‘When’ by Dan Pink Book Review: The Startling Importance of Timings

Published on: Wed 9 January 2019 by Admin

‘When’ by Dan Pink

Score: 9/10

Biggest TakeAway: 

  1. Different times of the day are better than others for certain tasks or activities
  2. Not having a break is, well, insanity!
  3. Ignoring these facts will have a measurable impact on productivity, creative and ultimately, success
    (And that there is endless evidence to support each of the above!)

Who Should Read it: Anyone who want to be more productive; business owners, people managers; anyone with children

P.S. Don’t’ forget to read until the end where there’s a chance to win all three books shortlisted from RightTrack Learning 2019/Q4 BookClub!

Shocking Pink

Decision making

We all start January wanting to be more productive, right? Well this book stuffed full of facts and figures harvested from scientific journals and alike, consumed by Dan Pink and regurgitated into easily re-digestible nuggets that shouldn’t be ignored. And if your interests were piqued by the Book Review preceding this – The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg – you will certainly be interested in checking this one out too.

In his usual, no-nonsense style, Pink describes how our natural bodyclocks (diurnal rhythms), made up of troughs and peaks, “influence corporate communications, decision-making and performance across all employee ranks and business enterprises across the economy.”

The extent to which the mere time of day has is well illustrated by real life example: the effectiveness vs ineffectiveness of medical staff (the statistics are staggering), the difference it makes to children’s test scores (and how countries like Sweden are responding), the impact it has on the judicial board process (and which criminals are let out on parole, or not) and even how it can impact share prices… to name just a few!

Practical Pink

productivity clock image

One of the best things about this book is the ‘Time Hackers Handbook’ provided at the end of each chapter. There he provides self-assessment tasks, practical tips, tricks and techniques, and convenient summaries for quick reference.

Some of these include:

  • How to Figure Out your Daily When – a 3-Step Method
  • 4 Tips for a Better Morning
  • Eighty-Six Days in the Year When you Can Make a Fresh Start
  • Pause Like a Pro
  • Five ways to Combat a Mid-Life Slump
  • Give Kids a Break – Hard-Hitting Case for Recess
  • When you Should go First

Pink Excerpts

Time management

Finally, just in case, my mini-rant about how interesting this book is isn’t quite enough, here are some excerpts from ‘When’ for you too:

  • “The performance change between the daily high point and the daily low point can be the equivalent to the effect on performance of drinking the legal limit of alcohol”
  • “Time of the day effects can explain 20% of the variance in human performance on cognitive undertakings.”
  • “A break causes an improvement that is larger than the hourly deterioration.”
  • “[NASA] found that pilots who napped for up to forty minutes subsequently showed a 34% improvement in reaction time and a twofold increase in alertness”

Competition Time

For a chance to win all 3 books shortlisted from RightTrack Learning 2019/Q4 BookClub share one of these the three book reviews on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook and tag RightTrack Learning.

The books are:

  1. ‘The Power of Habit’ by Charles Duhigg
  2. ‘When’ by Dan Pink
  3. ‘15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management’ by Kevin Kruse