I'm an Akorn user too.
First let me encourage you to hang in there and learn this...you won't regret it.
You've made the first correct step coming to this forum.
The advice above is spot on.
Here's my methods for lighting the Akorn for both slow smoking and quick grilling:
Start with lump charcoal.
If I am doing a long smoke, like for a Boston Butt, I do fill the box to the tabs.
I leave a hole down the middle big enough for me to stuff a couple of lit 91% alcohol soaked cotton balls.
I use a slender set of tongs for this.
Open the top and bottom vents all of the way.
I let this burn for maybe 2 minutes while I'm placing the smaller weber grate on the tabs, adding the deflector stone, and then a drip pan.
Put the main grate on and close and latch the lid.
I then close the vents about 1/3...both top and bottom.
Keep a watch on your dome thermometer.
It's all I use while cooking.
Once the dome temp reads around 150, I'll close the vents to the halfway position.
The temp should slowly climb and as it dose, I slowly close both vents in concert until the temp reads about 250.
If it stalls before 250, I'll play with the top vent more than the bottom.
It usually takes anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes for me to have the Akorn hanging around the 250 mark without having to fiddle much with the vents.
By this time, both vents are almost completely shut. After the first hour or two, the temp mine really like to settle in is between 275 and 290.
If the temp seems to be slowly dropping, I'll open the bottom vent and blow air in.
If it is rising too much, sometimes burping helps....burping the grill that is.
There is trial and error involved and I hope your learning curve will be short.
Very similar but unlike many on here, I don't always start with a full box of charcoal.
If I'm cooking indirect, I might use half a box and I might use three quarters of a box cooking direct.
Instead of lighting in one place, I'll use anywhere between 4 and 7 cotton balls all around.
I still use the same tongs to stuff the lit cotton balls down.
I let this burn for maybe 5 minutes before I close and latch the lid.
Again watching the dome temp, I'll start closing the vents down as I approach my target temp.
If I'm looking for 350 degrees, I'll start closing down around 250 to 275.
If I'm looking for 550 to 600, I'll start closing down around 350 to 375.
Burping seems to help if I am getting too hot...again..the grill.
You shouldn't have an issue with losing temp, if so...open the lid for a minute or two.
I can usually be ready for burgers or steaks in about 30 to 40 minutes.
I'm always amazed at how little charcoal is consumed...even cooking hot.
I hope this helps and Best of Luck!