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When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing Hardcover – Illustrated, January 9, 2018
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“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
- Publisher : Riverhead Books; Illustrated edition (January 9, 2018)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0735210624
- ISBN-13 : 978-0735210622
- Item Weight : 1 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #34,379 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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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!
As he digs in deep(er) than almost all of us would never do (including many “good” writers), he comes up with insights that are counter to what we might think (or assume, using logic, but without verified facts!).
Though the most known is the day time (ultradian rhythm) which I also write about, he points out how this “flips” around to be a relative opposite for “night owls”, who do their recovery in the morning (though it is somewhat known, it is largely misunderstood and misapplied) - which is very, very, very significant for that 20% of so of the population who fall into that category.
Honoring one’s natural rhythm by doing the “right things at the right time” during the day is ONE OF THE VERY BIGGEST EFFECTORS OF EFFECTIVENESS and productivity and on one’s life in general, including one’s happiness.
The book is a “nice read”, but I would recommend that you first read the highly useful, super productive “guidebook” at the end of each chapter to see what to actually do - and then go back and read the rest more at your leisure.
Implement at least the first two chapter guidebooks right away, right into your life NOW (take no more than a week!). I also recommend you do the timing trick that he recommends for weight loss, where you can comfortably eat fewer calories...
These strategies are mostly the “just do this exact (easy) thing, and you WILL get ‘x’ desired result.” NOT JUST MAYBE...
Implement these 100%, strictly, into your life and schedule and I GUARANTEE your life will be massively improved!
Keith D. Garrick
The downside: you can't separate time of day effects from the effect of what people are eating at different times of day. A lunch of processed foods that cause inflammation might account for all the time of day effects he cites here. Sure, sure, he mentions diet. But none of the research he cites is able to rule out the possibility that the effect has nothing to do with the time of day and everything to do with what people are eating 2-3 hours before the deadly 3pm decision-making black hole.
Given that we can't control or change what people are eating on a large scale, there still may be some public policy recommendations for times of standardized testing, parole hearings, etc. that are valuable based on the research covered in this book.
It's fun read, but read it with a significant amount of skepticism. In fact, human bodies and brains are really different from each other, and super-complex. The kind of easy, one-size-fits-all recommendations he makes sound like a great story, but they aren't grounded in the reality of human complexity, and if you're a business, you might not get a good ROI for trying them.
Top reviews from other countries
Daniel Pink writes this book as a companion piece to most of the books related behavioral economics. The subtitle of this book is the scientific secrets of perfect timing. As the title says, it helps you decide when to start or stop performing an activity. So you learn how to do with the dozens of book and use the knowledge gained in this book to decide when to do what you learned. The book has a small cheat sheet summarising what you read and how to implement those at the end of each chapter. When you are planning activities in the future, you can revisit these cheat sheets.
These books are always an exciting read. If you follow productivity topics avidly, you must have read some of the examples before. But it is still interesting to see another person's perspective of these examples just like how we watch reruns and remakes of successful films. These books are not taxing and hence can be completed quickly. The challenge is to implement what you have read and also recall what you have learned. It is better to revisit the cheat sheets periodically.
Reading the chapter on morning larks and night owls, which took the concept beyond what you usually hear, made a lot of sense as to the times of day, and how, I work well and less so. In addition to being a fascinating read each chapter contains a section on practical applications. Now I know when I'm best off doing my creative thinking, the benefits of an afternoon nap and a possible reason why my recent visit to the doctor was worse in the afternoon than in the morning.
Humans are no exception, and in fact have a daily biorhythm that is slightly over 24 hours. The external world events like the local time, sunrise and the daily schedules readjust our day. Apart from a normal sleep duration of about 7 hours, the rest of the day, for two thirds of us begins with a peak capability in the morning till noon, tapers into a trough till about 4 PM and recovers till about 9 PM broadly speaking. Awareness of this pattern would enable us to plan our day in such a way that we focus on the most important tasks before noon. The book highlights the fact that surgeries performed between 2 and 4 PM are prone to more than four times the error than those performed in the morning. We are at our lowest at 2:55 PM to be precise. An afternoon siesta for about 20 minutes is recommended to improve our day. Vigilance breaks that goes through a check list for example, can reduce mistakes. Restorative breaks like a siesta or a short walk in the park tend to enhance performance.
While two thirds (or third birds) follow a normal daily pattern, a fifth of us (owls) are comfortable working late beyond midnight and the rest who prefer to start the day by 4 AM are termed larks. We tend to be larks as infants, owls as teens and third birds in adulthood. Once again, the pattern changes in old age, tending to be larks.
Adequate sleep and appropriate breaks are key to high performance. Let us not blindly admire those stalwarts who survive on just four hours of sleep. ‘They are not heroes as we might think…, but are fools who are likely doing subpar work and maybe hurting rest of us because of poor choices’, is a powerful statement in this book.
It is also interesting that the book has extended this concept beyond a daily routine. Timing of our graduation is a great example. Those who graduate during a recession end up with lower starting pays, and it takes nearly two decades to catch up with those who graduated in a booming economy. Business school students graduating in a bull market are more likely to end up with a job on wall street, and hence likely to become insanely wealthy, compared to others who might be just extremely rich.
Everything that we do seems to follow a pattern in time and timing. Projects start with a bang, slump mid-way and recover towards the deadline. A good project manager should split the project into logical milestones, celebrate each of them and ensure that the team works with the same level of enthusiasm throughout. Midlife crisis is a similar phenomenon that can be appropriately managed.
To enhance happiness in all that we do, it is important that we are in sync with a goal or objective, we work in sync with the team and belong to the tribe, and the work that we do is in sync with our heart. The example of the Mumbai Dabbawallas (tiffin carriers) is used as a case to aptly explain this. The dabbawallas, deliver happiness to their customers and not just tiffin.
Highly informative and extremely practical, this book is yet another Classic for Daniel Pink.
- lunch is more important than breakfast 🤯
- we should be napping more 😴
- and to enjoy united euphoria, join a choir 🎤
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 26, 2019
- lunch is more important than breakfast 🤯
- we should be napping more 😴
- and to enjoy united euphoria, join a choir 🎤