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Fashion Networking: Leveraging Emotional Intelligence & Multi-Tasking

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Have you ever wondered how you can master the art of fashion networking? In this article, you’ll find out how to use some surprising attributes to get ahead of the pack. 

The Trouble With Multi-Tasking 

Over the last couple of decades, the world has started to move at an ever-increasing pace. 

In the fashion industry, this has become increasingly prevalent as designers, photographers, models and retailers aim to do more, show more, and be seen more. This has led to a sharp rise in the need to be good at multi-tasking so that you can get fashion networking right. 

The big problem is that what most of us think of as multi-tasking is actually a myth.  

In fact, trying to focus on more than one task or project at a time can be highly detrimental to your productivity. It can also take its toll on your physical and emotional wellbeing.  

Why Has Multi-Tasking In The Fashion Industry Become So Popular? 

The fashion business has always been fast-paced. It’s a world that most of the time relies on reputation, and so often, you’re only as good as the last garment you designed, the last photoshoot you did, the last runway you walked down. It’s possibly one of the most cutthroat industries to work in and it takes a certain amount of savvy to navigate. 

However, this navigation has become trickier to get right now that the world has begun to hold up the ability to multi-task as the best way to operate. It’s become the norm to be constantly working on multiple projects at any one time. It’s also the norm to be writing an email while taking part in a meeting, or sketching designs while talking on the phone to a supplier. We have this notion that we’re more productive because we aren’t doing just one thing at a time. 

It’s easy to see how the fashion industry has adopted this mode of operation. It’s always been about working under pressure, pushing boundaries and being on the go.  

The big question is, at what cost? 

How Trying To Multi-Task Can Impact You Negatively 

Multi-tasking is defined as doing more than one activity at the same time. All of us do it naturally to some degree.  

We can walk and talk at the same time. We can make a cup of tea while singing along to the radio. These are automatic tasks that can be done with little to no concentration. As soon as you start to work on tasks that aren’t automatic and need at least some degree of concentration, you enter a realm of multi-tasking that can be damaging to you. 

1. A Decrease In Your Productivity 

Most of us can’t actually multi-task like this. The stats show that only around 25% of the population can multitask effectively. The rest of us are not being anywhere near as productive as we think we are.  

For the remaining 75% of the population, it actually takes significantly longer to complete a task when we’re switching between more than one than it would if we just focused on one task at a time. 

Each time you switch between tasks, your brain has to realign to what it has to do. This takes time, energy and concentration.  

If you simply focus on one task at a time and finish it off, you only spend that energy and time once at the beginning of the task. Then you spend the same energy and time on the next task. This will make that 75% of the population more productive. 

2. Damaging Your Brain 

With all the extra energy and concentration required, multi-tasking can actually damage your brain. Tests have been run on people who are attempting to multi-task and the results show a significant drop in the IQ of the subjects. The results are similar to someone who has had a couple of alcoholic drinks or someone who hasn’t slept properly for a couple of nights.  

Now imagine doing fashion networking all night at a runway show and then trying to multi-task in the morning. Or working late and trying to create concise and creative social media posts after a few drinks. 

One of the major concerns around these studies is that the long-term effects of operating this way aren’t known. It could lead to permanent brain damage if you continue to multi-task and attempt to work at such a fast pace. 

3. Impacting Your Emotional Intelligence 

Emotional intelligence, also known as your EQ, is all about how you react to situations—your levels of rationality, empathy and sympathy.  

The work that your brain has to do to refocus and concentrate when multi-tasking can have a major negative impact on your EQ. It can prevent you from thinking rationally, reducing your ability to control your impulses. Again, the long-term damage to your EQ is not yet known. 

Using Your EQ To Do Fashion Networking Right 

Fashion networking is a major part of the industry. It’s important to get the right guests to a runway show, have the right models at your photoshoots and ensure people know about your brand or business. This is true for everyone in the industry, from clothing designers to models to fashion photographers.  

The key is to try not to make industry events about multi-tasking. Rather, try the following tips: 

Go To The Event With Clear Intentions 

Knowing what you are at the event for is important. Are you there to win more clients for your new fashion photography business? Do you want to promote your brand? Is your intention to see what the competition is up to? Having a clear focus for the fashion networking event will help you stay on course and achieve your goal. 

Don’t Try To Focus On More Than One Aspect At Once  

Industry events are known for their glamor and excitement, making it easy to get distracted from what you’re doing. If it’s a runway show, make sure you’re focused on the fashion during the show and keep the socializing for afterward. 

Keep Checking In With Yourself  

Take the time to check in with how you’re feeling throughout the event. If you’re tired or irritable, it could be a sign that you’re not focused on the task at hand or are letting yourself get distracted.  

It’s clear. If you want to maximize your fashion networking potential, it’s time to ditch the multi-tasking and focus on using your EQ in all the right ways. 

If you want to improve your business’ fashion network, you must check out Fahinnovation Ventures. You can track down a plan of growth for your startup with the support of venture capital and conducted networking.

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* Megan Hudson

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by Fashinnovation’s columnists are their own, not those of Fashinnovation.

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