When – by Daniel H. Pink

  • 2min.

When – the scientific secrets of perfect timing

What you need to know

  1. We are Early Birds (Larks), Night Owls or a Hybrid of the two – the third bird. We are either more productive in the morning and late evening. Or afternoons and night times. Peak. Trough. Rebound. The difference between your Peak and trough is the equivalent to drinking the legal limit of alcohol. It’s a rhythm you can’t fight so embrace it – and it matters
  2. Having a nap of 25 minutes will increase your productivity by 34%. Even better, have a coffee first then sleep when you wake you’ll get a double hit of energy (caffeine takes ~30min. to enter the blood stream.)
  3. To overcome the natural trough – there a some tricks
    • Take regular breaks (every 50minutes break for 15 minutes)
    • Surgeons in some hospitals use vigilance cards to double check procedures (incidentally, best time for an operation if you have to have one, #2 slot in the day)
    • Be social rather than solo – solo work in the peak, team work in the trough
    • Outside rather than inside
  4. Most people set sort of new years resolutions – it’s a temporal landmark. But so is Monday morning, a birthday, first day of the month. Make resolutions and don’t worry too much if you break them, there are 52 Mondays in a year
  5. We tend to starting well and finish well but we alway dip in the middle… be aware. Doesn’t matter if you’re cutting our shapes, making cakes or doing job interviews. Start each one like it’s the first time.

What you’ll learn

  1. Are you a lark, owl or third bird
  2. When to go the gym
  3. Best time of day to start school
  4. To make a break list
  5. Best way to start your morning

Who should read it

  • You work in education
  • You manage people
  • You want to be creative in how you optimise productivity.