Your 20s are a time of major transitions.
The choices you make in this critical decade lay the foundation for your career, relationships, health, and well-being.
While nothing can replace learning through firsthand experience, you can save some stress by listening to those who have already been through it.
We’ve looked through our archives to collect some of the best advice we’ve found from our favorite writers and entrepreneurs and found recurring themes.
Here are 18 things that successful people do in their 20s:
They learn to manage their time.
When you’re just starting to build your career, it can be difficult to arrange your days for maximum productivity.
As Étienne Garbugli, a Montreal-based entrepreneur and author, explains in his presentation “26 Time Management Hacks I Wish I’d Known At 20,” setting deadlines for everything you’re working on and avoiding multitasking are two keys to effectively managing your time.
They don’t prioritize money above all else.
While there are those who spend their 20s drifting without direction, there are others who are so afraid of failure that they take a job solely because it provides a comfortable paycheck.
But, says Quora user Rich Tatum, that job you’re not interested in quickly becomes a career, and by the time you’re 30, it’s a lot harder to start pursuing your passion.
The key, says author Cal Newport, is to pursue something that you’re passionate about and is valuable to employers.
A Bankrate survey of 1,003 people found that 69% of those ages 18-29 had no retirement savings at all. Twenty-somethings who don’t have enough foresight to recognize that one day they’re going to retire and need money to live on are missing out on years of money gained through interest.
Entrepreneur Aditya Rathnam writes on Quora there’s no need to start investing too much, since you’re just starting your career, but it’s essential to take advantage of your company’s 401(k) matching program, if one is available, and/or open an IRA account.