If like me, you’re at a stage in your life where you feel like you should definitely have a better grasp at this whole ‘adulting’ thing than you do currently, then this one is for you. I constantly feel like I have 10 different things I need to do, and somehow they are all equally important and I have to do them all at once. It sounds ridiculous, but I tell you my brain is convinced is its true and is rolling with it.
When this happens it always ends in one of two ways – I either go crazy and stay up all night and do all the said things, or I’m overwhelmed and just call it quits and decide to Netflix and chill. Except there’s no chilling because I’m constantly thinking about the stuff I need to do. Once this cycle has repeated a few times, I’m half way there to going completely insane.
It’s about at this time that I do the following things, to just somehow detox my life and try to get it back to the point where it at least feels like its on track.
Clean your car/room/house whatever – Are you tired of having to say “I’m so sorry for the mess” every time someone gets in your car, or do you go into a panic picking things up and hiding dirty laundry every time someone is coming over? Clean that car, room or apartment and trust me you will feel so much better. It takes less than 30-45 mins usually to clean my room, so I set that time apart once every week and just get it done. I don’t know why cleaning makes such a difference but every time I do it even for 10 mins, I instantly feel a 100% more productive.
Create a budget for your expenses – This one is a no-brainer and is guaranteed to change the way you spend. The first time I did it I realized I was actually spending close to 5000 INR a month on coffee, which is absolutely ridiculous. Since then I have new found appreciation for the fancy (and free) coffee machine at work, which I have learnt to use like a pro.
Cut out things that you are just not into any more – This can be friends or activities that you might have enjoyed at some point, but are just not a fan of anymore for whatever reason. There is absolutely no reason to be guilted into doing things that are probably a total waste of time and effort. Being an adult gives you the right to just say no, but just in case you need an excuse – I have to work late, or I have to get up early for a appointment/meeting tomorrow usually always works.
Make a list of new things you want to try – Holidays, a new restaurant, a dance class, or even a list of books to read. Can be anything. This will instantly make you think of all the fun possibilities for the future.
Get your finances in order – This has got to be the most adult thing on the list. Sort out your savings, make a plan, pay your taxes. Allocate 10 to 20% of your monthly paycheck towards your savings. Create a rainy day fund. Get an accountant, ask a smart friend or spend some time googling it yourself, do whatever needs to be done and just get it over with. Think about it this way – if you’re planning to invest in something, the longer you wait the more expensive its getting- because inflation. So take a day or a weekend and just finish it. Once you do you will have so much more peace of mind.
Plan your year ahead – Get your calendar out and mark those dates for the holidays you’ve been planning forever. This works as great motivation in general, apart from it being a great way to figure out your leaves for work and how much time and money you will need.
Create a list of short term and long term goals – This probably sounds like something you might get asked at an interview. Apart from whatever answer you have prepared of your 5 year plan for your future employer, make a real one for yourself! A short term goal is usually considered something you want to achieve within 1 to 3 years. Anything between 3 to 5 years or more would be a long term goal. Can be anything from Buy a house in 5 years (long term), to Read 100 books in 2018 (short term). Every time I sit down to do this I’m always surprised at my own priorities. But it invariably gives me clarity and direction on what I want to do next. Very helpful and eye-opening. Major adulting points.
Invest for long term, save for short term goals – I recently attended a personal finance management workshop, and this was something the speaker said which stuck with me. Seemed obvious to me but apparently a lot of people do the opposite, so I wanted to include it here. The logic is if you are looking to go on a holiday next year or planning to buy a new bag soon, it makes more sense to save for that expense instead of investing (in stocks and funds etc). While for long term goals like buying a house or your retirement, investing your money makes more sense.
Do more of what makes you happy – Very hallmark greeting card-esq but totally true. For me it usually translates to hours of uninterrupted mindless binge watching of some random crime documentary on Netflix. With popcorn and coffee. Absolute bliss. Designate a time to do whatever makes you happy, and do lots of it. Without any guilt.
Prioritize your commitments – Let me start with a little story. About 6 months ago I started a new job. I had more responsibility and I was working in a different environment with all new people. I went from being responsible for what I had to do, to being responsible for what 100 odd people did and making sure it was done on time etc. I was busy, I was productive and I loved it! I picked this job because of the changes and was really happy doing it. You might know that all 3 of us on the blog also have regular jobs, it has always been the case since we started and to me didn’t feel like anything was going to change with this new job.
Pretty soon I started noticing strange things, I was exhausted all the time. So tired that I would come home and not even change, just pass out. My hair literally started turning gray – not even kidding. I got highlights 😀 My skin just went crazy, I would get new breakouts every single day. I started putting on weight which seemed crazy to me since I was skipping meals left and right, I stopped going out would always be tired on weekends and just try to catch up on sleep. But all along I was still doing the same number of things that I always did.
I couldn’t figure out why it was all so insane. I was working like I always did so why was it suddenly so difficult? Everyone was telling me I was stressed out, but I thought that only happened to people who didn’t enjoy their work. I was having so much fun, so what stress?
My husband literally had to sit me down and point out the differences. I was working more than twice the number of hours that I did in my old job, and I was still trying to fit in as many things. I would be able to work from home a couple of days in a week before, attend blogger events and do shoots on weekends. Now I’m working till 9 everyday, calls after that, and weekends I’m catching up on work or preparing for the next week. I was assuming that I would have the time and flexibility of a job I’d done for 9 years, in a new job that I had just started and was trying to figure out and be good at. Everything was obviously not going to be the same.
So I finally had to prioritize. I decided what was important at that time and took a step back from other things. I literally shut my mind off and ignored everyone and everything that would distract me and focused on only doing one thing well at a time.
And quite comically, in almost a week I could see differences. I felt better, my skin cleared up, I stopped constantly checking my phone and stressing out. I had more energy, I had time to fit a workout class after work a couple days a week. And most importantly I had the motivation to do stuff and stopped feeling exhausted all the time. Might just be the fact that I acknowledged that I needed to get my shit together, or the fact that I’d made some changes. Either way it was working.
So the point I am trying to make with this rambling story is pay attention to the changes in your life and prioritize and adjust your commitments accordingly. Might seem obvious, but it’s sometimes easier to spot the changes in others than in yourself.
And thats the 10 ways you can get your shit together. Sorry if it was a bit a long, but I hope this helps. Do let me know if you have any other tips to make life a little easier. Also, are you following us on Instagram yet? We post pictures and updates everyday about what we’re up to. Come say Hi 🙂 Till next time!