It’s hard to be open to new opportunities if you’re still clinging to the past. It’s also difficult to take a step forward if you’re constantly anxious about the future. Both are cases of living outside of the present moment, and scientists have confirmed that it negatively affects your health.
According to researcher Matthew Killingsworth in his recent well-being study: “A human mind is a wandering mind and a wandering mind is an unhappy mind. The ability to think about what is not happening is a cognitive achievement that comes at an emotional cost.”
Their study, published in the online research journal Science, found that people who dwell on the past or are preoccupied with the future, even positively, are less happy overall than their present-centered counterparts. But luckily, choosing to take on the task of organization can help you live in the now and do things you never thought possible. How?
Organization Helps You Focus:
Organization is about decision-making. In order to choose what stays and what goes, or what needs to take priority and where, you have to assess what’s important to you. The action of thinking critically about yourself helps you identify why you’re holding on to something in the first place.
Here’s an example. If you say that you want to start fresh and you’re hoping for a new direction in your work life, yet you’re holding on to tons of paperwork from college and old jobs, you’re not really giving yourself the room to let new opportunity in. It’s vital to ask yourself why you’re really keeping it. Is it authentic to who you are right now? Are you holding on to it because you actually need it? Because you feel guilty throwing it out?
Don’t let regret or worry keep you in the past. Instead, choose to keep what you love right now and use all the time. Once you’ve answered the hard questions and parted with the extra weight holding you down, you’ll be free to focus on what’s going on in the moment.
Organization Is Empowering:
If you have the opposite problem, and you worry endlessly about the future, organization can benefit you too. The same questions that help let go of past issues can assist you in relinquishing your need to dwell on what’s ahead. Here’s how: When your environment is a mess, it contributes to the load of uncertainty in your life. Not knowing what you have or where things are contributes unwanted stress to your daily routine. And when your daily routine is filled with confusion, your assumption for the future is that it will be, too! Organizing forces you to stop and evaluate. When you go through everything and choose only what is needed for your particular life and goals, and then put it where you can always find it, there’s no more digging, rushing, or confusion.
Imagine the difference between a carpenter trying to work with his tools thrown chaotically all over his workbench, or categorized and clearly labeled. A highly efficient and beautiful environment changes how you operate. It boosts your self-confidence and capability. After all, now you know what you want and how your environment figures into that. There’s a sense of self-assuredness that comes with knowing you’ve done your best to be intentional and clear about your goals. You’d be amazed how freeing it is, and how that added confidence takes away anxiety about what comes next.
With organizing, the goal is always to help you be a better version of yourself. We want you to be more efficient, healthier, and more quintessentially you. Living in the now is an underestimated part of that. Let your organization habits help you stay in the moment, and stay happy!
Want to read that study? Find it here.