When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink

Review by Anne Sovik

when

Are you a lark, an owl or a “third bird?” You likely know, but the checklist in When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing will clarify your sleep-wake rhythms. Knowing which bird you are, and what chronobiology research reveals about each type, might motivate you to alter your daily patterns.

Daniel H. Pink uses charts, graphs, clear prose and short chapters to share psychology, biology and economics research on timing and how we can use it for better work, health, exercise and decisions. He advises us to use our daily peak periods to tackle our most challenging assignments, those tasks that require focus, decision-making and motivation. “Whatever you do,” he writes, “don’t allow mundane tasks to creep into your peak periods.”

During the “trough” part of the day, when we have lower energy and our decision-making faculties falter, taking a short nap might be wise. Are you napping in the most beneficial way? Pink has some useful tips. One surprising example: drinking some caffeine beforehand. It won’t take effect for about twenty minutes, so you’ll wake with the caffeine’s extra boost. For most people, owls excepted, troughs strike in early to mid-afternoon, the reason Pink advises us to avoid scheduling any surgeries during that time.

Read the book to discover the value of breaks, how and when to make a fresh start, the importance of midpoints and the benefits of synchronizing activities with others.

Review courtesy of Northfield Public Library

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