Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life” as Want to Read:
How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  417 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
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
Paperback, 160 pages
Published February 7th 1989 by Signet (first published June 1st 1973)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Elizabeth Theiss
Nov 27, 2015 Elizabeth Theiss rated it it was amazing
I was in my mid-twenties when I bought a used copy of this book. Now in my mid-sixties, I still use the author's ideas, especially when my ridiculously busy life threatens to careen out of control.

Why this book? At the time I was working as a trainer, preparing volunteers to work with maximum security prisoners as they began the transition back to the community. We spent three months teaching decision making and life planning skills and many of the tools we suggested came from Lakien's book. It
John W.  Redelfs
Apr 16, 2013 John W. Redelfs rated it it was amazing
Many years ago this book taught me to manage my time effectively rather than efficiently. It has been one of the ten most important books in my life primarily because it taught me the 80/20 rule. The 80/20 rule is that twenty percent of every list organized by priority makes up 80 percent of that list's value. If it is a to-do list, it can teach you do do the important things first. Twenty percent of the files in a filing system gets 80 percent of the use. Twenty percent of the carpet in your ho ...more
Nov 15, 2011 Sonya rated it it was amazing
Recommended For: News Junkies who want to break that habit, Passionate people who want to read everything and need soothing, Treasure Seekers who like to dip into a book such as this one from time to time and find nuggets and gems they can use to enhance their lives

Top Reason That This Book Helped Me: Lakein persuaded me that I may be able to read any of what's available, but I can't read everything that's available. He showed me how I could feel good about choosing not to read about history and
Jan 20, 2014 huydx rated it it was amazing
Cuốn sách gần 160 trang của alan gần như là một cuốn từ điển giúp cho chúng ta biết phải làm gì khi bản thân trở nên lười biếng và "ngại" phải làm một gì đó mà chúng ta đang rất muốn làm.
Alan Lakein hướng dẫn chúng ta tận dùng thời gian của mình một cách tốt nhất. Ông nhấn mạnh đến khái niệm "balance", tức là để tránh xa 2 tuýp người "overorganized person" và "overdoer person". Tận dụng thời gian tốt nhất có nghĩa là không chỉ dành thời gian cho cá nhân mình mà là sẽ có nhưng không gian hợp lý c
Viviene S.
The book may have been written a long time ago, but believe me when I say that this book actually has more innovative ideas than most of the time-management book I have read that have been written recently.

What I liked:
1) the innovative ideas that Lakein has proposed in this book
2) the true-to-life examples that he presents (usually from those who have consulted him for time-management advice)
3) the way he persuades the reader (especially in the Goal Setting part of the book) to actively try out
Aug 07, 2013 Kai marked it as to-read

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something
about it now”- Alan Lakein

“In all planing you make a list and you set priorities. Review our priorities,
ask the question; What's the best use of our time right now?”” - Alan Lakein

“You cannot do a goal. Long-term planning and goal-setting must therefore be
complemented by short-term planning. This kind of planning requires specifying
activities. You can do an activity. Activi
Viet Nguyen
Jan 26, 2014 Viet Nguyen rated it it was amazing
A famous classic of time management. Really recommend to who really wants to get things done, break habit of procrastination or being distracted. A light read, but Lakein's advices are really well-worth.
This one was read by President Clinton as he told on his autobiography "My life". His three timeline goals are: Have a wonderful political life, have a wonderful family, and write a book. You need such goals to really "get control of your time and your life"
Mar 21, 2016 Featherbooks rated it really liked it
This may be the only business book or psych book on my list, but I was reminded of it by a favorite writing teacher and it still offers invaluable advice on goal setting and getting things done. A classic.
Jason Bourne
May 08, 2017 Jason Bourne rated it really liked it
Very useful. Short book makes for a fast read, I would recommend this to anyone.
Scott Dinsmore
Jul 09, 2009 Scott Dinsmore rated it liked it
Why I Read this Book: Goals are the building blocks of success. I wanted to learn how to set the most effective goals to ensure my success.


In a number of areas on this site, I mention the great importance of setting clear and concise goals in order to ensure that you achieve your definition of success. I often say that the lack of clearly defined success is what keeps one’s dreams and happiness just out of reach of their reality. Setting goals are the first steps to achieving this success
Feb 22, 2017 Sarah rated it it was amazing
I finished this a while ago, it's short. A classic self help book about time management. Nothing bad to say about it.
Jan 27, 2015 Joe rated it it was amazing
This book was recommended by Bill Clinton.

I think I prefer the writing style of someone like Brian Tracy and this book did appear a little dated in some areas, however, the content was great.

The main takeaway is to decide what you want in life and then to always to your most important task. Constantly ask what is the best use of my time right now. That might be to work on a new project, call your boss, take a nap, do some exercise...

The most urgent thing is not necessarily the most important thi
Lots of great tips for managing your time more efficiently. Very practical, useful guide to getting more out of your day. I still like Stephen Covey's book better (First Things First), because it points out that efficiency isn't the only, or best, approach to time management. More importantly, effectiveness is about understanding and focusing on priorities as the core of meaningful accomplishment.

However, once one's priorities are straight, it is still helpful to know how to get the most out of
One of the original time management guides. I read it for the first time back in 2003 and will always return to it. Excellent guide with tips such as the Swiss Cheese Method (creating smaller or instant tasks for a larger assignment that requires several tasks) and creating a prioritized task list (which uses the A,B,C priority level and an estimation of time needed to complete the task). Lakein also promotes the 80-20 rule.

This book really helped me deal with my procrastination and perfectionis
Jul 02, 2015 Ashwin rated it liked it
This book is well recommended, pretty old (1973) and written by Alan Lakein. The tone is informal. Alan talks about techniques of managing your long term goals, short term activities and assigning priorities. I've been reading the 43 Folders blog for quite some time now and so am already aware of most of these. There was nothing new I learnt from this book. The book is really tiny and can be finished in a few hours. If you're not doing any kind of time management/scheduling, then this book will ...more
Jun 16, 2008 Fitria rated it it was amazing
Membaca versi terjemahannya yg ditulis secara bebas oleh Ima Dewi Nurmamukti emang bikin melek mata. Dalam buku ini ditunjukin gimana cara berpikir jernih serta mempraktekkan teorinya sehingga kita benar2 menjadi 'pengatur waktu' bukan budak waktu dlm melakukan kegiatan rutin sehari-hari.

Hayooo... baca deh buku ini, bagi kita2 yg masih banyak make tradisi timeless. Pokoknya sangat membantu utk menambah pengetahuan maupun keterampilan utk mengarah ke lebih efisien dan produktif lagi dalam melakuk
Mary Collin
Jun 12, 2013 Mary Collin rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to make best use of their time
Recommended to Mary by: Allied Dunbar when they were Hambro Life
I first read this book back in the very early 80s and it had a huge impact on me. It was so good I ended up recommending it to people and even letting them borrow my copy for a couple of days. Of course, one time, the inevitable happened and it didn't come back. So, years later I realised it was worth a re-read so I searched it out and bought another copy to add to my personal development library. Well worth re-reading . . . in fact it's time to get it out again now! :-) Highly recommended.
Jim Stark
Aug 08, 2009 Jim Stark rated it really liked it
This is a classic--one of the best time management books I've read, and I've read a lot of them. It is written in simple, direct language that does not waste your time. This is a book place to start in any effort to understand the importance in being deliberate about how to spend the hours of the day.
Jan 28, 2012 Debra rated it really liked it
I think I read one of the earliest editions of this title, 1973. Having read a lot of time management books this might be the grandfather of some later titles I've come across. Seriously outdated since it predates personal computers, the basic ideas are still valid. Kind of a trip down memory lane when managers still had assistants to vet mail, etc.
Aug 27, 2013 Angela rated it really liked it
I started reading this to get ideas on how to be more productive at work and I was surprised with how applicable the tips in this book still are. Despite the examples being outdated, I've already implemented some of his advice into my daily routine. Specifically, the 80/20 rule and ways to prioritize/de-prioritize really resonated with me.
Jan 28, 2016 Chansocheat rated it it was amazing
However it was written almost 50 years ago, but the methods still can applied nowadays! I find this book useful in many ways, from time management, to better self-awareness, and to feeling more confidence! It did help me answer to many questions I had been curious about.
Shawn Camp
Apr 19, 2011 Shawn Camp rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2011, my-library
Some new ideas for myself from such a timed treasured book. Now there are a lot of duplicate books by others in this field, but this book shows the root of many of those theories. A good starter for those who are interested in studying time management.
May 17, 2010 Lenore rated it it was ok
Shelves: hc-library
Read it because it was touted as a classic in the time management field, though now so much of it has been accepted wisdom that it seems like old news. It helped me refocus on working toward goals with purposefulness.
Apr 07, 2012 Amanda rated it really liked it
This is an old book I found in my mom's basement. Probably one of the more practical self-help type books I've ever read. I've definitely applied some of the advice to my own life and continue to reference it months later.
Mar 23, 2013 Fritz rated it it was amazing
short book, basic concepts, should have been obvious, wasn't. it's easy to see what someone else should do with their time, trickier to actually implement it for myself in the face of many decades' accumulation of avoidant habits. hit the spot.
Alex Gordon
Jul 09, 2015 Alex Gordon rated it it was amazing
I've had this book for 10 years and read almost every year to help me prioritize. Good stuff!!!
kristyo widarto
Mar 02, 2016 kristyo widarto rated it liked it
saya suka konsep membuat preoritas dengan konsep ABC untuk menentukan prioritas utama dan mana prioritas yg tidak begitu penting.
Jamie Barringer (Ravenmount)
Apr 26, 2015 Jamie Barringer (Ravenmount) rated it really liked it
Covey does it better, in my opinion, but this is also a pretty good author for time management strategies and advice.
Dinesh Weerapurage
Feb 05, 2011 Dinesh Weerapurage rated it it was amazing
It is the best time management book I read. Provide lot of good tips for better time management and avoid procrastination. Highly recommended for college students and graduate students !
Tiffany Seward
Jan 07, 2017 Tiffany Seward rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • How Good Do You Want to Be?: A Champion's Tips on How to Lead and Succeed at Work and in Life
  • Shift: How to Reinvent Your Business, Your Career, and Your Personal Brand
  • Megatrends 2000
  • Tactics: The Art and Science of Success
  • Getting Things Done
  • Is There Life After Housework?: A Revolutionary Approach to Cutting Your Cleaning Time by 75%
  • Organize Yourself!
  • Flight Plan: The Real Secret of Success
  • Freedom and Beyond
  • V is for Vulnerable: An Alphabet for People Who Want to Make a Difference
  • Conversationally Speaking: Tested New Ways to Increase Your Personal and Social Effectiveness
  • The Highest Goal: The Secret That Sustains You in Every Moment
  • The Motley Fool You Have More Than You Think: The Foolish Guide to Personal Finance
  • The Pomodoro Technique
  • The Tiny Book of Tiny Houses
  • Managing Your Mind: The Mental Fitness Guide
  • Weakness Is Not Sin: The Liberating Distinction That Awakens Our Strengths
  • How to Succeed with People

Share This Book