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When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing Hardcover – January 9, 2018
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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An Amazon Best Book of January 2018: How many of us come back from a lunch break with the best of intentions for an industrious end to the day, only to suffer the dreaded post-lunch slump? Pink lays out the scientific case for this phenomena, a peak, trough, and then recovery of energy levels and productivity seen in people worldwide, across all cultures and geographies. By being aware of one’s own chronotype, i.e. when they tend to experience peak and diminished performance, (for the record, I’m writing this review right before lunch), Pink argues readers can be more effective in choosing when to tackle a new project at work, when to give a big presentation, or even when to schedule a surgery. --Matt Fyffe
“Pink delivers the bad news about our time-based weaknesses with some good news about how to compensate for them. More delightful still, many of these tips involve simply slowing down, taking breaks and stealing naps. Alas, none of this advice will prevent time from flying by, but at least there are proven ways to fill our hours a bit better.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Known for his popular books on motivation and creativity, Pink tackles the science behind how we organize our time and how we should set up the routines of our days.” —Washington Post, 11 Leadership Books to Read in 2018
“[Pink] unpicks compelling patterns... And he includes handy ‘time-hacking’ advice on how to put the insights divulged into practice.” —Nature
“Daniel Pink is one of the few non-fiction authors alive today capable of filtering the work of so many scientific minds through his original human stories and onto the page. He is doggedly diligent in his academic research yet his examples are accessible... Like a long walk with a good, funny, wise friend in a leafy park, reading this book is time well spent.” —Harper's Bazaar
“The breadth of the book's scope is impressive... Pink makes a point to end each chapter with takeaway points that readers can apply to their own lives. When is engaging, conversational and tightly edited, making it an easy yet important read.” —Associated Press
“When contains a cornucopia of compelling information and insights.” —Philadelphia Inquirer
“Helpful tips and insightful solutions.” —Forbes
“Pink should change many people's understanding of timing with this book, which provides insights from little-known scientific studies in an accessible way... By the book's end, readers will be thinking much more carefully about how they divide up theirs days and organize their routines.” —Publishers Weekly
“Consistently applying the principles laid out in the book could have dramatic impacts on one’s life and on society.” —Washington Post
“Solid science backed by sensible action points.” —Kirkus
“Helpful, inspiring and thoughtful advice.” —Booklist
“[When] reveals that timing really is everything... This marriage of research, stories and practical application is vintage Pink, helping us use science to improve our everyday lives.” —BookPage
“Minutes are precious—and easier than ever to waste. Daniel H. Pink’s deeply researched but never boring study could be a turning point. College students and business managers alike may find new ways to organize their schedules and ease difficult decisions by using the 'hidden pattern' of time to their advantage.” —The Wall Street Journal
“A new thought-provoking book about time and timing.” —Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette
“[Pink’s] latest book, When, draws on research from psychology, biology and economics to explore how timing impacts every aspect of our lives.” —EdSurge
“In this amazingly actionable and equally enthralling book, Dan tackles all the big timing questions.” —LinkedIn
Praise for Daniel H. Pink and his books:
“Provocative.” —Malcolm Gladwell
“Compelling.” —The Washington Post
“Like discovering your favorite professor in a box.” —Publishers Weekly
“A frothy blend of utility and entertainment.” —Bloomberg
“Convincing.” —Scientific American
“Radical, surprising, and undeniably true.” —Forbes
“Audacious and powerful.” —The Miami Herald
“Right on the money.” —US News & World Report
Top customer reviews
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When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing is the fourth book by bestselling American author, Daniel H. Pink. If we’re making an important life decision, what we decide obviously requires careful consideration. But what about when we decide? Could the time of day that we make a decision be significant? Could the time of day affect how well we learn or do our work? Does it really matter when we have that first cup of coffee? According to Dan Pink, it definitely does.
In this intriguing book, Pink examines the importance of good and bad timing. He begins by explaining how our individual chronotype (easily established) determines both our mood and our ability to perform at any given time of the day: how it affects our professional and our ethical judgements, as well as our physical function.
But he doesn’t just pontificate on the best time to do something for future success and happiness. He acknowledges that not everyone can control their work environment or the financial climate as they enter the job market. Pink also gives practical suggestions for dealing with less than ideal conditions, as well as hints and tips to improve everyday life.
Pink supports his points with data and simple, clear graphs. The depth of his research is apparent in every paragraph, and supported by his extremely comprehensive (26-page) notes section detailing references for each chapter. As well as six suggestions for further reading, Pink includes an 8-page index. But the most useful thing about this book is his Time Hacker’s Handbook: salient points from each section are condensed into summaries full of hints and tips and practical exercises that appear after each of the first six chapters.
Pink explains in detail: why having a coffee before a power nap makes sense; why combining a lunch break with an education session at 1pm (as some teaching hospitals do with their Grand Rounds) is counterproductive (ditto 8am lectures for University students); when the worst time to be a hospital patient is, and why; and the reason some people have the so-called “mid-life crisis”.
He looks at the effects of starting one’s career during a depressed jobs-market; why a mid-point (in a project, in a career, in a life) can cause a slump or a spark; how to overcome a bad start; when to quit your job; when to get married; when to exercise; the importance of breaks; and much, much more. Illustrating his points are choirs and rowing teams and basketballers and dubbawalas delivering tiffin tins and Hanukkah candles and the captain of the Lusitania.
Pink’s fourth book should be compulsory reading for bosses, educators, and schedulers, for policymakers, company executives, and performers, but there is plenty in this fascinating book that the average person will find applicable to their lives. This is a quick read that rewards time spent with some excellent insights. Recommended!
Here are three examples.
1. Align with your internal biological clock
There are ideal times for different activities based on
- your chronotype (night owl vs morning lark vs third bird)
- the type of task (cognitive vs creative)
- the time of day (morning vs afternoon)
You likely have an intuitive approach to optimal scheduling and can now be more deliberate.
2. Take restorative breaks
We need breaks to recharge but do we take them? You can create a Break List with these details:
- number of breaks (e.g., 3 per day)
- timing of the breaks (put into your calendar for reminders)
- the duration of the breaks
- the activities for each break
This process seems like work but gives you more to anticipate each day.
3. Have an afternoon nappuccino
I'm not quite ready for an afternoon nappuccino: coffee followed by a short 10-20 minute nap. While I see the value and can close my office door, I'll wait until my team reads WHEN or his infographic on the 5 secrets to taking the perfect nap.
WHEN is very well thought out. Dan anticipates our questions and answers them. This book could have been much longer but it's been well edited to keep filler out.
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