Dress for Success with Pareto

You yawn, stretch, and hop out of bed. You have a meeting this morning, a presentation in the afternoon, drinks with friends or a child’s dance recital to go to this evening. So, what are you going to wear?

If one of the biggest time-sucks you face each day is getting dressed, you are not alone. Between ironing out wrinkles, stressing out whether our socks match our shirt and finding something that simply feels comfortable, getting dressed often leaves us wasting our early morning energy-boost on things that don’t contribute to our ONE Thing. While it may seem like a small, routine part of the day, the minutes add up when that routine stretches days, weeks, months and years. So, what can we do?

One surefire way to blow past this productivity drain is to use the 80/20 rule.

Also known as “Pareto’s Principle”, this natural observation tells us that 20 percent of our efforts produce 80 percent of our results.

Now, we’re sure you’re familiar with how the 80/20 rule can be applied in the office – focus on the 20 percent of your work that will help you be most productive. But we can shave time off of our morning routine, time that can be put to far better use, simply by applying the 80/20 rule to our wardrobes by creating a uniform.

This Isn’t Your Father’s Uniform

Identifying a style that works for you and adhering to it, instead of fighting it, is a strong solution for streamlining our wardrobes.

Similar to the way the armed forces have specific outfits set aside for different events and activities, industry leaders like Steve Jobs, Chris Nolan, Mark Zuckerberg, and even our own Gary Keller have decided to pick a uniform, allowing them to free up their time and focus on the things that help them achieve their ONE Thing.

Instead of focusing on the ten million items of clothing you have, stick to these simple rules to help you create a wardrobe that Pareto would approve of:

1. Stick to the Basics

By outlining a foundation for your uniform—a color, a style of shirt or pants—you’ll win half the battle at the wardrobe. But that doesn’t mean you have to forgo personalization or spur of the moment flair.

For your day-to-day wear, it’s a good idea to pick basics pieces with clean lines in neutral tones that can be mixed and matched with other pieces. That way, if you want to change things up, you can add fun pops of color with ties, pocket squares, purses, or belts that satisfy your needs.

2. Buy Multiples

We can only imagine how many black t-shirts and blue jeans lined the Steve Job’s closet. And while it may seem weird to picture, it’s actually a best-practice when it comes to creating your uniform.

Maximize your time by purchasing multiples of certain pieces. Like that grey dress? Buy three of them. That way you can get multiple wears, have clean look and not have to wash the same piece every night. You also protect yourself from normal wear and tear that our clothes experience over time.

3. Buy for Your Life

Do you work in an office or with kids? Do you need something with a lot of mobility? Or a suit that’ll impress the board? Whatever the case, make sure that your new uniforms fit both your lifestyle and your job. If you have a separate uniform for both occasions—that’s alright. The purpose here is to consolidate your wardrobe, not completely eliminate it.

4. Pick Pieces that Transition

Pick pieces that can be worn at work and at home. For instance, maybe a dress that can be worn with a blazer for work or with a necklace for a night out. Invest in shirts or blouses that look good with slacks, but also work with jeans. Having interchangeable options helps keep things fresh, but also doesn’t overload your dresser with unnecessary weight.

Sticking to a uniform can be a big change, but one that is well worth the effort. Removing the burden of planning outfits allows us to focus on the things that really matter, and become our most productive selves.  If you have wardrobe advice, share it with us on our Facebook page!

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