The Magic of “When”

Right after I finished reading Flow, I jumped into a book by one of my favourite pop psychology authors: When, The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink.

Barely a week and a half later, I’m halfway done and really enjoying it.

I love this guy’s research, easily accessible style, and practical tips and suggestions he delivers alongside all the studies and examples.

Drive was another great one, which follows the science behind what motivates us, but When is all about timing.

When to tackle the most challenging tasks of your day.

When you should book your next surgical procedure.

When you should schedule your next interview or start trying to form/break a new habit.

His research shows that timing really is everything. That if you aim to focus on a more cognitively challenging task in mid-afternoon, you’re more likely to make mistakes or have a harder time with it than if you take it first thing in the morning or after an afternoon break.

He introduces the concept of the “nappucino,” and goes into detail about what makes the perfect nap, and how naps are not a sign of weakness, but a gesture of self-care that more of us should embrace. Same goes with actual lunch breaks and actual opportunities to mentally and physically detach yourself from work to get your head clear before the afternoon trough.

If you’re interested in any of these things, you should take a gander at this book, especially if, like me, you have trouble convincing yourself to walk the heck away from your desk for lunch or are constantly pushing yourself through the afternoon mental fog.

Do you have any go-to strategies to clear your head or wake yourself up when you start flagging during the day?

Let me know in the comments!