When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing

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When’s the best time to have surgery? What can you do if you want to get back on track with the New Year’s Resolutions you’ve forgotten about? What is the importance of “middles”? Dan Pink answers all these questions and more in his book When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing.  Pink packs in a lot of research and shares in an entertaining way.

After reading When, I’ve learned that healthcare workers tend to get tired as the day wears on and are apt to make more mistakes in the afternoon, but if they stop before performing a task and go through a checklist for readiness, the number of errors decreases. The same is true of students. Often they’ll do worse on tests in the afternoon and if you give them breaks and a go through a checklist that more or less wakes them up and cues them into the need to be extra careful, then their performance will be on par to their morning results.

The chapter on syncing describes the benefits of working in unison. If you run with others the health benefits are greater than if you run alone. More surprising, if you join a choir and regularly sing with others the benefits equal those of exercising. Most likely you’ll have better blood pressure and other positives.

I learned that there breakfast isn’t the most important meal of the day. Lunch is. There’s no research that proves that breakfast is more important than other meals. Your results may vary.

The book goes into detail on expected subjects like napping, beginnings, midpoints, and endings, but in all the sections, I learned something new. I read the audiobook narrated by Pink. His voice was friendly and energized. The book came with PDF files so you get all the files that are in the book and help you figure out whether you’re a lark or night owl, etc. I’ve come away with a greater understanding of managing my energy levels, but it’s still hard for me to manage a daily nappuccino.

Word of the Week

Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 10.21.47 AMnappuccino: noun. The practice of first sipping some coffee or caffeinated beverage and then taking a power nap in the afternoon. According to Daniel Pink on PBS’ Newshour, this practice packs a one, two punch. You get to snooze, but you don’t lose because the caffeine kicks in and you actually wake up in 20 minute or so.

If you want to see Daniel Pink explain and also describe his book When, which teaches people how to better allocate their time for energy and productivity — and safety, click here.

“What’s this about safety?” you ask. Pink reports that people who have medical procedures in the afternoon are far more likely to suffer from healthcare workers’ mistakes.