Once Upon YOUR Time

Seven Strategies for Gaining Control of Your Time Through a Tour of the Magic Kingdom

by Randy Crane | Release Date: M D, Y | Availability: Print, Kindle

Time Waits for No Mouse

We "spend" our time like there's no tomorrow. A few minutes here, maybe an hour there, and the day is gone, often with little to show for it. Time management is hard. Let Randy Crane's easy, unique system for managing your time put Disney magic to work for you.

Crane's seven strategies for gaining control of that most finite of all resources, time, draws upon the principles behind Disneyland's Magic Kingdom (which was built in just a year—great time management!) to give you the pixie dust you'll need to tame the clock and conquer the tasks that threaten to overwhelm you.

Table of Contents


Strategy 1: Remove Something

Strategy 2: Your “Motivating Why”

Strategy 3: Prioritize

Strategy 4: Recognize Your Choices

Strategy 5: Minimize Interruptions and Distractions

Strategy 6: Schedule Fun

Strategy 7: Easiest First, Hardest Next


Helpful Resources

Welcome to the most unusual tour of Disneyland you have probably ever experienced. Here we will use Disneyland, Walt Disney’s original Magic Kingdom, as the source of examples and illustrations of key strategies to help you gain—or regain—control of your time.

When you visit Disneyland Park, you don’t have to take these attractions in order, or even do all of them all the time. The same is true for this book. Start by reading through all of the strategies so you know what’s here. See what immediately jumps out to you the most. After that, come back and dip into the next one you want to try. Also, as when you tour the park, you don’t have to take the strategies in the order they’re presented. If one catches your attention the most, you don’t have to wait to get to it. Start there. As long as you cover all of them once, you can do it in any order that appeals to you.

If your goals are to gain control of your time, be more productive, more satisfied with your life, and more confident that what you do every day matters, then I encourage you—I challenge you—not to just “try out” these strategies. Be intentional. Push yourself, even when one seems difficult or awkward. Your first instinct for some will be to say, “This one won’t work for me,” and skip it. Don’t do that. Challenge your assumptions.

Before we get to the first strategy, I’d like to address a common objection. You may be in a time or season right now where life is just plain chaotic. There are multiple competing demands on your time and energy, and there’s only so much you can do to keep your head above water. These strategies, applied honestly, intentionally, and in some cases even ruthlessly, will help, but they may not be enough for you to feel like your time is completely under control.

That can happen to all of us. It’s normal, but it’s not permanent. In David Eddings’ book Pawn of Prophecy, Hettar says:

Events are like horses, sometimes they run away. After they’ve run for a while, though, they’ll start to walk again. Then there’ll be time to put everything together.

You may be in a time when events are running away. Remember that it’s not forever. Eventually, they’ll settle down. If you’re looking for that time and are prepared when it comes, you’ll be able to recognize it. If not, you may find yourself so caught up in the pace and chaos that even when it’s gone you subconsciously continue to manufacture it, thinking, “This is just the way things are. My life is out of control and I guess it’ll always be that way.” It doesn’t have to be. Use this book to help you be ready and catch the horse when it begins to walk … or at least run more slowly.

Randy Crane

Randy Crane is a nationally known speaker, author, and life coach. With the heart of a pastor and teacher, the kindness of a friend, and the willingness to challenge you to reach beyond what you think you can do and be, Randy merges his educational experience, his work experience, and his unique blend of passions with a dream for helping others to realize their God-given identity and purpose.

Randy married his wonderful wife, Faye, in November 2000, and they currently live in the Orange County, California, area where they are active in their church and community. They have two cats, WallE and Eve, and they had their daughter in 2015. She is already a huge Disney fan, so clearly she’s being raised right.

Randy is the author of Faith and the Magic Kingdom, and he is the host of Stories of the Magic, a positive and story-filled Disney podcast offering positive stories from cast members, Imagineers, artists, actors, and more from throughout The Walt Disney Company and beyond.

When working but not doing the work that he loves as a life and personal development coach, Randy usually can be found helping people with their dream vacations as a travel agent specializing in Disney destinations and cruises, and in celebration, event, and bucket-list travel.

We make choices everyday. Some good, some bad. One day, Indiana Jones made a choice, and they haven't seen him since.

Deep in Adventureland sits Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. As the story goes, the year is 1935 and Indiana Jones has discovered this ancient Indian temple. Within the temple are countless intriguing artifacts, multiple booby traps, and inscriptions throughout offering advice and warnings to visitors. Unfortunately, Indy’s funding has run out, so he and Sallah began offering tours to raise money for the continuing expedition.

The deity worshiped in this temple, Mara, offers those who would dare to venture in one of three gifts: eternal youth, visions of the future, or earthly riches. But there is a catch. You must not “look into the eye of the idol.” Apparently some did, for tourists have mysteriously vanished, so Indy goes to look for them. He doesn’t return, either, so Sallah continues the tours hoping someone may find Indiana Jones and rescue him.

Most interesting when the attractions first opened were the decoder cards handed out to guests as they waited in line. They could use these cards to decipher the messages inscribed on the walls. Messages like:





Mara will grant you your most secret desire … as long as you don’t look into the eyes of the idol. Now, you must choose, but choose wisely.

Continued in "Once Upon YOUR Time"!

A crux of time management is choice: within certain parameters, you choose what to do with the time you've given each day. If you choose poorly, you may not go missing like Indy did, but what will go missing is your ability to get things done.

This one may be a bit hard to swallow, but stay with me. This strategy is simply to recognize that everything you do is a choice. That’s not to say that sometimes an outcome is so bad that it’s almost unthinkable, but it’s still an outcome, just not the only one. Consider an extreme example.

Do you have to eat? No, you don’t. You should. If you don’t, you’ll end up in the hospital and you will die, but you still don’t actually have to eat. Hospitalization and/or death are overly negative outcomes, but the fact that the result of that action is negative doesn’t invalidate that it’s a choice. In fact, when it comes to your health, sometimes your body will make the choice for you. Don’t have time to get enough sleep? You will when your body becomes so physically exhausted that you get sick and are literally unable to do much of anything for a week.

How about a less extreme example? Do you have to go to work today at that job you can’t stand? No, you don’t. You could choose to take a vacation day or a personal day off. You could talk to your supervisor about the possibility of changing your workload or your specific job description to better match your strengths and what you enjoy. You could quit and find a job somewhere else. You could start your own business doing something you love. You could wash windows, walk dogs, or mow lawns to bring in money instead of working at that job. Are some of those more difficult or uncertain than others? Sure, but they’re still possibilities.

When you accept this truth, your view of your calendar and your task list will change dramatically. Possibility has enormous power, sometimes even more than actuality. Knowing that there are other options will give you a sense of power and control over your schedule that you may never have had before. Now, each task you do, you are doing because you chose to, not because you “had to.”

On the flip side, it also removes your excuses. If you don’t accomplish what you set out to do that day, what choices did you make that caused this? Sometimes it happened because something you determined was more important (and more urgent) arose and you chose to do that instead.

Continued in "Once Upon YOUR Time"!

About Theme Park Press

Theme Park Press is the world's leading independent publisher of books about the Disney company, its history, its films and animation, and its theme parks. We make the happiest books on earth!

Our catalog includes guidebooks, memoirs, fiction, popular history, scholarly works, family favorites, and many other titles written by Disney Legends, Disney animators and artists, Mouseketeers, Cast Members, historians, academics, executives, prominent bloggers, and talented first-time authors.

We love chatting about what we do: drop us a line, any time.

Theme Park Press Books

The Unauthorized Story of Walt Disney's Haunted Mansion The Ride Delegate 501 Ways to Make the Most of Your Walt Disney World Vacation The Cotton Candy Road Trip The Wonderful World of Customer Service at Disney Disney Destinies Disney Melodies The Happiest Workplace on Earth Storm over the Bay A Historical Tour of Walt Disney World: Volume 1 Mouse in Transition Mouseketeers Down Under Murder in the Magic Kingdom Walt Disney and the Promise of Progress City Service with Character Son of Faster Cheaper A Tale of Two Resorts I Saw Ariel Do a Keg Stand The Adventures of Young Walt Disney Death in the Tragic Kingdom Two Girls and a Mouse Tale Ears & Bubbles The Easy Guide 2015 Who's the Leader of the Club? Disney's Hollywood Studios Funny Animals Life in the Mouse House The Book of Mouse Disney's Grand Tour The Accidental Mouseketeer The Vault of Walt: Volume 1 The Vault of Walt: Volume 2 The Vault of Walt: Volume 3 Who's Afraid of the Song of the South? Amber Earns Her Ears Ema Earns Her Ears Sara Earns Her Ears Katie Earns Her Ears Brittany Earns Her Ears Walt's People: Volume 1 Walt's People: Volume 2 Walt's People: Volume 13 Walt's People: Volume 14 Walt's People: Volume 15

We're always in the market for new authors with great ideas. Or great authors with new ideas. Whichever type of author you are, we'd be happy to discuss your book. Before you contact us, however, please make sure you can answer "yes" to these threshold questions:

Is It Right for Us?

We specialize in books that have some connection to Disney or theme parks. Disney, of course, has become a broad topic, and encompasses not just theme parks and films but comic books, animation, and a big chunk of pop culture. Your book should fit into one (or more) of those broad categories.

Is It Going to Make Money?

There's never a guarantee that any book will make money, but certain types of books are less likely to do so than others. They include: hardcovers, books with color photos, and books that go on forever ("forever" as in 400+ pages). We won't automatically turn down these types of books, but you'll have to be a really good salesman to convince us.

Are You Great to Work With?

Writing books and publishing books should be fun. The last thing you want, and the last thing we want, is a contentious relationship. We work with authors who share our philosophy of no drama and zero attitude, and the desire for a respectful, realistic, mutually beneficial partnership.