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10 Things To Do When You Have No Idea What to Do With Your Life

I don’t know about you, but every now and then I go through what feels similar to a mini quarter-life crisis. I get a little stressed out and sometimes compare myself to others. It doesn’t feel like a good place to be. Having been through many of these moments in my twenties, I’m here to share things to do when you have no idea what to do with your life.

10 Things To Do When You Have No Idea What to Do With Your Life

1. Get off social media.

C’mon — you have to know this was coming! Social media is one of the biggest places we compare ourselves. Which is what I think ultimately leads to feeling like we have no idea what to do with our lives. Everyone else’s highlight reel, both people you know and people you don’t, is on full display, ready for consumption.

Social media is almost like eating a cupcake for every meal — it’s tempting, but not really good for you. 

2. Connect with yourself.

What makes you feel like the most you? Maybe it’s a place, a hobby, a book or a show. Let yourself indulge in what you love the most.

For me, I always feel most like myself when I’m in the bath with a good book. It’s nice to disconnect everything that stresses me out. I particularly gravitate towards fiction when I’m in this kind of mood — it allows me to get out of my own head and come back to a more objective place. 

3. Practice being present.

A lot of times we zone out all too easily. How often do you attempt to multi-task every single day? I’m doing it right now with a about 20 open tabs on my browser. My mind keeps drifting to my phone to check Instagram or my email.

Being present both in your work and your personal life can help you double down and get the real work done in far less time because you are concentrating in a way that you weren’t before.

Multi-tasking leaves too much room for doubt to creep in. When you’re present, you feel more confident in your decisions and who you are as a person.

4. Explore a new interest.

It’s worthwhile to follow what fuels you. We all have interests and passions we’ve told ourselves we don’t have the time to pursue, and maybe that’s true. We are all busy and have a lot going on. With a long list of responsibilities, it’s hard to unearth time for new things but I think it’s a really important thing to do when you feel lost in life.

One of my newest interests has been decorating my home. It’s fun to create mood boards, search for deals, and figure out exactly what I want to do in our place. 

Interests and hobbies change over time and that’s perfectly okay! For a while when I was really stressed out, I got very into baking. It was cathartic for me and because I really had to focus on what was in front of me, there was hardly anything else I could think about. Definitely a win-win all around.

5. Journal.

Putting pen to paper is an ages old way to help find clarity. People have been journaling for centuries as a way to sort through their thoughts.

You can consider freewriting if that’s more your style or you can follow a series of prompts. Here are 31 heart-centered questions for purposeful living that you can work through.

6. Talk to someone you admire.

When I feel disconnected from my work and I’m not sure I’m moving in the right direction, I like to talk to someone I admire. 

The people your admire are most likely to give you the best advice. Discuss with them what you’re struggling with. Chances are they’ll be able to ask you the best questions to put you back on your path or find a new direction.

Another pro of talking to someone you admire is that they will help encourage you to be confident. A lack of confidence can easily be confused with feeling like we have no idea what to do with our lives. Spending time with people who build you up can really change that.

7. Take PTO. 

Time off is sometimes just what’s needed to clear your mind and recenter yourself. Our jobs can put a lot of stress on us and it’s hard to focus on anything else sometimes, nevertheless the future! Stepping away from your work can help bring clarity when you need it the most.

A lot of people never even actually use all of their PTO and it’s such a shame! Those are days of rest and relaxation that get pushed to the side in favor of work. At GenTwenty, we are big fans of resting. Choosing to rest is a big step and can help you ultimately figure out what is making you unhappy

8. Remind yourself that you matter.

When I’ve gone through personal and work crises, one mantra that I turn to is: You matter. I remind myself or this in my work when I’m not sure if I’m following along the path meant for me. It’s something I repeat to myself over and over again as I trudge through the mud and do the dirty work of figuring out if I’m on the right path.

I also remind myself of this in my personal life, particularly when I’m feeling like my emotions are being cast to the side. It used to happen a lot in my early 20s when I couldn’t easily recognize the signs of toxic relationships

9. Recognize what’s not working.

Identifying what you deeply dislike about your current path can help you course correct and put you on the right one. When you have no idea what to do with your life, starting at a place of what isn’t working for you can help you cross off similar options.

Say for example you are really dispassionate about your 9 to 5 in marketing. The role you’re in is too analytical for your taste. You don’t get to be creative. So you switch to a new role that allows you to bring creative ideas to the table. But now you’re finding you don’t like this role either. So you start freelancing. You’re loving the freedom in this role to use your career expertise to work with clients you want. Now, though, you’re finding that you miss the structure of a 9 to 5. You miss your coworkers and collaborating with a team. So you decide to start your own agency. This process takes maybe three to five years from start to finish, but in a few years time you’re thriving doing the work you were meant to do.

Unhappiness isn’t always cured by one change in life. It’s a series of trial and error to get to the right path for you. 

10. Get in a routine.

I used to think routines were for old people but boy oh boy how was I wrong! I actually have learned that I thrive in a routine. Knowing exactly what I am doing and when helps me waste less time and focus thoroughly on what I need to accomplish.

I didn’t really appreciate the beauty of a routine until I had a baby. But keeping the routine helps keep my baby (now toddler) thriving and as a side effect, I do too! 

If you don’t have an established routine, I suggest starting one. Figuring out your routine will help you thrive in the areas of your life that you need to, work through the tough spots, and also truly enjoy your downtime. 

10 Things To Do When You Have No Idea What to Do With Your Life

I hope these then things to do when you have no idea what to do with your life have inspired you to make a change that will help move you in the right direction. Remember — happiness isn’t a destination, it’s in the journey. 

About the Author

Nicole Booz

Nicole Booz is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of GenTwenty, GenThirty, and The Capsule Collab. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and is the author of The Kidult Handbook (Simon & Schuster May 2018). She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s probably hiking, eating brunch, or planning her next great adventure.