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How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life [Mass Market Paperback]

Alan Lakein
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb. 22 1989 Signet
What do Gloria Steinem and I.B.M. have in common?
Both have sought the advice of Alan Lakein, famous time management expert, in order to minimize the time they waste and to maximize their productive capabilities. Now his practical widwom and amazingly effective simple rules are available to you:

  • How to build your willpower
  • How to waste time for pleasure and profit
  • How to work smarter, not harder
  • And much, much more

Reading this book can be the wisest investment of your time that you have ever made!

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TIME IS LIFE. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still using these principles 22 years later! May 12 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I first read Alan Lakein's book in 1982. I picked it up 10 years later and was amazed to see how many of the principles had become so much a part of my life I. I was living the book and hadn't even realized it until I picked it up again.
One of my favorite principles is to start working on something that's important to you, even if it's 15 minutes at a time. I've done this. Scheduled something I didn't think I had time to do for 15 minutes a week. I certainly could do that. Well, when it's something that I really want, I find the momentum builds and I end up finding the time to do what I need and being really happy that I did.
This book has helped me get in touch with what's really important to me and has helped me live a life I truly value.
Thank you Alan Lakein!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Make the Most of Your Time! Feb. 10 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This little book is an easy read, but is invaluable for the person with many things to do and little time in which to do them. It is essential particularly for the busy executive who wants to work smarter rather than harder. Alan Lakein offers straightforward, no nonsense advice on how to manage time more efficiently.
There are many good points in this volume, and to mention all of them would require a lengthy review. A few of the most outstanding nuggets are as follows:
Set priorities.
Ask Lakein's question - "what is the best use of my time right now?"
Use the Swiss cheese method to reduce intimidating tasks
Employ "The Magic If."
Cut off your escape route.
Since I am a person who savors managing time as wisely as possible, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The small time investment made in reading it will pay dividends many times over in time saved. Get it and see for yourself!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, and down to the point. July 14 2004
By Wei Ho
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book was my first time management book. I've picked up "The Time Trap" by Alec Mackenzie after this reading, and in comparison, this book is much more thorough. The best part about this book I think is the simple idea of prioritizing your to do list. I have started to do this and found myself to be able to get more important things done. It also helps greatly with your concentration for the current task by stating to yourself that this is the most important task to do at the moment. Anyhow, great time management book for newbies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and Great Value Feb. 4 2003
By Mike
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I think that virtually any book that you read on time mangement has drawn from the ideas found in this book. It contains straight talking practical advice that if followed will lead you to personal happiness and fulfilment.
He also provides a fast track through the book (go to pages 158, 30, 11) on the back that gets you thinking about and doing the most benificial things quickly. Handy for those that feel they do not have the time to read a whole book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my top 5 all-time most helpful books. Aug. 25 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I bought this when I was struggling to hold 18 credit hours, a part-time job and a life together and I credit it with helping me turn things around and graduate from college. One of the most clear-headed, sensible books I've ever read, and possibly the one easiest to apply directly to life activities. Buy it, read it, practice it and you will find more value in the time you spend.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Small cost, rich reward Sept. 3 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life is, perhaps, the best book on time management ever written. It does not waste your time but gets right to the point. You must establish SMART (specific, measurable, achieveable, related/relevant, and time framed) goals for yourself and then prioritize them using Lakein's A/C system. "A" goals are the most important to you and you must plan on spending 80% of your time to achieve them. "C" goals (TV, lawn care, shopping, etc.) are the place where most people "waste" their lives and spend 80% of their time. This ratio must be reversed, according to Lakein.
He would agree with e.e. cummings that "To be nobody but yourself in a world that is night and day trying to make you just like everybody else means to fight the hardest fight any human being can fight, and never stop fighting." Once we have set goals that utilize our unique talents and abilities, we will have the will power and determination to do the work necessary to achieve them.
To accomplish our goals Lakein recommends that we make a daily "to do" list and always start with "A's," not "C's." Most of our time is spent working harder on things that don't matter. We may be efficient, but Lakein suggests that our goal is to do what matters most and become effective. "Work smarter, not harder" is the mantra he wants us to repeat and couple that saying with his last piece of advice --"Do it now."
Stick your finger into this small book and any page you hit will have wise words to put into action. Learning comes from daily practice and developing habits that "put first things first," taken from Stephen Covey's best seller, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People -- also recommended is Covey's fine book on effective living appropriately titled First Things First.
Rarely has a book that costs so little paid such rich dividends. You won't be disappointed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! May 1 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book was sitting around the house for quite some time until I fortunately picked it up to look through it! This book SPOKE TO ME! There are 2 types of perfectionists: those who do everything, and those who do nothing.. I'm the latter. Through the straight-forward, tell-it-how-it-is approach, I felt like somebody else related to me! I've read time management books before, but it's no wonder this is a national best-seller. Honestly, I haven't read it all the way through, since it motivates me to get going, but I enjoy reading it! Also, it doesn't get old like most things do for me! That's because "I" get to decide what my priorities are. These last few weeks since I've found this book have been so sweet. It's not the kind of book that makes you feel you're not doing what's the most important thing (and what you WANT to do! ). Also, the swiss cheese idea really stuck to me. It says to just spend 5 min. on your A-1. There were goals I had, but never recognized them as such or gave them the attention they deserved. Just last week, I was so thrilled and felt so alive to not just worry about a particualar goal I had, but instead, to take action. Um, the BEST part (or one of the best parts! ) about this book is coming up with your A-1, A-2, A-3... goals! I had my mom do it, as I read off from the book how to, and she was so thankful. It was just amazing! This book has changed my life from the moment I picked it up. I used to feel like doing Homework and Projects and such at the very last minute, since I knew it would get done, and I'd be forced to turn it in as is. Now, I see that I've changed in such simple, but helpful ways! I actually started on a project a week before it was due! Simply amazing. My life was a constant running from one crisis to the next (all-nighters common). I'm almost dumbfounded at how NORMALIZED it is. I never knew this bliss..
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I keep read it and finished reading in more than one day.
The author took it seriously, and put a lot of effort in it. has good insight on life time goal setup.
I would like to say thanks to the auther.
Published 4 months ago by Qiang L.
4.0 out of 5 stars Plan & priortize.
This book heavily emphasizes planning and prioritizing and also offers tips on how to stave off procrastination. Read more
Published on June 20 2003 by W. E. Jung
5.0 out of 5 stars Thumbs up
Good because Lakein makes accommodation for human nature, and works with it and around it, vs. some such books that assume everyone has the self-discipline of a navy seal. Read more
Published on April 14 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on time management ever written
I can think of no other book on time management that brings together everything you need to know about managing your time in such a short text. Read more
Published on Oct. 13 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely helpful !!
More than just a 'how-to' book;A.Lakein is a real pro.Offers many insights and approaches for maximizing the value of one's time.Highly recommended!
Published on July 8 2002
1.0 out of 5 stars a joke?
i found this book accidentally and immediately lost it on purpose. heres my take: if you want to get control of your time and your life, begin by making it a personal goal to... Read more
Published on May 5 2002 by josh harmon
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent short book chock full of helpful tips
What do you really want from life? How do you prioritize and mesh your goals? How do you schedule your time each day to reach your long-range goals, to get the necessary routine... Read more
Published on March 3 2002 by Dr. Ellen Kenner, Clinical Psychologist
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the three or four most helpful books I've ever read.
It helped me go from being mediocre as a junior in college to being accomplished as a senior in college, while giving me a sense of control and of hope about accomplishing what I... Read more
Published on Feb. 28 2002 by Patrick J. Morrison
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