Posted by on 12/16/2019 to Let's Talk: Relax, Soak and Unwind after Work
Reducing Stress the Old Fashion Way - Part I: Reducing Stress Through Organization
In Part 1 of this organization series, we are going to hit on our main point, which is how being organized in your own life can help you reduce and manage your stress more effectively. Stress hits us all differently and we all deal with it in our own ways. One way in which I have found helps me to be more productive in my daily life is simply being organized. Now organization itself takes a level of consistency and dedication, and can sometimes in itself be a little cumbersome, however once you develop a routine, and become consistent with your own organizational patterns, trust me, you will be a happier individual.
Just think about how many times you have had to de-clutter an entire file cabinet, going through old bills, or files to find whatever it is you are looking for. I know I just did it recently, I had to find my birth certificate to obtain a new drivers license mandated in the State of Maryland. I mean how stressful is it when you know you have something, but just can't find it or can't remember where you last placed it?
According to the University of Illinois Extension Parenting Again, managing just the paper that you are continuously surrounded by, is one way in which to reduce stress. Reducing stress through organization, like this one, takes some time and you need to prioritize. Somewhere along your life I'm sure you have had to do this, whether for school, work, a presentation or just to submit some sort of documentation somewhere, and I bet once you achieved some level of organization, you felt a million times better about your day and what you accomplished, then where you started.
Tips on Tackling Organizational Projects:
- For large projects, start small, make a list of things to accomplish each day.
- Grab a cheap file cabinet and some empty files if you want to do things old school.
- Grab a flash drive and some sort of scanner so you can import paperwork right into computer or onto your drive.
- Ask for help (is someone in your family great at paperwork and organization tactics?)
- Get up 10 minutes earlier then usual and prioritize a list of things you need to get done today, not tomorrow, but today. Don't overwhelm yourself, understand this takes time (i.e. clear out your emails today and that's it, nothing else and start over tomorrow).
The truth is, in all actuality, what does organizing really mean for you? Well, it means that you have now created more time for yourself to accomplish more important things and possibly even relax a bit. It means you have more control over your situation and life. An article on HuffPost even discusses that besides improving work performance and eliminating messes, becoming a more organized person can have a great effect on your mood. For example, it can aid in feeling less frustrated, more relaxed and also helping you get in touch with your more creative side.
I know for myself when I feel unorganized, or I have clutter around the house, my life becomes very fragmented. What do I mean? Well my life becomes to task oriented, I feel like I am just living to do one task and then on to the next, without really taking the time to enjoy life, enjoy my kid, enjoy my family and friends. You also need to be real with yourself. Are you taking on to many tasks, have you fallen behind on staying organized because of X, Y, and Z. It's okay to ask for help to get yourself caught up.
There have even been studies linking organization to eating better. I mean, think about this. You're having a stressful day, and you've spent all morning trying to locate a specific email or receipt for a gift you purchased. The morning has flown by, and you're stressed because this was a large purchase. Are you more apt to say to yourself, "okay slow down, make a healthy lunch and think about the last place you had it" or are you more apt to "indulge in some fast food to save time, but also because you are trying to cope with the entire ordeal, so you turn to comforting foods.
I know for myself I have always felt better when I am organized. It is a key to reducing stress for me and managing my daily life. It gives me the power to take on more then maybe I should sometimes, but it always allows me to have freedom when I need it. I would even be apt to say that being organized and being able to better manage my short term goals has allowed me to be a 34 year man who still works out regularly. I think if I was overloaded with stress, that may be the first thing I cut out of my life. Heck an article on Shape.com even discusses, how being organized can also lead to you being able to better stick to an exercise routine, have healthier relationships, and even getting better sleep.
I hope this was helpful. Thanks for stopping by, and be on the look out for Part II in this series on how to reduce stress through organization.
3 Easy Tricks To Get Organized And Reduce Stress. (2017, December 7). Retrieved from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/organization-and-stress_n_5851704.
Fowler, P., & Fowler, P. (n.d.). 7 Health Benefits of Getting Organized. Retrieved from https://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/how-cleaning-and-organizing-can-improve-your-physical-and-mental-health.
Getting Organized Saves Time, Reduces Stress. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://web.extension.illinois.edu/grandparents/article.cfm?ID=5102&IssueID=5198.
Scott, E. (2019, June 24). Secret Weapon Against Stress: Getting Organized! Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/tips-on-getting-organized-3145158.