothing every single day.
Barack Obama wears only gray or blue suits. Steve Jobs became famous for his black turtleneck by Japanese designer Issey Miyake, Levi’s 501, and New Balance sneakers. Mark Zuckerberg sports tailor-made gray Brunello Cucinelli T-shirt. Karl Lagerfeld, Tom Ford, Christopher Nolan, Michael Kors, and many others also wear the same things every day.
There is power in a personal uniform because it conserves energy, willpower, brain capacity, and reduces decision fatigue.
A uniform can be anything that symbolizes and represents something or someone. Just think of the army, police officers, firefighters, doctors, etc. They all wear a uniform. Even bankers. A suit and tie are one sort of personal uniform. “But I don’t want to wear the same thing every single day”; you may say. And you don’t have to.
Having a personal uniform doesn’t have to mean wearing the same exact outfit every day, but it definitely can if you choose to. You can create a uniform that will work for you and can consist of multiple things that you enjoy wearing best, therefore a personal uniform is not set in stone and allows flexibility.
Once you create a basic recipe for your wardrobe, you don’t need to be worried or stressed because you know everything is going to work.
Choose your favorite style and a few colors for your tops, bottoms, shoes, and outerwear. Then eliminate everything that doesn’t fit these rules.
-tops: shirt or T-shirt, V-neck or crew neck, slim fit or regular fit, black or gray or blue or red or green or yellow, cotton or wool or… (you get the idea)
First, choose what you like to wear the most, then design, then the cut, then color, and finally material.
Second: repeat the same process for bottoms, outerwear, accessories, shoes, etc.
You can get creative and make your own personal uniform – your own branding. Something that will represent you, all your strengths and uniqueness.
Black or brown for shoes, belts, watches, and bags
In winter, I like to wear jeans and sweaters. But I don’t wear jeans and a sweater of the same color every day. I have black and dark grey jeans and sweaters in several colors – navy blue, red, dark grey, and black. And that works for me. It’s my uniform. On cold winter days, you won’t see me wearing anything else.
You can also play and accessorize your uniform. I use different watches because I like them. You can use scarves, jewelry, sunglasses, or something else. Possibilities are endless.
My gym uniform is black shorts and a black T-shirt, and my summer uniform consists of linen pants in navy blue or khaki color, white or baby blue oxford shirt, or darker colored T-shirts and Polo shirts.
Wearing a uniform doesn’t have to be boring black and white clothes (but it definitely can be if that works best for you). It can be amazing, stylish, and interesting. A personal uniform is a go-to outfit you love wearing, fits you well, and that you would choose over every other. Its main purpose is to take the stress out of choosing your outfit, reduce decision fatigue, conserve energy and willpower, and make your life easier overall.
Wearing some kind of uniform has its ups and downs, just like anything else in life. If you enjoy dressing up and spending time in the morning looking for a perfect outfit, then keep doing it. But if you want to focus on the more important things in your life, then wearing some kind of uniform can be an amazing way to accomplish it.
Remember: a uniform will always be a work in progress, as you change, so does your style. Find what works best for you and wear it with pride.
Clothes, at the end of the day, are just things we put on our bodies. What matters is how they make us feel… ordinary or unique.
What do you think about the idea of wearing a personal uniform? Let me know down in the comments.
Tomorrow, we will check some benefits of having a personal uniform.
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