It’s a Benefit to Being Organized!

Being organized can extend your life. That’s a fact, according to Howard Friedman and Leslie Martin, authors of The Longevity Project. If you haven’t heard of The Longevity Project, it is a landmark study spanning over 80 years involving 1,500 people. Started by Dr. Lewis Terman in 1921, the study concludes that they key factor to living a longer life is conscientiousness. According to Friedman and Martin, “The best childhood personality predictor of longevity was conscientiousness-the qualities of a prudent, persistent, well-organized person.” “Conscientiousness … also turned out to be the best personality predictor of long life when measured in adulthood.”
To put it simply, it is considered that conscientious people are more likely to:

  • engage in less risky behavior, obeying rules
  • have a different chemical balance in the brain to an unconscientious person, therefore less prone to some illnesses
  • have better relationships and work environments because they will seek out happier alternatives

So how else can being organized affect your health and wellness, if living longer isn’t enough to convince you?

Being organized reduces stress: Stress is widely known as one of the major contributors to chronic disease. The subtle and not-so-subtle ripple effects of stress affect your physical health, relationships, and ability to be productive in the workplace. When you eliminate oppressive clutter, you feel more in control and better able to handle the challenges that life lobs your way. You are able to act more proactively rather than reactively so that you can work more productively and make the most of the time that you are given.

Being organized boosts energy: Oppressive surroundings that are constantly in disarray can make one feel sluggish and unmotivated. You may feel confused, scattered, and unable to prioritize your activities. This constant state of psychological arousal is exhausting. When your environment is organized and free from clutter, you feel lighter of being and more able to focus on more meaningful activities and goals.

Being organized can help you lose weight: Statistics show that people consume 50% more calories, fat and sodium when they eat out than when they cook at home. When you have a clean pantry, organized kitchen, and free time in your schedule, you are better able to budget time to find recipes, do the grocery shopping and prepare a meal plan for the week.
Being organized can improve your relationships: Aside from the strain that one partner’s physical clutter can put on a romantic relationship, lack of time management and inability to can also negatively affect relationships with friends, family, and co-workers. Chronic lateness and missed appointments fosters frustration and resentment.

Being organized can help you get more sleep: If you are disorganized, you may feel that the best way to get more out of your day is to cut back on sleep. Bad idea! The number one thing you can do to improve your health is to make sure that you get 7.5-9 hours of sleep per night. The quality and quantity of your sleep directly affects your emotional balance, productivity, and physical vitality.

Enjoying leisure activities, like painting class, is positively linked with health and wellbeing, according to a 2011 study at the University of Ottawa. But if you can’t cram one more thing into your schedule, you may want to get organized. Every minute you spend running last-minute errands or locating your keys, means less time to take up a new hobby or relax with a cup of tea. And activities that reduce your stress and add to your happiness contribute tremendously to your mental and physical health.

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