I get asked all the time for quick and easy ways to reduce everyday stress. My answer is always the same: get organized. Putting effort into organization, especially if you can organize multiple areas of your life, can reduce stress levels in the long term by requiring less last-minute scrambling in a variety of everyday situations. The result can also bring on a sense of empowerment. You will be able to look forward to events as “exciting,” instead of “overwhelming” or “stressful.” Keeping your stress response from being triggered can minimize or eliminate negative reactions to situations, and result in an overall calmer state of being
For many however, getting organized can be quite difficult and confusing. For example, how organized is enough? Does organized mean that every minute of every day is scheduled? What are the most important areas of life to organize?
Where to Start
The following are two areas where good organization can bring about the greatest benefit:
A house filled with clutter and disorganization can drain your energy and cause a lot of wasted effort attempting to get even the simplest of tasks done. Did you know that household clutter can also drain you in other ways? Clutter can drain your finances when you end up repurchasing items you thought were lost but were merely misplaced. And clutter can certainly drain your time as you spend wasted minutes or maybe even hours sifting through your possessions. That is why it is important to organize your home. While you don’t need to alphabetize your books or organize your closet by colours, it is important to have everything in its place and have that place be somewhere that makes sense to you.
Are you constantly rushing? Does your mind race with all that you have to do? And do you have difficulty remembering it all? If so, then you are probably living a pretty stressful life already. Organizing your time can greatly improve your life by getting you focused. Creating To-Do lists is a great way to stop your thoughts from being preoccupied, and instead allow them to pay attention to the immediate task at hand.
The first step to good time management is to choose a calendaring system that works for you and stick to it. Whether you decide to use an online calendar or the good ol’ paper system, it really does not matter. The important thing is to make the choice and stick with it. The second step to good time management is to not overbook yourself. Only schedule as many activities as you have time for, taking into account travel time, and preparation and/or recovery time.
Lastly, make sure you include downtime in your schedule. This is vital for health and happiness. Having a schedule that is jammed packed will actually be less efficient and probably less effective as well.
Becoming organized in your life is possible. It does take some time and effort to catch on to this new way of living, but the result of less stress can be felt almost immediately.
To our health and wellbeing,