Becoming a newly realized adult is a major transition in life. Oftentimes, it comes at a time where we really aren’t as prepared as we would like. But have no fear. I wrote this post to help give guidance on what you should be doing next as a new adult. That next step is to organize your life.
You want to begin organizing your life by setting your priorities. From there everything else will flow. Aim to minimize procrastination while maximizing proactiveness in your life. Additionally, you want to organize your financial life. I am talking about budgeting and growing your financial literacy. Lastly, you want to stay on top of the things that are happening in your life. So, create schedules and routines for yourself, writing things down as necessary.
Taking these steps will help you organize your life as a new adult and hopefully help you build good habits. What’s been stated so far is just the overview though, keep reading to truly understand how to organize your life as a new adult.
Figuring out your priorities is the most important step. Once you figure out your priorities, you then build a life around those things most important to you.
So how do you set priorities?
First, understand that there is no one right answer and everyone will have different priorities. They will be unique to you and how you approach them will be unique as well. Comparing yourself to others probably won’t be helpful in this case.
So, to figure out your priorities begin with thinking about what aspects of your life you can not live without. Think beyond the regular food and shelter mindset. These are a given.
Are you someone who wants to focus on relationships, nurturing a skillset, or growing your career? Whatever you decide, you then need to rank them in importance.
Once complete, you now have your priorities ranked and can begin to organize your life around them. Note that as you grow older and life happens your priorities might begin to change. As they change, you should be adjusting how you organize your life as well.
Do you know how you would wait until the last minute to complete an assignment for school? I do, I did it a lot during my K -12 and early college years. It worked for a while but once I became more active in college and life became much busier, I couldn’t afford to procrastinate anymore.
I had to start scheduling activities and start things much earlier. I had no choice, but it was necessary for me to learn in order to take more control of how I operate as an adult.
There is a lot that must be completed in our day-to-day life. Most of it isn’t anything serious. However, if left unchecked anything can become a huge task especially when it’s because of procrastination.
Be More Proactive
Reducing procrastination is only one side of the coin. The other side is seeking ways to be proactive. However, proactiveness is not just relegated to tasks and duties. Being proactive should play a big part in multiple parts of life.
What do I mean by this?
Well, if you are trying to organize your life, you need to seek areas where you can take more control. In order to take more control, though, you need to proactively seek out pathways for yourself as well as the obstacles that might be in your way. Then, you need to proactively work on handling those obstacles and clearing your path.
An example of this would be taking more control over your finances. As a young adult, this is where I decided to place a more concerted imprint. I wanted to be proactive in my finances, thinking about future costs and obstacles that might arise, so that I could better prepare for them.
I knew that money and financial literacy if left unchecked could be a major hindrance for me. So, I actively sought out the knowledge and people to help me create a plan for myself. Being proactive and taking more control gives you the ability to alter your trajectory instead of being stuck on a crash course.
Know Bill Due Dates
And not knowing your bills’ due dates are biting a lot of people in the butt. More so though, not having enough money to pay them, but they are two sides of the same coin.
A major part of organizing your life as a new adult means getting a handle on bills and money. If you have read any of my other posts you know that I am a major advocate of creating and living off a budget. Controlling your money habits early on is integral to building a healthy life.
You should have a budget. It doesn’t matter if you are making $250,000 a year or $25,000 a year. A budget helps you keep a handle on your spending and highlights your lifestyle.
When I talk to friends about budgets, they seem to have a negative connotation of the word. A budget is not bad. It is not a cage for your money. Living by a budget doesn’t mean that you must remove all fun or entertainment from your life.
A budget is just another tool, albeit an important tool, to help you organize your life. I like to think of a budget as a spending plan instead of something that says what I can and cannot do.
One cool thing to think about is wherever you spend your money, that’s a priority to you.
Remove the food and shelter aspect. Look at your budget.
You can see what some of your priorities are. Do you spend $200 a month on dining out? If yes, a priority for you might be social spending.
The only question you would really need to ask yourself is if that spending is sustainable. If it is then no need to really change that particular spending category of your life.
Developing a budget can be such a helpful tool to add to your life as you look to organize it and take more control. Now, there are plenty of budgeting tools out there for you to use. I would be remiss if I didn’t let you know which budgeting tool that I live by.
I use a budgeting software called YNAB (You Need A Budget) and it has transformed my financial life. It is an intuitive software the helps you give “every dollar a job” and I am really reaping the benefits from this service. I’ve even convinced a few of my friends to check it out.
So, I wanted to put that out there and let you know that if you do want to check out YNAB I have a referral link. You get a free 34-day trial and at the end of that trial if you sign up for the subscription you get another free month using my referral link. Of course, using my link comes at no extra cost to you. So, check it out if you want.
Once you have organized your day-to-day life on a budget, you know have a snapshot of a piece of your financial health.
Notice I said a piece.
Your financial health is more than your budget. With it being a part of getting your life organized, you should look beyond just the budget.
What do I mean?
Well, as a new adult, you might have just started your first real full-time job. I am talking about a job that provides a 401(k), health plan, dental, plan, etc. You will need to learn about all of that.
You are now in a whole new world. In order to take proper advantage of these things, and you should, you must educate yourself on them.
For me, one of the biggest things I really had to learn about and dive into was taxes. It can and is very confusing when first trying to understand how it all works. I mean as I write this post, I still don’t completely understand how the tax system works.
However, that is no excuse for me not to proactively seek the knowledge that I need. And I believe the same goes for all of us. As adults, we have to make a consistent effort to understand where our time, energy, and money go.
Did you know that the average person pays over 40% of their lifetime income in taxes?
That’s a hefty chunk. And I am sure a lot of us don’t understand the make-up of that 40% nor will some of us.
Again, there is no excuse though. Information is out there for free for us to start learning and seeing how we can maximize our money.
In line with the dedication of Life v Lifestyle sharing information to help make transitioning into adulthood easier, I have an article linked below that goes into ways to save money on taxes and other things. Check it out.
It has some really good information that I hope will help you along your financial literacy journey.
Read More: 5 Tax Hacks That Could Save You Thousands.
Autopay can be a savior. However, it can also land you with a lot of overdraft fees and bills not being paid if you don’t have your financial life organized.
So, to be safe it is best to introduce autopay once you have organized your life with a budget. A lot of companies offer autopay and provide incentives to set it up. If your bill company doesn’t have its own autopay program, you can still set up recurring payments with your bank.
As always you have to do your own due diligence and come up with the framework that works best for you.
Write Things Down
So much happens in a day. There is so much information that we are being given. How do we keep it all in check? How do we remember the things that we must complete?
Simple, write them down.
Writing things down helps you record the things that are grabbing your attention. It is a method that helps you see where your attention spends most of its time and where it might need to be spent more.
Plus, it is a great method to help you clear your mind. For me, the benefit of having a clear mind before bed helps me sleep. I actually have a bunch of sticky notes that I jot my thoughts onto before bed. I write down whatever comes to mind and just try to empty out my brain.
Then the next day I wake up, look at that sticky note I made, and begin my day by accomplishing anything on it that I can.
No matter if you are looking to help yourself sleep or just forget less stuff, writing things down can help you in many different aspects of life. You just have to try it out and see what kind of things you feel are important to write down, and go from there.
Create a Schedule
Developing a proper schedule is essential for organizing your life.
Create a schedule for yourself that helps you focus on your priorities, work towards your goals, and give time for yourself.
As a new adult, a lot of things are changing and it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Create a schedule to help you gain back some control.
There are plenty of tools out there to help you create a schedule for yourself – I like Google Calendar. Figure out what works best for you. As I said at the beginning of this article, there is no one right way to organize your life. In fact, you can create a schedule in so many different ways.
Maybe you want to do block scheduling or maybe you want to be even more detailed with scheduling. Do what works for you.
The same reason you should create a schedule applies to creating deadlines for yourself. It helps you organize your life and move it forward. Think about it. Creating deadlines helps enforce a sense of completion and order.
Additionally, it is important to embrace responsibility as an adult. At the end of the day, you won’t really have people tell you what you should be doing and when. You are an adult and it is your responsibility to keep yourself in check and moving forward.
You can create deadlines for yourself with really anything.
Create deadlines for the tasks you want to accomplish or goals you have.
For the goals, you can actually create deadlines that serve as checkpoints for yourself.
These can be great motivators to help you break up large challenges into smaller ones.
For example, I have deadlines for myself when it comes to this blog. I have overall goals that are loftier, but I also have smaller actionable goals with deadlines that keep me on track to reach my overall goals.
Creating deadlines also gives you a sense of urgency reducing the likelihood of procrastination which again helps us organize our life better.
Morning And Night Routine
Last but not least is developing some sort of morning and night routine. When you develop a routine you are by default organizng your life.
Mornings are often thought of as the make or break time of your day. If you get up and waste your morning, there is a high chance that you might end up wasting your day. Developing a morning routine helps you streamline the to-dos in the morning and helps you stay on track with your daily morning necessities.
For example, a morning routine might go something like this:
|6:15 AM||Wake Up|
|6:45 AM||Head to Gym|
|8:00 AM||Leave Gym|
|8:30 AM||Eat Breakfast and Listen to News|
|9:15 AM||Read Emails and Start Work Day|
A morning routine offers organization that helps us start our days off moving forward. A night routine works in the same manner except it helps us wind down from the day instead of getting it started.
Implementing a morning and night routine is a simple yet effective step in organizing your life as an adult. The best part, like most of the tips I have given so far, is that there is no one right way to do it!
Best of luck adulting!
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