Daniel Pink digs into whether there is such a thing as perfect timing. His book When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing attempts to answer this question and explain how there is more to timing than most of us believe. Holly Adams and I both read the book recently and decided to bring our discussion of it to the podcast this week.
Lark, Owl, or Third Bird
We’ve all heard someone called a night owl. But did you know there is some research that shows some of us work better later in the day. While others do their best work early in the day. And the vast majority of us, actually fall in the middle – what Pink calls third birds. Another study I found calls these people hummingbirds.
Regardless which of the three you are, there is a time of day when you are the most productive followed by a trough or a low point, and then a rebound. The time of productivity comes roughly 7 hours from the mid-point of your average sleep time. Pink says that our most analytical tasks should be done during that first peak of productivity, while creative tasks can be done either than or during the rebound timeframe.
And to get through the trough, he recommends a quick shot of caffiene followed by a short nap – a nappachino. The reason being is the caffiene will be at its peak when you awake from the nap.
Another timing trend Pink discusses is how many people tend to take on something significant during the last year of a decade – meaning when we are 19, 29, 39, 49, etc. A large number of first time marathon runners are at an age ending with a 9. When people tend to make major life changes – whether it be focused on health, wellness, wealth, or personal achievement – we tend to do this right before turning a milestone age.
Overall Holly and I both enjoyed the book. For me, it took far longer to read than I anticipated. I believe this was because each chapter was so full of information, I needed time to process and reflect on how what I had just read would impact me and my life. There are a number of great takeaways. And Pink provides a summary and tips on implementing the findings. These pages are beneficial as it takes the complex ideas and turns them into actionable concepts.
Meet Holly Adams
My guest this week is a fellow consultant and passionate leaner, Holly Adams. Holly has served in various Human Resources roles in different industries for more than 20 years. In April 2018, she opened her own practice, Holly Adams Consulting, to provide clients with a coaching partnership that brings valuable guidance and intelligence to the development process. She has a master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and is passionate about topics such as trust, leadership, grit, self-awareness, and mental toughness. Holly loves learning and believes in the power of gratitude, green smoothies, and coffee.
Holly and I are planning to do another book discussion on the show again soon.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Holly Adams Consulting
- Daniel Pink
- When: The scientific secrets of perfect timing
- Brain function of night owls and larks differ, study suggests
- 10 signs that show you’re a morning lark or a night owl
- The Pursuit of Purpose archive
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