Book Reviews

Book Review: “When – The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing”

Review written by Silas Grant –

Book number 9 was a microcosm of all of the books I’ve read thus far in the second half of 2020. Each books seems to have come across my desk at the right time. Perfect timing for me reading each book is an understatement. So, to read a book about perfect timing is perfectly timed for me right at this moment in 2020 as well as my life.

The concept: Daniel Pink (the author) once believed that timing was everything. Writing this book caused him to believe that everything is timing. The book describes the need for humans to measure and track time. He begins early in the book describing the circadian rhythm and the fact that what we know as the 24-hour day is related to our internal 24-hour cycle. “Everything is timing” means that no matter what, we can’t get away from time. And in our daily, monthly, yearly cycles and beyond, there is always something to do; we have to figure out when to do what’s most effective at that time. When you do particular things impacts how effective you will be.

Key takeaways:

Waves of the day: Pink describes three portions of the day – Peak, trough, and recovery. Pink states that your performance throughout a 24-hour cycle will have ups and downs. The best time to perform a task depends on the nature of the task. Pink talks about when you should make tough decision, work on hard tasks, and when you should be creative.

Breaks and naps: Take them! But what you do and how long you do it during these breaks will determine if you can recover and make the most of the second or third part of your day.

Midpoints matter: Pink states that we underestimate the importance of midpoints. Most of us get excited at the beginning of an initiative or get nervous when we are approaching the end. But the middle can be very important. He gives some good examples of midpoint turnarounds and midpoint progressions that can help people in the midst of a long journey.

Happy endings: Simply put – We remember the end of most experiences no matter how long they were. If you want to give someone a memorable experience, focus on capping off the event/experience in a great way.

Synchronizing with others: Working well with others is important. There has to be a common, external motivation driving the group. There has to be a sense of tribe among the group. And there has to be something in the hearts of each tribe member that wants to accomplish the goal for the sake of others.

All in all, this was a good book. It was not what I expected. My expectation was a book about monumental companies and businesses that “struck while the iron was hot”. I expected to hear grand examples about grand people. That was not the case. However, I learned some really straight-forward and practical examples and concepts to take with me in all that I do.

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