Organize Your Desk ? Live Longer!

It may seem far-fetched, but by organizing your desk, your bedroom, your kitchen, and all of the spaces where you spend time, you could be adding years to your life. In essence, stress can shorten your life. A hormone called cortisol is released into your body as a reaction to external stress. There are normal levels of cortisol that are needed for daily functioning, but when you add unnecessary stress to your life, these levels become dangerously high, leading to such diseases as Cushing's syndrome and causing you to age quicker than you should.

So can organizing your life help manage stress? Absolutely! Here is why: Being organized allows you to have a feeling of personal control. If you know where everything is and know where to put everything away, you have some mastery over your environment and this will help you to feel at ease (therefore decreasing stress levels).

Having control over your space allows you to act instead of react. For example, let's say you wrote a report last month and your boss thought it was great and wants to show it to some of his colleagues.

Two things could happen:

1) You could start searching frantically for the report (you remember printing out a copy, but where did you save it on your computer? The boss wants it today, but where on earth is it ? you could re-write it but there's no time. You'll never get that promotion if you don't show him you are capable?) Can you feel the stress building? This scenario is most likely to severely disrupt your day and affect the other things you were working on. Or how about the second possibility:

2) You pull a copy out of the report from the file (where you know it is sitting because you have a specific place for everything) and say to your boss, "Here's the report, let me know if anyone has any questions".

Obviously the person in scenario #1 is disorganized and likely to have higher stress levels on a daily basis. Being organized allows you to make better use of your time and ultimately get more out of life by not wasting time on missed appointments and lost items. Planning and prevention can help you to reduce unexpected emergencies and limit the time you spend "putting out fires".

So go ahead and get rid of things you don't need in every room of your house as well as in your workplace. Then, find a place for the things you want to keep. And remember, organization is not a gene that we are born with. It takes practice and commitment to stay neat and orderly, so find a place for everything and put everything in its place ? and say hello to a calmer existence.

Stacy Tabb is an author and publisher of many successful informational websites, including an antiaging website aimed at the prevention of age-related conditions.

In The News:

Organizing  NYS PEF
Organizing for Equity in Oakland Schools  California Teachers Association

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