You'll lose a year of your life looking for missing possessions

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The Independent Online

The average person in Britain spends a year of their life looking for lost items, with Mondays being the most likely day to misplace vital possessions.

The average person in Britain spends a year of their life looking for lost items, with Mondays being the most likely day to misplace vital possessions.

Research published today shows that, contrary to popular belief, technological advances have not helped people find, file and organise things more easily but are increasing the likelihood of people losing money, handbags, wedding rings and other important possessions.

The fast pace and stress of modern life is also causing people to over-react when they can not find something, with more than one in five women saying they cried when they lost something and more than one-quarter of men swearing in frustration. The findings showed that women were more likely than men to resort to violence when they lose things

Britons most commonly lose money, followed by keys, the remote control for the television, and underwear. Take-away menus, wedding rings and reading glasses all fell in the top 10 of "most frequently lost" items.

"In today's fast-paced society, we have more and more things to lose, more and more places to lose them and less and less time in which to find them; all resulting in more stress when we do lose things," said Sandi Mann, a lecturer in psychology at the University of Central Lancashire.

"The research illustrates how men and and women deal with the stress of losing things in different ways. It is surprising to find that women are more likely to want to punch somebody, whereas men are more likely to follow the stereotypical reaction by swearing," she said. People were least likely to lose contraceptives, their car, passport or laptop computer, with 95 to 100 per cent saying they had never lost any of these items.

The NOP poll of 1,000 people, conducted for Yell.com the internet site for the Yellow Pages directories, also shows that far from being a nation of pet lovers, nearly three-quarters of the population are not worried about losing their pets.

Of the things people wanted to lose, nearly half of those from Yorkshire, London and the Midlands were keen to lose boring friends, with one in 12 people in Britain saying they would like to lose their current partner.

More than half of respondents wanted to lose weight and 45 per cent wanted to lose wrinkles and spots. One-quarter of married people said they would like to lose their inhibitions.

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