Date posted: 26/04/2018

A beginner’s guide to #adulting

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Remember when you were a kid and you'd wish you were a grown up so you could do whatever you wanted?

Well now that you're either considered a full-fledged adult or almost there, the pressure is on to do it all on your own. Welcome to the world of adulting!

The Oxford Dictionary1 defines adulting as "the practice of behaving in a way characteristic of a responsible adult, especially the accomplishment of mundane but necessary tasks".

And that list of "mundane but necessary tasks" can feel never ending.

We've now learnt that food doesn't just appear in the fridge when you're hungry, bills keep piling up waiting to drain your bank account and you're constantly running out of clean clothes...

How are we supposed to do it all?

Never fear, this is your ultimate guide to adulting!

Managing your finances

We work hard for the money we earn. In a report by the Bank of America, respondents said that financial independence was the biggest indicator of succeeding at adulting2.

Unfortunately, a significant chunk of our paycheque disappears after we pay the bills and buy the weekly essentials, and it only takes one night of online shopping to drain your savings and put you in a sticky spot.

Making an effort to be mindful of your finances is important. It's a good idea to figure out how much of your paycheque you need to spend each month before you figure out how much you're going to put into savings.

Take a percentage of the remainder and put it in a savings account - putting it in a shoebox, in the kitchen cupboard, or under your mattress is not advised. You can keep the rest free for social outings, emergencies, or just to simply treat yourself.

Using an app, such as Mint3 and Empower4, can help you to keep track of your money more effectively.

Develop yourself professionally

Deciding what you want to do at university is usually the first big adulting experience you will have. Once you've completed your university studies, the next steps are up to you.

Continuing your professional development will involve stepping outside of your comfort zone, meeting new people and learning new skills. Sometimes, this may even be a matter of looking at the skills you already have, such as using social media or being creative, and figuring out how you can develop them further or apply them to your professional life.

Attending networking events and talking to people already working in your chosen field can also provide invaluable insights to help you weigh your options. You could also try postgraduate study to further develop your skillset and industry understanding.

Making your own choices and achieving your own goals, will feel incredibly empowering and give you the confidence to lead your own life.

Keep on top of your to-do list

When you have an overflowing to-do list, tasks can easily get lost or forgotten. In the blur of your busiest days, it is often difficult to differentiate which tasks are more important than others.

It can feel pretty overwhelming when there's no one to tell you what to do and when to do it. It's all up to you.

Punctuality and organisation are two of the most important life skills that can be applied to a variety of situations, such as starting a new job and wanting to make a good first impression.

To stay on top of all of your competing priorities, you need to ensure those that are most important or time sensitive are kept front-of-mind. A personalised bullet journal can help warm up your brain for the more technical tasks that require focus and stamina, while also nurturing your creativity.

Keeping a to-do list and easy-to-read calendar are two more great ways to keep yourself moving from one thing to another without overlooking anything important.

Find what works for you, work it into your daily routine and soon you'll be juggling your work, study and personal life priorities much more effectively - just like a the 'real adult' you were born to be.