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Maniac Book Club: When by Daniel Pink

Maniac Book Club: When by Daniel Pink

When: The Scientific Secrets to Perfect Timing by Daniel Pink offers compelling arguments to suggest that we can accomplish more by selecting the appropriate time to take action.

“Our lives present a never-ending stream of ‘when’ decisions- when to change careers, deliver bad news, schedule a class, end a marriage, go for a run, or get serious about a project or a person. But, most of these decisions emanate from a steamy mixture of intuition and guesswork. Timing we believe is an art.”

In When by Daniel Pink, the author reaffirms that understanding our energy levels is at the core of being more productive. My biggest takeaway from this book was the importance of eating lunch! Recent research suggests that lunch, not breakfast, is our most critical meal of the day. It reduces the effects of the afternoon slump and has been shown to improve our overall health and well being, both of which can help us be more productive.

  • Timing is really a science that can be planned and measured to maximize our time.
  • Beginnings: When we start something, we are always excited about it but as the project progresses, the excitement tends to fizzle out.
  • The middle: Reaching a midpoint of a project, a game, a life – sometimes brings us down or it can give the project a new life. If you can manage the energy in the middle you can likely finish the project.
  • Endings: Tend to energize us and get us to reach the end of the line. Endings are a reminder to slow down and find meaning.
  • Everything has a natural progression: A peak, a trough (I am going to call this a dip… don’t love that word), and a rebound.
  • During our peak productive hours, we do the best work that requires sharpness, vigilance, and focus.
  • During our recovery hours, we do our best work that requires inhibition and resolve.
  • People born in Fall and Winter are more likely to be Larks (morning people).

Maniac Takeaway

In a previous book club, The Power of When, by Michael Breus, I discussed the importance of understanding your circadian rhythm in order to be more productive. In When, Pink expands on this concept by explaining that your best
breakthroughs will happen outside of your peak productive time. This is confirmation of a message also found in our book selection Rest, by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

When: The Scientific Secrets to Perfect Timing by Daniel Pink is available on Amazon.

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