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Being organized can extend your life. Thatâ€™s a fact, according to Howard Friedman and Leslie Martin, authors ofÂ The Longevity Project.*
If you havenâ€™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, â€œ”The best childhood personality predictor of longevity was conscientiousnessâ€”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 arenâ€™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 â€“ bills to be paid, upcoming birthdays, parties, events, meetings, remindersâ€¦
- 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 donâ€™t need, love, or want anymore into this box. Youâ€™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.