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Surely, being productive is not the only thing one wants with life, but a productive person can achieve their far fetched goals effortlessly helping them to get the dream life they desire.
If you’re confused on how to be more productive, there’s a 97% possibility you do the ugly thing – Procrastinate!
If you’re someone who is dealing with procrastination (everyone deals with procrastination), I recommend you read my article – How to Eliminate Procrastination where I’ve explained procrastination in-depth and also given 8 smart ways to overcome procrastination once and for all.
Moving on, below you’ll find ways that not only make you more productive but also improve your skills and make you a more interesting person. And who doesn’t like to be around interesting people!
18 Productive Things To Do In Your 20s
1. Read a book a month
You don’t know everything, you also know what you already know. And that will only get you to a point in life and then life’s stagnant. To get out of this sluggish growth, you need to broaden your mind and learn new things so that you try new things and have unique experiences.
Try to hit one book a month. In each book you read, try relating it to your life and implementing it if possible.
With every book you read, you learn about the author and the mistakes they made along with the life lessons they stick to. These lessons are invaluable.
The book I recommend you start with is – Atomic Habits by James Clear.
This book is all you need to adjust yourself to success and learn about how small habits shape your daily life, how to break bad habits, and a few key strategies to be productive. I’ve also written a review of this book, you can read it here – Atomic Habits Review.
2. Do an internship
My biggest learning has come from my internships. If I didn’t do any internships at all, I’m pretty confident this blog wouldn’t exist.
The Sage Millennial wouldn’t be there. Internships teach you more than you’d imagine. Today I told all my friends to do an internship as it taught me a lot of valuable lessons which I use today, the biggest one – you need to learn something every day.
I also have a lot of technical skills and found out new industries that interest me. I feel the best thing about internships is that you can try 10 internships in 10 different industries and choose which industry you prefer. It gives you an edge over all your friends and most often you get paid.
And yes you also get Work experience which you can add to your LinkedIn account. If you’re still studying and are especially confused or not happy with the industry you’re in right now, an internship may be just the thing to open new doors for your career.
3. Join a hobby class
You’re at your best when you do something you love. Whatever be your hobby, search for a class in your locality and join it.
A hobby class is a great way to relax while being productive and learning more about a hobby you love. You meet new like-minded people, network, and discover new opportunities.
You should indulge yourself in anything which relaxes you every day, so why not spend that time doing what you love? But wait, what if you don’t have a hobby?
Then do the next best thing – Try Everything. After you do 15-20 different things, 1 each day, there will be some you’ll hate and some you’ll love. Note down what you hate, what you’re fine doing, and what you liked.
That’s it! Once you find your hobby, join a class so that you can learn more as well as network with fellow people. But what if you don’t have the time to attend a class or don’t want to step out of the house? Refer to point 7.
4. Make a To-do list (and follow it)
A task list is simple, so don’t complicate it by adding a lot of additions or colors and quotes all around. I’ve seen some people carrying around a thin book where they write 20 different things they like to do along with their top 3 tasks and fill up a daily schedule every single day.
Do you know the problem with this? It’s too much work. An effective To-do list needs to be simple and easy, not complicated with 5 different columns you need that take at least 30 minutes to fill every day.
You can use apps like Todoist. These are simple and work great. Just write the task and that it. No wasting time on writing a lot! Make sure you are consistent and try your best to finish the tasks you plan to do each day.
5. Go trekking
Nature is our best friend. Being in nature, surrounded by greenery is mesmerizing in itself. I know I could sit all day just gazing at the trees.
Trekking might broaden your mind and make you fall in love with the little things in life. Not only that but spending time with nature has numerous health and mental benefits.
Trekking has proved to be a stress buster, making you stress-free and more productive. If you haven’t been for a trek before, you’re missing out. Ask your best friend, to tag along and go for a trek this weekend.
6. Start Journalising
Why should you write something you’ve already stored in your head? Though journalising sounds like The Most Boring job, it’s beneficial to you and your goals and aspirations especially in your 20s.
The key to learning anything is to stop consuming information and start implementing the information we already possess.
Actions speak louder than words, isn’t it? In the same way, we need to put more time into actual work rather than saying stuff. And to do that, we need to properly remember exactly what we learn.
That’s why journalizing your key learning, unique moments of a day is so crucial for your productivity. Instead of thinking about getting rich, make a plan – start by writing down how much you want to make, then write down the industries that pay you the money you need. Work on these. Similarly, do the rest.
You see when you have something in writing, it gets easier to understand how to improve and what to add to boost your speed to the finish line. It’s extra work to write but it’s worth the effort.
7. De-stress yourself daily
This is a crucial step. Your daily routine may be hectic, making you exhausted at the end of the day.
You may be able to pull off being super productive for a few days but sooner or later you will be drained. That’s why de-stressing yourself is a great way to consistently be productive every day and not give up.
Here’s a 10-day plan that you can use to de-stress yourself after a hectic day of productive work –
Day 1 – Cooking
Day 2 – Reading
Day 3 – Dancing
Day 4 – Singing
Day 5 – Writing
Day 6 – Drawing
Day 7 – Craft
Day 8 – Gardening
Day 9 – Walking
Day 10 – Songs
You can devote an hour a day doing one of these or something else entirely, just make sure it relaxes you.
8. Play Shooting video games
As absurd as this sounds, the awesome factor about playing games (other than entertainment) is you develop your reflexes.
You are more aware of your surroundings making you hear even the faintest sounds around you. It improves coordination, attention, problem-solving skills, and brain speed!
It also improves cognitive abilities making you an efficient person. I don’t suggest you stick to playing counterstrike or Pubg all day long, once or twice a week for 1-2 hours will enhance your brainpower.
Note: Do not play for long hours as there are countless ill-effects to gaming, especially games where killing is the motive.
9. Don’t ignore newspapers
The easiest way to improve your general knowledge is through newspapers. Try this, read newspapers every day in the morning for just 10 minutes and you’ll have so many topics to discuss with your friends.
Yes, I know that many newspapers don’t give accurate information and only try to play around the bush, but it’s still better than not having any general knowledge.
Current affairs, news about various companies, sports, media, fashion, and so many different topics are included in newspapers.
These broaden your mind and are probably the best source for you to improve your English speaking and writing skills.
If you don’t like reading a newspaper or don’t have time to read huge articles, try apps like Inshorts. They provide the entire news in a paragraph. That works great if you like to read on the go.
Want a 120% increase in your salary? Or a dream job? Need a partner to start a business and need a partner? Welcome to 2024 where the smartest and brightest people are the ones with high networking skills and a large network. Your 20s is the golden time for you to network.
Now is the time you begin developing a strong network with people and help them who in turn help you when you need them.
If you want to get successful alone, it’s possible but it might take you 15 years give or take. Use the power of networking and 5-7 years is achievable. But wait, don’t approach anyone and everyone you meet on the road.
As my mentor said, “Develop your network with people in your industry to gain maximum benefits”
Instead of shooting in the dark when it comes to approaching people, then niche it down to those in your desired industry and ask yourself – how can they help me and how can I help them.
Note: Networking is not only about the other person helping you. Help works both ways. Give and get.
11. Eat nutritious meals
What you eat is directly related to how you act and perform each day. You eat junk, your performance sucks, you feel lethargic and sluggish all day.
That’s why eating food rich in vitamins and minerals is a key component to your overall productivity and mood swings. Yes eating a pizza may make you feel good for some time but will cause all sorts of nasty problems internally.
Your meals should be high in protein, medium in carbs, and healthy fat. Complex carbs such as quinoa, oats, brown rice are great sources of carbs that keep you full. Fish, eggs, meat, cottage cheese, chickpeas, and pulses are awesome sources of protein.
Fats such as avocado, peanut butter, ghee, nuts are good options. The perfect meal should include these essential nutrients.
Avoid sweets, especially those made from sugar, and avoid salty foods as they destroy your healthy diet. Finally, drink 3 liters of water a day to stay hydrated. Eating healthy is not an easy task, it will take you some time to get adjusted to this eating pattern but stay consistent.
12. Work on your strengths
It is usually said that we should work on our weaknesses but it has been proven that working on your strengths tends to provide greater results than working on your weaknesses. Why is that so? Let’s look at the image below to understand this concept.
If you are an employer whom will you hire, the person who has 80% knowledge or the one with 50% knowledge?
It takes more time for you to learn your weaknesses than your strengths. Jason took two months to grow 30% in football compared to three months doing singing which didn’t play to his strengths. I’m not saying to completely ignore your weaknesses, focus more on improving your strengths.
13. Develop Marketing skills
In your 20s, you’ll try your best to learn new skills, maintain a task management app, de-stress yourself.
You’ll end up being the perfect version of yourself, ready to get any opportunity that knocks on your door, except that no one knows who you are and what you do and the extraordinary skills and talents you possess.
If you don’t learn how to market yourself, specifically having an online presence, you’re way behind anyone whos trying to use the internet to achieve their goals because companies want to find you easily, investors want to find companies to invest in but if you’re not on basic platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook or you don’t have a good profile on other platforms, the chances of landing a job or a new business partner are slim to none.
It’s 2024, you’re in your 20s, and it is about time you learn to communicate fluently. Leaders who know how to communicate effectively are listened to and followed compared to those who lack basic communication skills.
I’m not suggesting you learn words like flabbergasted or petrified, but simple words along with basic sentence formation and not being afraid to speak in front of a crowd are a few skills you have to learn in your 20s.
Now is the time to experiment and try speaking in front of a few people. In the future, when you’ll become the CEO or a manager of a company, don’t expect people to pay attention to you if you don’t know how to say your name in a go. YouTube is the best platform for you to learn English speaking and brush up on your skills.
There are hundreds of videos in English. If that seems less, start reading blogs like TSM, newspapers, online magazines. Don’t say you can’t learn to speak in front of 10 people. It’s time to ditch the fear.
15. Learn a new language
Learning a new language is hard, I won’t argue on that but it’s worth it. Let’s say you meet a business client from Spain, now you’re representing your company, you do have a translator but by speaking the client’s language, just the basics, impresses the front person making you sure you successfully close the deal.
Not only that, let’s say you go to Spain for a vacation with your family/friends, it’s always an advantage to speak the native language. But don’t learn 5 new languages, unless you want to be a professional translator. English, French, Hindi, Marathi, and Konkani are the languages I speak.
In school, I learned French and I haven’t been to France for a vacation nor have I had a business client from France but people around me find me interesting just because I know french. Best languages you could learn – Spanish, Mandarin, French, and German.
Pick anyone and get started. Just the basics will do but if you like learning a language, you could always give exams for each language and get certification which you can flaunt in front of your peers and professional community.
Breathing means meditation but it also means to relax, not move too fast. People who do things too fast end up creating bigger problems than before. In this fast-paced world, you need to learn to relax, pause if needed and let yourself free for some time. Once a week, go out for a walk and just be silent.
Listen to people around you, feel the breeze touch your face, hear the birds chirping, you get the point. Learn to unwind yourself in your 20s, it’ll be a great tool for you in your 30s.
17. Write a book
People love to read journeys and experiences of other people, it’s a great way to connect with another person without physically meeting them. Don’t know what topic to write a book on? Just take your journal and convert it into a book.
Mark Cuban, Daymond John, James Clear, Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey, almost all successful people journalize their thoughts and experience in a book and sell it to people all over the globe. It’s the best way to build a personal brand.
Your first book doesn’t have to be your best book nor does it have to be your last book. Imagine you go for an interview and the interviewer asks you, “Tell me something about you?
What makes you better than all the others waiting?” You can simply hand the interviewer the book. Believe me, he/she will be shocked that you have a book and will be super impressed by you.
A book acts as a highly valuable professional price of work. Tell me, how many people do you know who has his book? If you want to know how to get started on writing a book and publishing it, here’s an in-depth article.
18. Learn finances
If there is one life choice overlooked by young adults in their 20s is managing their finances. A major part of being successful depends on your ability to manage your finances. Finance is a tough subject and since you’re not taught about it in school, you are seriously up for a ride.
But don’t worry, my goal at TSM is to ensure I make you a financial guru as well as ensuring you become the best possible version of yourself. So does that mean you should 100% rely only on me to learn finance? No!
You should never just listen to one source of advice. Surely read my blogs and gain knowledge from it but then go and dig deep into that topic you just read.
Let’s say you read – Stock vs Bond Market. After you finish reading it, go more deep in each topic individually and slowly try investing in either one or both platforms. The process is slow and will take you at least a year but it’s worth it.
Do you think your 20s is the best time to get productive? Let me know down in the comments below.
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