Previous: How to Get Published! (featuring Josh Sundquist!)
Next: The Number That Changes Your Life: CREDIT SCORES EXPLAINED!



View count:92,272
Last sync:2024-07-15 04:45
In which Hank Green tells you his life hacks for how to manage projects, overcome procrastination, and make life more awesomely productive! If you enjoy this video and have a Tumblr, please be sure to share it! :D

Support How to Adult on Patreon at

HOW TO ADULT Posters Now Available from DFTBA Records!

Merchandise from Mike (including posters about books and "Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost"):

"How to Adult" is a "life skills" edutainment channel brought to you by Executive Producers Hank Green and John Green. Subscribe for new videos every week!


Created by:
Emma Mills & T. Michael (Mike) Martin
Mike is also a Young Adult novelist. His book, THE END GAMES, is available at all online booksellers, including
Indiebound ( ) and Amazon: (

Written and Hosted by:
Hank Green

Edited by:
Hank Green & T. Michael Martin (though really almost entirely Hank)

Executive Producers:
Hank & John Green
(Intro music plays)

Hello, I'm Hank Green. I am the founder, or co-founder, of DFTBA Records, Subbable, Vlogbrothers, Crash Course, SciShow, VidCon; I invented 2D glasses; I'm the executive producer of The Brain Scoop, Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Emma Approved, Frankenstein MD, Sexplanations and a little channel you might have heard of, called How To Adult.

I like to do things. Sometimes I feel like I like it too much. In fact, I often end up starting things despite the fact that I don't have time to do the things I'm currently doing. So after 8 years of putting project on top of project and not being able to stop myself, I have developed some tips for how to do all the things.

1. Make commitments that you can't back out of.
It's not really about being able to do lots of great things really well, it's about needing to get them done. If you make promises that you can't break without feeling like a horrible, miserable person, then you probably will pull it off. This is dangerous, of course, because if you make that commitment and then you break it, you feel like a horrible, miserable excuse for a human. But it is a strategy that I have found to work. Just be careful with it. When you're at the top of the cliff, don't look down.

So imagine you agreed like a week ago to deliver an episode of How To Adult to your friends Mike and Emma. Do not think about everything you need to do to get that done! Like, if you try and think about all the different tasks, you'll never be able to motivate yourself to do it. I gotta decide what to do the video on, I gotta do the research, I gotta write, I gotta film it, I gotta edit it, I gotta upload it, I gotta write the description, I gotta do all these things! (Makes overwhelmed noises). Take it one little tiny task at a time, just climb down that cliff and never look at how long it is. You can't eat a pizza in one bite, friends. Though if you could, I would.

2. Prioritize. 
This is vital. How do you do this? That is a good question and my only advice for you is to let your brain do it. Just look at all the things that you have to do, consider them each carefully and then do the one that your brain says "that one", even if you don't know why. Listen to your monkey brain, it knows what it's talking about.

But don't, do not, do nothing! And to be fair, I spend like 30% of my day doing this, at least. And that's scrolling on Tumblr, playing Candy Crush, watching Boardwalk Empire, Facebook, Reddit - those kinds of things. They achieve very nearly nothing. Except possibly to rejuvenate some of my mental juices. I don't know, maybe if I didn't do them I would completely crumble under everything. So maybe it's good to do nothing sometimes but if you're trying to get something done you have to minimize the amount of time that you are literally doing nothing.

3. Don't freak out.
And I feel like I've alluded to this several times but it's easy to freak out and then you sort of recede into your brain and you just lay there and you do play Candy Crush and that's all you can do or you just sit in bed and stare at the wall and think about how much everybody is going to dislike you because of how you can't get anything done.

The only cure for this, I have found, is to do things. You just gotta do it. Sit down, start typing. It's like jumping into a cold swimming pool, you just gotta do it and then you're doing it and that's it. Sometimes when I'm super freaked out I will actually repeat a little mantra: "I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer." You can find your own.

Try to enjoy it. I know I just made it sound like it was the worst possible fate to do the things that you have to do but really it's all solving puzzles, that's what I find. Like, any project is just solving puzzles. Sometimes they're really, stupidly dumb puzzles and sometimes they're super gigantic, complicated, terrifying problems that are just really hard to fix and they have to do with my values and whether or not there's enough money, and there's employees and there's peop- and there's all these different - and that can be really scary. But it is still just a problem to solve and if I think about it that way - my job is problem-solver - it's a lot easier for me. Ramble, much? Yes.

4. Do nothing, sometimes.
And I know I just said don't do nothing but this nothing is really nothing. Don't look at Twitter, don't read a book, don't do anything. Just sit and think. Take stock - figure out what you care about most, figure out what's stressing you out because if you can take care of those things you will be more productive. And write, maybe, at the same time, preferably with a pencil. But try not to do anything but think for like 10 minutes. You would be amazed at how much thinking a person can get done in 10 minutes. In our lives we are going to juggle lots of different tasks that are all extremely important and that is going to freak you out. No one - I have never met a single person - who has it all together. Juggling all the things to keep you and your friends and your family and your work and your hobbies all satisfied is not going to be easy. But it is gonna be necessary.

I'm Hank Green. Thank you for watching this episode of How To Adult. If you want to keep learning how to adult you can go to