The small things make the biggest difference. Everybody knows how important first impressions are. A “first impression” takes 7 seconds to make. That tiny window for us to evaluate one another with typically no words exchanged. 

“First impressions” are not reserved for the first time. Rather, they transcend the “first time” into “every time” and do not discriminate moments in a relationship. So, even if people know you, they still don’t fully “know” you at that moment in time until they can actually see you.

Here are five micro signs that your co-workers take notice of You within two minutes of seeing you that day and how to address them.

1. The Way You’re Dressed. For maximum effect, present yourself as the best dressed person in the office. Presentation is not misunderstood at a subconscious level. To make things better, research shows that wearing nicer clothes improves your confidence and ability to think abstractly(concepts and ideas). Dress not who you are, but who you want to be! Hint: People who have more responsiblity get paid more money. People with more money typically wear nice clothes(nice also meaning good fit, wrinkle free, matching). The correlation is not direct nor narcisstic, rather just common thinking that is hard to ignore.

2. The Time You Arrived. If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late. If you’re late, you’re worthless(we actually say “dead” in the navy). Not a tough one to figure out. Being first anywhere signals to those around you that you want to be there and organized in a macro-sense(you’re priorities are straight!). Think about someone who is always first — whether you know it or not, you may be secretly envious of their punctuality as it subconsciously illustrates respect for the place and time. While it may be appropriate for you to be fashionably late for a social event, it won’t be appreciated by the business where time is considered to be money in today’s growing economy.

If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late. If you’re late, you’re DEAD.

3. Your Energy Level. While en route to the office, listen to something(your favorite podcast, inspirational music, the news) that will FIRE YOU UP. Energy is contagious and attractive! Music has a vast array of effects on the human brain — one being the “pump up” effect that you probably take with you to the gym. It’s the music/sounds that sets your focus, preps your mind, and can give you a punch of dopamine straight to the face. Better than coffee and no baristas to slow you down!

4. Your Workload Anxiety Level. Take Care of YOU first. What do you need to accomplish today? Plan it to attack it. Anxiety can be a direct result of disorganization. And even the most generous of leaders can be knocked off their emotional center if the feeling of being overwhelmed with work interferes with their ability to help a teammate in need.

5. Your Mindset. Leave the home on good terms. Kiss your wife, make your bed, do some chores. Leave the house better than when you woke up. We all know how detrimental personal life bleed over can be. The stain it leaves on an, otherwise, perfect day is easily written on our faces and juxtaposed in our motions.

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First impressions happen every day. What do you take notice of?