Adulting101: How to Be a Productive Adult

Dazon Worthey

Adulting101: How to Be a Productive Adult

The millennial community has created the term “adulting” to sum up the responsibilities of growing up and taking on more adult roles, especially us college kids. We’ve finally acknowledged that the transition from a school kid to a young professional/adult is actually pretty tough. To make the remainder of this piece easier to understand, I’ll stick to the college student narrative, and answer a couple of questions. First, what is adulting? And second, what are some responsibilities that fall under the “adulting” umbrella? The answers to these questions and the strategies I personally utilize to matriculate through the transition that is “adulting” are up next.

To answer the first question, I decided to use one of my generation’s favorite websites,! Urban Dictionary basically defines any and all non-traditional terms and phrases that are popular amongst our generation; or in a single word, slang. Urban Dictionary defines adulting as “carrying out one or more of the duties and responsibilities expected of fully developed individuals”. Another definition sums it up the simplest way possible; “being a responsible adult”. Sounds easy enough, right? Yea, I use to think so too. These definitions also provide us with a few responsibilities that are part of adulting. These include, but are definitely not limited to, paying off credit card debt, settling social disagreements without making a scene (in person or over social media), paying mortgage/rent as soon as you get paid, you know; things we didn’t think about when we thought being grown was better. 

Now that we know what adulting is and a few different responsibilities that fall under its category, I will finally share some personal strategies I use for adulting. In this piece, I’ll be talking specifically about organization and time management, their importance, and how I incorporate these skills into my everyday life to stay ahead of my daily responsibilities. 

Thanks to, I’ve come across two points that particularly resonated with me in the explanation of why organization and time management are crucial elements to a successful and easier lifestyle; ease and time. The first benefit to organization is that it makes life easier. I think all of us college students can easily agree that this is true. Nothing is worse than being in class, scrambling through your bag, asking yourself the same repetitive question “What the heck happened to my…”. It’s unequivocally the worst feeling ever, especially when in tandem with a long, stress-filled day up until that point.

A personal situation for me was when I had to take my financial reporting midterm with an almost dead calculator! Keep in mind this is basically an accounting class, and I’m not a numbers guy by a long shot. What made it worse was I kept a brand-new pack of batteries in my backpack for months on end. I never touched them during the entire semester, and I always kept them in my bag until I felt like I needed them, but they were nowhere to be found. Once I made it home, I found them on my desk and remembered that for once, I took the batteries out of my bag while I was studying for that very midterm. Always stay organized folks. Especially during midterms and finals weeks.

Next, organization and time management save you loads of time! Anybody who says organization doesn’t save you time obviously isn’t an organized person. At least that’s my personal opinion. By remaining organized, you are living a life of “always stay ready, so you won’t have to get ready”. When it’s crunch time, and you have an assignment due or a test to take within 24 hours, and you’ve done nothing related to that class, you are going to learn what true stress feels like. The time you’d be using to prepare for an entire exam in one night, and possibly part of the morning, could be used doing a light review of the material that will be on your exam, and getting extra rest so you’re not half asleep during your test. It makes passing an important exam feel much less like a mountain, and more like a small bump in the road.

I said I’d mention a few strategies I use to stay organized and manage my time, but it’s more accurate to describe it as one, multi-faceted, strategy.

Step 1: Write important assignments in your agenda. This includes homework assignments, due dates, project details, and criteria etc.

Step 2: Next, immediately after jotting down all of this information into my agenda book, I Copy the important dates into your my phone calendar with a 1-2-day reminder. For larger projects, I may put a reminder up to 2 weeks in advance.

Step 3: Take the information between your agenda and phone, and record everything on a large calendar. My calendar is my daily hub. I always look at it multiple times per day just because it’s there, so I can’t miss it. That way, I’m always up-to-date on my responsibilities.

While other apps, notebooks etc. hold specific information, my calendar has everything from when bills are due to when I get paid when assignments are due, birthdays, and pre-registration opening and closing dates. Personally, dates involving money will be circled on my calendar, so it always draws my attention. That way, I always know when I gain and lose money. In addition to my agenda book, I’ve grown to love the app, Mint. It’s because of Mint that I’m able to track all of my finances, including my exact amount of school loans, credit, and other money related issues regardless of my location.

My Mint account, Blackboard student account, even my work schedule, are all synced to my iCloud calendar. With this system, the only way I’m late for work or miss an assignment is if I choose to do so, or if life happens and something random rears its ugly head. Other than that, I always know what must be done in my life.

Adulting is far from easy, and not at all what I expected it to be.However, the transition can be made easier by creating and following your own system of organization and time management. You don’t have to follow somebody else’s strategy. Find out what works for you, before you find yourself running into problems due to a lack of organization and running out of time. 


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Twitter: @DaygosKing



Adulting101: How to Be a Productive Adult