How to Control Time

control time

Have you ever felt like you couldn’t control time? Or more accurately, that people keep trying to steal your time away?

You have workmates who need your time to hit their deadlines. Your family needs your time to do chores they don’t want to do. And your neighbors try to steal your time for neighborhood gossip.

But you need your time, too.

Your close relationships, your health, and your wealth are all worthy of your time. Even your mind needs time to relax and recover from the demands of the world.

With all these demands, where do YOU find the time to fit everything?

The answer is you don’t, can’t, and shouldn’t.

Alan Lakein’s How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life has sold over 3 million copies because it seeks to provide answers to the common concern that we simply cannot create more hours in the day.

Former President Bill Clinton started his autobiography, My Life, with a reference to Lakein’s book, correlating its key principle to his success as a politician and individual. 

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 last, then listing under each goal specific activities designed to achieve them.

I still have that paperback book, now almost 30 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.”

The 2 Mindsets Around Time Management

“You don’t find time for what matters in life,” my mentor Craig Ballantyne says, “You make time. There’s a big difference in these two mindsets around your time management.”

There’s an old saying, “If you want something done ask a busy person.” That’s because the most successful people are masters of their time.

Ballantyne is the smartest working and most disciplined person I know. He makes time for his writing at 4 a.m. because he knows that is the time of day where he’ll be most productive. He’s not the only one that takes advantage of a “magic hour” in the morning.

In his book, Washington, The Indispensable Man, author James Thomas Flexner describes Washington’s daily routine as ‘robust’ and starting at sunrise. Extreme punctuality was a hallmark of Washington and one he demanded from others.

When he was leading the country in war, Washington worked nearly 16 hours a day. He woke at 4:00 a.m. and after receiving a shave got straight to business. He stopped for a small breakfast at 7:00 a.m. and then he and his aides-de-camp would work until mid-afternoon.

Early risers and fast starters like Ballantyne, Clinton, and Washington make progress on their top priority before breakfast.

A Formula for Time Management

In his book, The Perfect Day Formula, Ballantyne teaches how to put this exact formula in place to master your time so that you can master your life. And that’s the goal, right!

The best part of his book is that he doesn’t require you to get up at 4 a.m.

“Success is not determined from the hour that you get up,” he writes, “Success is determined by what you do with the hours that you are up.”

Those that master their time and control their life do not have a longer day. We all share the same 24 hours. The secret, Ballantyne taught me, was to set rules for my life and to implement his 5 Pillars of Success (that can be applied to any goal in life) so that I can concentrate on what really counts.

Thanks to this approach of making time for what matters, rather than trying to find time in a busy day, I’ve been able to achieve some of my biggest goals and dreams in the last three years. I’ve written the book I longed to write, and today I’m working on finally opening my own brand of luxury fitness gyms across the UK.

Without Ballantyne’s advice, I fear that I’d still be struggling to swim upstream like most others who have big goals and dreams that always seem out of reach. Ballantyne’s greatest lesson, much like the one followed by President Clinton, was to control your time.

I’ll leave you with a reminder of Ballantyne’s 3-C Formula for controlling time:

  • Control your mornings
  • Conquer the chaos of your afternoons
  • Concentrate on what really matter in your evenings

PS – To all of ETR’s European readers… Please don’t miss this…

Craig will be coming over to England to run a Perfect Life Workshop in London on June 29. At the end of this incredible event, you’ll walk away with clarity on how to get exactly what you want in your personal and professional life… along with a 30-day step-by-step blueprint in place to get faster results while working less. If you would like more information please go to:

Photo courtesy Steve Agyei

Steve Agyei

Steve is a TT personal trainer, choreographer, yogi, football coach, and motivational speaker & writer.