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How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life (Signet) Mass Market Paperback – February 7, 1989


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Product Details

  • Series: Signet
  • Mass Market Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (February 7, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451167724
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451167729
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 0.4 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

104 of 105 people found the following review helpful By Russell Fanelli TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 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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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 26, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I got the book, I was somewhat sceptical that a book could teach me what I already knew. (Make lists of to-do items etc) But this book is really amazing. It will tell you how you end up wasting time and what to do about it in a positive way. I would like to mention a couple of ideas that I found in this book: a) No matter how silly, do something related to work with a high pay-off. b) Effectiveness (doing the important things) should be preferred over efficiency (Doing something of not much importance very well)
I read this book every week and have got an additional copy to carry in my bag always to get these excellent ideas entrenched in my head.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie on April 30, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
How hard is it to write short? And to think smart? Lakein manages both in this brilliant, slim volume which goes beyond productivity tips (though great ones abound) by first guiding you to the right path for you - so your new-found efficiency will propel you down the road of most satisfaction. One of my top favorite books of all time, all subjects. I revisit it frequently, after twenty years- and it never disappoints.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By jacquelineh@revere.ca - Jacqueline Hochhausen on January 29, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The only drawback of this wonderful book is that Lakein doesn't consider the special problems of the 2 career family. This book was definitely written in the time period where men didn't have to come home and do the dishes and women stayed at home and raised the kids. He gives great tips for overcoming procrastination (my personal problem), but he leaves out one very good technique which Barbara Sher gives a solution to in her book "Wishcraft" - to actually schedule your avoidance behaviours. If you are going to indulge in playing on the net, emailing jokes, watching TV, reading the paper, cleaning, instead of digging into the work you should be doing, you may as well make being allowed to engage in that behaviour your reward for finishing the job you set out to do.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Simon Burrow VINE VOICE on September 16, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
When Alan Laiken wrote this book in 1973 he created a mechanism for defining your goals that I still use today. The method of asking "Laikens questions" has been a critical part of my personal success. I have given away perhaps 50 copies of the book over the last 25 years. It is timeless classic on career and time management.
I recently reread the book with my daughter who is just getting her career going and found the techniques Laikin created 33 years ago still work for me in retirement.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jason E. Bradfield on January 23, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the best introduction to time management. I believe one of the hallmarks of a good time management book is that one shouldn't have to spend a lot of time reading it. This book is brief, concise, and just about every sentence is useful. If you need to improve your time management skills start with this book.

Implementing just a few of the author's ideas will make your life more relaxed and enjoyable. However, beware of attempting to implement all of his ideas at once; this is bound to overwhelm most people and you may end up quiting your attempt at time management. Instead pick the top three or four suggestions the author makes, try them out for a few months, keep the ones that work for you, then read a little bit of the book again, pick some more ideas, try them out, and so on. After some time your life will be much better off for implementing the ideas in this book that work best for you.

After incorporating some of the ideas in this book into your life, I highly suggest moving on to David Allen's "Getting Things Done."
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