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.
Consider your own family and friends. Are the super-organized people in your life conscientious? Do they always look for new opportunities and make good decisions?
And what does this means for those of us who aren’t conscientious? Are we compelled to a shortened, disorganized life? I hope not!
Here are my simple tips to help you get organized fast:
- Put a weekly/monthly planner on your refrigerator and refer to it daily. Include everything you need at a glance – bills to be paid, upcoming birthdays, parties, events, meetings, reminders…
- Sort your mail immediately. Avoid piles and piles of mail. Deal with it each day to avoid build-up.
- Ladies, declutter your handbag. Nothing makes you look (and feel) less organized then when you have to rummage around in your handbag to find your keys.
- Do a quick 10-minute tidy up every night before you go to bed. Waking up to a neat home is a great way to start your morning.
- Keep a donation box or basket handy. Drop anything you don’t need, love, or want anymore into this box. You’ll be surprised how quickly the box fills up.
Finding time to organize is not always high on a priority list. However by introducing some simple, smart strategies into your every-day life you will start to feel more organized and possibly live longer!
* For further interesting reading, please refer to this article published by the New York Times.