Alan Lakein

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Alan Lakein
BornNovember 5, 1932
United States
Alma materJohns Hopkins University
Harvard Business School

Alan Lakein was an American author on personal time management, including How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life which has sold over 3 million copies.

Lakein graduated from Johns Hopkins University and Harvard Business School and resided in Santa Cruz, California.

Lakein is credited for several quotes, including "Time = Life, Therefore, waste your time and waste your life, or master your time and master your life." He is credited as the creator of Lakein's question: "What is the best use of my time right now?". He has also made management films and training films.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton started his autobiography, "My Life", with a reference to the book:

When I was a young man just out of law school and eager to get on with my life, on a whim I briefly put aside my reading preference for fiction and history and bought one of those how-to books: How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life, by Alan Lakein. The book's main point was the necessity of listing short-, medium-, and long-term life goals, then categorizing them in order of their importance, with the A group being the most important, the B group next, and the C the last, then listing under each goal specific activities designed to achieve them. I still have that paperback book, now almost thirty years old. And I'm sure I have that old list somewhere buried in my papers, though I can't find it. However, I do remember the A list. I wanted to be a good man, have a good marriage and children, have good friends, make a successful political life, and write a great book.[1]


  • Alan Lakein, How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life (1973, New American Library, New York City; ISBN 0-451-13430-3)
  • Alan Lakein, Give Me a Moment and I'll Change Your Life: Tools for Moment Management (1997 Andrews & McMeel, Kansas City, MO; ISBN 0-8362-3591-6)
  • It's About Time & It's About Time (1975)