‘Tis the digital age. 📱💻
The information is abundant (thanks Google!) and the opportunity to keep ourselves organized is so easy. There’s practically an app for ev-ry-thing. And there are programs for everything else. And good news: a lot of them are FREE!
- Free online banking (whoohoo! No balancing our checkbooks manually anymore! … and no checkbooks needed either! Just send a digital check!)
- Free spreadsheets (thank you Google Sheets!)
- Free cloud storage (Google Drive, Dropbox, Apple, Verizon, etc.)
For me, being unorganized and not knowing where things are when I need them makes my anxiety higher than ever. Having Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) myself, the feeling of “where’s this and where’s that…I have no idea!” can and does throw me into panic mode which then leads to an anxious downward spiral. Something that is totally unnecessary had I just invested a few minutes to get my sh*t together!
You’re already on your laptops, tablet, and cel phones all day every day anyway (ok, maybe not alllll day. But close enough lol). So you may as well use those digital devices to keep yourself and your life organized. Keeping even just a few things in your life in order gives your anxiety one less thing to worry about.
I have asked fellow blogger, Natalie, from TheGraceReal.com to give us a few digital organization hacks to keep our anxiety at bay.
Take it away, Natalie!
Anxiety is defined as, “a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.” Everyone has probably experienced some level of anxiety in their life, but some people undoubtedly struggle with it more than others.
When people are anxious, it is because they don’t feel in control of a certain situation. Sometimes, there are tangible things one can do to have more control and reduce anxiety, and other times the outcome is totally out of our hands.
It can be extremely hard for people with anxiety to simply feel okay with the unknown. Fortunately, there are a few simple “life hacks” we can all enlist to make ourselves feel more at ease.
You’re never alone. 🙂 Find us on Facebook! Join our Anxiety and Anxiety Disorders Talk And Support Group.
Dealing with Life’s Uncertainties
The day-to-day of the unknown of life, in general, can be extremely worrisome to anxious people! And the uncertainty of the future can be even more terrifying to think about!
You never know what might happen that will make you wish you were better equipped to deal with it!
Whether you are the type of person to rarely get anxious or are someone who battles with anxiety every day, there are certain things you can do through organizing your life to reduce anxiety.
By following some of these practical and useful tips to organizing your life and having your ducks in a row, you can reduce anxiety and actually be more in control over some of the unknown factors in life.
Don’t Be Overwhelmed
It can be scary thinking about just how many things can actually go wrong in life. And if you really do struggle with anxiety, you likely started listing them off in your head while you were reading this.
But! Please don’t feel overwhelmed or that there’s just “too much to do.” By reading this alone, it shows that you are interested in organizing your life and taking some steps to be more prepared if it ever comes to that. Once you know you are organized in case of an emergency, you can feel more at ease in the day-to-day.
Let’s take a look now at some of the ways you can digitally organize your life to reduce anxiety…
Digital Organization Hacks To Keep Your Anxiety Tamed
1. Download a computer app to keep track of all of your passwords.
Having all of your login usernames and passwords makes life so much easier! There are many different applications that allow you to keep track of all of your information with just one master password. Dashlane and 1Password are a few great examples, but there are hundreds out there with different pricing strategies, and many are free!
I know it’s easy to think you’ll remember every password, and we often choose not to write them down. But these days we have passwords for just about anything and everything and it can be easy to forget. Or maybe you keep our passwords written in different places- it’s easy to lose track of where we keep certain ones!
I’m sure we all know how frustrating it can be to have tried every combination of the password you can think of and STILL be locked out of a site!
With a password manager, you just need to know and keep handy ONE password, and then the app can categorize and will keep all of your others for you!
2. Have a “Life” folder on your desktop.
A general ‘Life’ folder can be the place where you keep all records, important papers, and any other files you might need one day. ‘Home’, ‘finance’, ‘medical’, ‘car’, and ‘misc. documents’ can all be sub-folders under a folder like this on your desktop.
A “catch-all” folder like this is important because there are various important documents, numbers, and bits of information we accumulate over our lifetime. At some point, we become responsible for ourselves and eventually, even for our children.
You never know when you’re going to need a copy of that insurance policy, or an old doctor’s phone number, or a record of your bank statement in case of an emergency.
It’s good to keep anything you think might be important in case you ever need it. You’ll thank yourself later. Just save it by its name and put it in a folder. By having an easy computer folder system, you can make it as categorized as you need and will be at peace knowing you have it.
Plus, no stacks of papers you need to sift through. Just one, searchable folder for when you need to go back to reference something.
3. Routinely Back Things Up To the “Cloud”
There’s not a more gut-wrenching feeling than accidentally and/or permanently losing something you worked really hard on or desperately need. You can easily avoid this panic by backing things up.
Make sure to back up your computer every now and then, sync things on your iCloud, or make a copy to a Dropbox account. It can be as often as you feel comfortable with, but better safe than sorry, right?
It might take a long time and be a pain to back things up, but just start it, then go take a bath or do some other self-care. You deserve it.
Money is one of the largest causes of stress and anxiety. It can be easy to turn a blind eye to your finances because you are scared of the pain of seeing what you actually have. But knowing how much is in your bank account and knowing how much you can spend are equally important.
I highly recommend making an Excel spreadsheet with your annual salary and your monthly expenses and calculating how much you need to live on and how much you want to save (ideally 30% of each paycheck).
This way, you won’t be spending what you don’t have and can feel comfortable knowing your spending limits.
There are even budgeting apps out there now such as Mint and PocketGuard that help keep track of your personal finances. By having your finances under control and being aware of them, you set yourself up to be independent and cushioned in case of an emergency.
DaLorean’s side note… Since June 2018, I’ve been using this new budgeting app called YNAB (short for You Need A Budget) and it is a game changer! I have never felt so in control of my money and so excited about the future (being debt free, that is). I totally geek out at the end of each month as I see how much “
Click HERE and you’ll get your
You can read my complete YNAB Review in my post: How To Take Control Of Your Debt And Stop Living Paycheck To Paycheck
It is also important to know the value of any other assets you may have in your name. You could also add any large asset values, stocks, bonds, etc. to an Excel spreadsheet. Just being cognizant of what you have makes a huge difference!
Many of us are visual learners, and even if you aren’t, having a visual reminder along with a written reminder can help you keep things in order and feel like things are in place.
This might take the form of a big desk calendar where you can write yourself little notes, reminders, and/or countdowns, or little sticky notes in places.
By visualizing what you need to do, what’s coming up in the days and weeks ahead, and having a visual board to see it on, you can feel much less stressed.
There is no need to try and cram everything into your memory and then kick yourself later by forgetting; having a visual representation can make your life so much easier and even your family’s life as well!
Color coding, neatness, and other elements of visual representation add an aesthetic appeal to organization. Most type A people love things like this; so think of it as a fun perk to make your stress more manageable with cute, visual reminders!
6. Lastly, take a deep breath.
Realize that life is a journey and it is MEANT to be filled with ups and downs and surprises! I know the thought of the unknown can be scary, but it truly is just a part of life. That is what builds character and stories and who we are.
Reading, thinking about, and creating an action plan for these tips puts you WAY ahead of the game! It might not be perfect and it might not make us 100% in control, but it sure is less stressful than being unorganized and unprepared.
You are here reading this and all you need to do now is take a deep breath and start taking baby steps towards completing these things. Baby steps. Buy a calendar. Download a finance or password app. Make a ‘Life’ folder on your desktop. See? It’s not so bad! These are all things that require very little effort and allow you to add to them over time.
I know it can be scary thinking about the “what if,” but life can’t be enjoyed to its fullest when we are held back by an unknown fear! By taking these steps you can ensure you are a little more prepared in case of an emergency.
In the meantime, continue to enjoy life and try not to stress out too much about the things you cannot change. ☺
What digital app do you use to keep yourself organized? Comment below!
About the author: Natalie started her blog, The Grace Real, to share her passions for faith and wellness and to show how they go hand in hand. She also shares her love of travel, healthy recipes, and connecting to other people through city guides, plant-based recipes, and more. Natalie just graduated from the University of Texas at Austin as a finance major with a certificate in Business Public Policy and is moving to Houston after graduation to work for KPMG.
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