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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: 0.4 x 4.1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

The style of the book is easy.
Haggenmueller Oliver
I have read, and re-read, Lakein's book more than a dozen times over the last twenty years.
Richard Sleeman
I have read a number of books on Time Management.
D. Skinner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

99 of 100 people found the following review helpful By Russell Fanelli VINE 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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38 of 39 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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36 of 37 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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21 of 22 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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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Elijah Chingosho on January 31, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Lakein wrote an excellent book giving advice on how one can effectively manage time. From studying this book, I have learnt how to effectively use my time and live the way I want. By following Lakein's advice, one can accomplish a lot on a given day and thus be able to enjoy life.

Poor management of time prevents most of us from reaching our full potential. Many conflicting demands are made on us every day. This can result in long, tiring and frustrating day arising from poor planning and people controlling our time and work. We waste time doing things that can be done in a few moments or should be ignored. All of us have the same amount of time in a given day but the difference is that those who know how to effectively use their time can achieve the most during this time. Lakein provides advice on how we can more effectively use time to achieve optimum performance. We need to avoid crises and only do things that benefit us or our organization. He advises us to live life to the maximum by doing only things that matter.

Among the major time wasters are unclear objectives, failure to set priorities, failure to plan, failure to delegate, attempting to do too much at once, too many unproductive meetings, excessive paperwork, crisis management, poor scheduling, lack of self-discipline, procrastination and lack of relevant skills.

I have now learnt to set clear goals as this helps me specify my destination before I begin, thus ensuring that I make the best use of my time. Without goals one becomes sidetracked easily and waste time. I make these goals operational by following Lakein's advice of making a daily "to-do" list. I take heed of the Pareto Principle that 80 percent of all that happens at work is really the result of 20 percent effort.

This is recommended reading for all those who wish to learn tips of managing their time more effectively and thus lead happier, more productive and contended lives.
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