Do Lift IOWA readers believe the time they spend on their personal appearance is at the expense of their productivity? The vast majority say no.


After analyzing the results of a survey we ran in last week's edition, many of the 74 people who weighed in said they've found a good balance in time spent on their appearance. In fact, some said looking good translates to feeling good about themselves, which ultimately results in better professional performance.


The feedback was in response to a video we shared last week featuring Australian news anchor Tracey Spicer, who used a TED Talk platform earlier this year to try to persuade women to spend less time on their personal grooming and more time enjoying pursuits that matter. Spicer said that during her lifetime, a woman will spend 3,276 hours on grooming, compared with the 1,092 hours men will spend.


Spicer concluded that women should reassess the amount of time they spend on beautifying and imagine what they might be able to achieve if they didn't adhere to society and advertising's unreasonable and unrealistic images of women.


On the other hand, some professionals, including Rowena Crosbie, president of Tero International Inc., say that when it comes to a book, "the cover matters" and that a woman's grooming habits are important in making a good first impression in her professional life.


A majority of Lift IOWA readers agreed with Crosbie. Of those who took our survey, 81 percent said they don't spend too much time on their appearance. Approximately 66 percent of respondents said they spend between 30 minutes to an hour each day on their appearance.


We also asked if readers felt like their productivity ever suffers because of the time they spend on grooming and appearance. Again, 81 percent said no.


"I feel good about myself when I look good; therefore I seem to be more productive when I feel I look good. I spend time worrying about the impression I am giving when I don't worry about my appearance, therefore losing some efficiency."

Ashley Slycertified public accountant, McGowen, Hurst, Clark & Smith PC


"I do not try to be something or someone I am not. I like to look nice because it is part of who I want to be, not because of pressure from someone."

Brooke Benschoterconsultant, The Consultancy


I spend less than an hour on my appearance every day, but the time I do spend I make count. Chopping my hair into a bob made it so that I can have a good hair day in under 10 minutes. Keeping makeup simple to just mascara, eyeliner and lip color makes things easy, but the payoff is huge. The trick isn't in how much grooming you do; it's in what you do and making it count. I've taken time in my life to go to a dermatologist to make my complexion such that I don't need foundation. It's things like that that make the less makeup you put on work more.

Devin Barraccounting student, Iowa State University


"I believe my productivity does not suffer because of my grooming habits. I think I've learned how to do things efficiently. If anything, I need to spend less time watching TV or surfing the Web to increase my productivity."



If they could worry less about something, though, 63 percent would spend less time worrying about their hair, while 27 percent answered clothing. Just over 18 percent said makeup would be the thing they'd dedicate less time to if they could.


Spicer talked about trading time spent on grooming for more "pursuits that matter." So, how would our readers spend that extra time?


"Make breakfast for my family."

Leisha Barcusvice president of community engagement, Science Center of Iowa


"Start work a little earlier as all great thoughts happen between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. for me. Mind is clear and am able to tackle nagging problems .... or I would do the NY Times crossword puzzle."

Carolyn Jenisonpresident, 360 Perspective Consulting & Management Services


"Things I enjoy outside of work - -reading, spending time with my kids, exercising.  ESPECIALLY exercising -- sometimes I go without exercising because it takes extra time to 'put myself back together' after a workout."