How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life
by Alan Lakein
Lakein is a guru of time management. In this classic on time
management, he discusses the difference between long term goals and
short term benefits and helps us focus on the long term goals. He
teaches us his ABC prioritizing system for deciding what to do when. He
helps us formulate life goals which are critical in any time management
system. He asks the question, “What would you be doing now if you knew
you’d be dead in three months?” He teaches the difference between goals
Lakein discusses how important it is to stay flexible in scheduling. If you schedule yourself so tightly without leeway, then you have no life adjustment capabilities and as you know, life has a way of happening. He speaks about the importance of transition time between tasks. It is important to take a moment to clear one’s head before moving on to one’s next task.
Lakein recommends handling each piece of paper only once. Don’t keep moving the same thing around so you have to waste time looking at it over and over again. Deal with it. He speaks of the importance of assertiveness and saying no when necessary. We can’t be everything to everybody. In order to stay true to our own needs, sometimes we have to tell others no. He also writes about how important it is to build quiet time into one’s day.
His magic question is: “What is the best use of my time right now?” This helps to build in that flexibility. Just because a certain activity is next in your schedule may not mean it is the best use of your time at that moment. Be willing to be flexible.
He has some very helpful words about how to conquer one’s fear to minimize avoidance. Often the things we are putting off doing are those things we are afraid of. When we get control of our fear, then we can stop avoiding the things that are necessary to move us forward. Delaying can escalate problems. Don’t keep putting things off
He also helps us learn the Seven Critical Situations in which to increase our willpower to maximize the time we do have.
Overall, this is a must read for anyone serious about taking control of their time and their life.
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