Adulting 101: How to Think Outside of the Classroom

Inside & outside of the workplace, we often take for granted the most important life skills we need to become the ideal “grown-up”. These skills are collectively what allow you to be good at adulting.

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Adulting is Important for Your Career

Business & nonprofit leaders report they’re looking for dynamic employees with way more to offer than just book-smarts:

  • 93% say creative thinking, communication skills, & problem solving are more important than a job candidate’s undergraduate major
  • 95% prioritize hiring people who will contribute to an innovative workplace
  • 95% believe it is important to demonstrate ethical integrity, intercultural skills, & a desire to continue learning

Taking “me” time during the work day is crucial to optimal performance.

Time Management: Efficiency Is the New Productivity

Time management skills are an important part of adulting. Here are some helpful tips to get you started down the path to adulting:

  • Break big projects into small parts
  • Schedule tasks like you schedule meetings to cut back on procrastination
  • Prioritize work that needs immediate attention & save less important things for later
  • Set personal deadlines to keep you focused and moving towards your goal
  • Digital detoxing helps you stay in the present
  • Leave your phone out of sight, on silent, & off your person to focus on a hard deadline
  • Less distraction allows your brain to process & store new information easier
  • DeskTime productivity app stats showed the highest performing 10% of workers take a 17 minute break away from their computer every 52 minutes
  • Control the chaos with a little R & R
  • Experiments show that telecommuters are 13% more productive than office bound colleagues
  • Allows for a more flexible work/life balance and boosts overall life satisfaction
  • Stay away from electronic devices that emit blue light before bed to fall asleep more quickly
  • Reduce stress, lower anxiety, and improve your mood with meditation

To #AdultHard you need to apply critical thinking skills beyond the 9-5 grind.

Biohacking: Maximize Your Energy & Do Everything Better (Especially Adulting)

  • Listen to your food
  • Eat clean, natural foods for a strong body & a clear mind
  • Consume foods with the right nutrients rather than counting calories
  • 100 calories of grapes > 100 calories of Twinkies
  • Avoid simple carbohydrates that make your energy crash & snack on foods that satisfy your hunger
  • Take a hike
  • Walking in the woods can improve short term memory by 20%
  • Spending 2 nights in the forest lowers stress hormones in your blood
  • Sun exposure boosts the body’s Vitamin D supply which regulates over 1,000 genes that control bodily functions, e.g. immune & neuromuscular systems
  • Don’t skimp on sleep
  • Sleep deprivation weakens your immune system & leaves you vulnerable to bacteria & viruses
  • Healthy sleep habits lower your risk of obesity & type 2 diabetes
  • Sleep gives you the energy to make good decisions throughout the day

Being well-rounded means thinking with your head as well as your heart.

Worldview: Challenge Yourself to Be Proactive & Resilient when Adulting

  • Practice empathy to strengthen group bonds
  • Learn the strengths & weaknesses of your colleagues to improve team efficiency
  • Focus on understanding others to increase attention span & fight distraction
  • Cultivate compassion to understand the individual causes of high/low performance levels
  • Persevere through life’s ups & downs
  • Master the ability to overcome setbacks in all areas of life
  • Pivot your focus to what’s going according to plan & learn to see failure as an opportunity for growth
  • Remember that nothing goes your way all the time & the glass is always half full
  • Communicate like you mean it
  • Engage with new people & turn small-talk into an artform
  • Pay attention to nonverbal cues like eye-contact & body language
  • Frame conversations to ask what you want & get what you need

Not all lessons are taught in school. Are you learning what you need to be a real-life adulting success?

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Sources:

http://www.aacu.org/press/press-releases/employers-more-interested-critical-thinking-and-problem-solving-college-major
https://njaes.rutgers.edu/spotlight/eating-together.asp
http://www.spring.org.uk/2009/01/memory-improved-20-by-nature-walk.php
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22840583
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mental-wealth/201306/natures-rx-green-times-effects-adhd
http://www.healthline.com/health/sleep-deprivation/effects-on-body
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/opinion/sunday/relax-youll-be-more-productive.html?_r=0
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/blue-light-from-electronics-disturbs-sleep-especially-for-teenagers/2014/08/29/3edd2726-27a7-11e4-958c-268a320a60ce_story.html
http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/09/science-tells-you-how-many-minutes-should-you-take-a-break-for-work-17/380369/
http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/rest-relaxation-and-exercise
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2290997/
http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/09/science-tells-you-how-many-minutes-should-you-take-a-break-for-work-17/380369/
http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2013/03/15/telecommuting-can-boost-productivity-and-job-performance