The book, “When,” by Daniel Pink is crammed full of things about time and timing that make so much sense. It’s delightful to have research to back up stuff you’ve always had hunches about. Like why beginnings and endings are important, the reason synchronizing is so powerful, and the fact that you really DO need a break!

Daniel Pink’s book, 'When,' reveals the secrets of great (and sucky-bad) timing. More highlights in my Business Book Review!  #businessbookreview #when #timingiseverything Click To Tweet

Here are some highlights…

Your days have a natural pattern to them

Pink’s research shows that a few people are at their best in the evening (“owls”), but most people are morning people (“larks”) or somewhere in the middle of the two (“third birds”). Each “bird” type is better at certain types of tasks at different times of day.

Not only that, our brains don’t function at the same level throughout the day – and the difference from high to low is significant (on average, about 20% different).

Knowing what time of day you’re most effective can have a huge impact on your productivity.

You really DO need that break

Taking a break, especially before an important task, can help you improve performance. They help you focus and increase commitment to your goal.

What are the characteristics of the best, most restorative breaks? They include some sort of movement (walking is fine), are outside rather than inside, and are taken with other people. So walking around the block with your BFF and chatting about anything but work (disconnected is more restorative, too) could make you more effective at work.

Synchronicity helps groups perform better

From competitive rowing, to lunch deliveries in Mumbai, to choral ensembles, being in sync with others is crucial for top performance. And it delivers additional benefits of physical and psychological well-being.

Pink recommends activities like singing in a chorus, running together, dancing, yoga classes, and cooking together to give you a “syncher’s high.”

Starting off on the right foot is even more important than you thought…

When you start things, from your day to your career, can have a profound effect on everything from your productivity to your fortune.

For instance, if you start your career during an economic boom, it can positively affect your earnings for your lifetime. Unfortunately, the opposite is true if you start your career during a recession.

We don’t have control over the economy, but one thing that can help mitigate less-than-perfect beginnings is to leverage the power of a group. Studies show that starting as a part of a group, rather than alone, boosts success rates.

…and endings are even more important than beginnings

We love a happy ending. It’s human nature to want to end on an upswing. If you’re going to get some good news and bad news, almost everyone wants to end on a high note.

Pink also says that the end of an experience, whether it be a meal at a restaurant, a purchase, a job, or a vacation, affects our memory of it at a disproportionately high level. Which is why so many customer service reviews are about how things ended, good or bad.

Want to make a habit of ending each day on a high note every day? Make the last thing you do before going to bed writing in a gratitude journal.

Pink has tools he calls “Time Hacker’s Handbooks” in the book where you can figure out your “bird” type, and get tips and tools to apply the science of timing to ramp up your effectiveness.

What’s your “aha” from “When,” by Daniel Pink? Let us know in the comments below.