Productivity, clevernes, incitement, goal giving, and even success have a strong correlation with timing. Understanding how aging works in different contexts, and how to make it work for you, is important at variou grades- personal and professional, individual and organisational.


Daniel Pink is the author of six diaries, including To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth about Moving Others( picture my book review here ). His current bible, When, is a mix of storytelling and actionable tips-off at the end of each chapter, which he announces’ Time Hacker’s Handbook.’

Combining a range of research from psychology, biology, financials, and control, the book shows how to effectively harness the ability of timing in “peoples lives”. The material is entertaining and instructive, and forms for a practical and straightforward read.

The sections are spread across 260 pages, including 26 sheets of notes and comments. Here are my key takeaways from the book, summarised as well in Table 1 below. See also my reviews of the related records What you do is who you are , Multipliers , The Culture Code , Trillion Dollar Coach , The Messy Middle , and The Moonshot Effect .

TVariations by day

In addition to the’ buzzer arch’ of dissemination, another important curve in life is the’ U’ curve, Daniel clarifies. This bow of’ heyday, trough, and retrieval’ shows feelings, powers, and attitudes of individuals across the course of the day.

People are of three chronotypes- larks, owls and’ third fledglings ‘, according to Daniel. Larks have crest exertion in the mornings, been accompanied by an afternoon trough, and a shorter peak in the evening. Owls are the opposite, but the majority of members of us are’ third fowls’ with behaviour patterns between these two intentions. This attitude can also change with senility( larks at young ages, owls in puberty ).

Depending on one’s chronotype, one should choose to perform analytical duties at the higher peak, and chores requiring insights and invention at the second peak. In periods of physical acts, Daniel recommends doing weight-loss efforts in the morning, but heavy-duty usages in the evening when lung operate is highest. Since we wake up mildly dehydrated, imbibing a glass of water is good first thing in the morning.

” Afternoons are the Bermuda Triangles of our daytimes ,” Daniel admonishes, pointing to statistics of low agency productivity and even medical accidents in the afternoons. Vigilance cracks for squads after lunch are key to once again revise important checklists, regain individual and collective focus, and reaffirm that everyone is in sync.

Cognitive fatigue after lunch shows up in adjusts wandering from academies to courthouses. Restorative terminates are important in this regard, to bring up energy and depressions. Daniel cautions frequent short breaks( even’ micro-breaks ‘), changes( stretchings, short paths ), and quality disintegrates( preferably outdoor ).

He too preaches’ tech-free’ interruptions( without multitasking ), nutrition separates( snacking ), and cognitive destroys( swapping to a different exercise ). Instead of’ harrowing table lunches ‘, he recommends lunch in different settings( with physical and psychological squad ). Short naps and afternoon chocolate also cure( jokingly announced’ nappuccino ‘).

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” In most struggles, we should be awake to the power of beginnings and aim to make a strong start. If that flunks, we can try to make a fresh start ,” Daniel admonishes.

Temporal landmarks can serve as important motivators in this regard, such as the New Year, marriage remembrances, the beginning of the week or month, the beginnings of a semester, or anniversary of a product launch.

Some landmarks are social and commonly recognized, others are personal( eg. birthdays ). This “fresh start effect” allows people to open” brand-new mental accounts”, Daniel illustrates. It enables people to slow down and strategy better for the future. Celebrating small-minded triumphs along the way likewise helps keep up the momentum and communicates a sense of progress.


” Sometimes, hitting the midpoint- of such projects, a semester, their own lives- dazes our interest and stallings our progress. Other durations, middles-of-the-road budge and stimulate ,” Daniel asks. The’ U-curve’ shown in here as well, in the way life satisfaction is high in early adulthood, troughs towards the fifties, and picks up afterwards.

Expectations and foreshadows are high in the early phases of life, followed by disillusionment, and then adjustment of intentions. Awareness of the mid-way slump in a business project can serve as a wake-up call, and inject a healthful dose of stress and motive. In sports, being slightly behind the resist at half-time can be particularly motivating, as seen in countless basketball games.

Daniel recommends positioning interim points in long enterprises, and publicly committing to these goals. Focusing on the final repercussion can also be a motivator. Reminders of how much progress has been achieved at mid-point- as well as how much still remains- promotions. Companies should even provide the workers and directors with instructors to be aware of these effects.


Endings of chapters, semesters, projections, decades, and suffers determine our attitude in four predictable behaviors.” They help us energise. They help us encode. They help us edit. And they help us heighten ,” Daniel explains.

For example, there are noticeable spikes in first-time marathoners at the ages of 29, 39, and 49. They want to complete their first marathon by the end of the respective decade. This cousin of the’ first start gist’ is the’ fast finish accomplish ‘, Daniel jokes, referring to the sense of urgency at this phase.

People sometimes remember what happened at the end of these periods much more than what happened earlier (‘ end of life’ bias ). This is seen in politics in the shape of the’ ballot time upshot ‘, where the final year of the candidate’s operation tends to be valued more than earlier years.

Towards the end of a time( semester, place, life ), we likewise actively prune our friends to those whom we consider to be more meaningful, rather than deter a’ wide and loose’ network. Not all endings need to be happy( as seen in movies ), but the more effective ones have a sense of poignancy, a bittersweet effect revealed in a larger but more complex truth.

” The best dissolutions don’t leave us happy. Instead, they create something richer- a rush of unexpected insight, a momentary moment of supremacy, the possibility that by discarding what we wanted we’ve gotten what is necessary ,” Daniel evocatively explains.

To craft” memorable and meaningful discontinues”, Daniel recommends moving progress at the end of each day( together with looks of grateful ), having a toast at the end of a semester or project, and ending a vacation on a particularly high note.

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Drawing on instances as varied as Mumbai’s dabbawalas and NBA basketball teams, Daniel shows how timing and cultural fabric strengthen unit concert. Even in the middle of Mumbai’s” throbbing, anarchic ferocity”, lunchboxes are given” with armed accuracy and punctuality “. A Harvard Business School case study on this running was written up by Stefan Thomke.

Daniel shows how group timing is synchronised by a higher authority( boss, choirmaster, coxswain, go clocks ), reinforced by a sense of belonging to the tribe, and promoted by commitment to a higher purpose.

Social cohesion in such units is reinforced by coded tokens, dress codes, and physical customs. This is seen in the address representations on tiffin cartons, uniforms of cooks and dabbawalas, and gesticulates such as high-fives, taps on the back, and radical huddles.

In the case of choirs, radical singing is shown to calm heart rates, improved endorphin positions, raise sensitivity, and intensify a sense of meaning. Dabbawalas meet their work as not just efficient delivery but as greatnes- connecting family members through mid-day meals.

” Coordinating and synchronising with other people is a strong road to filch your physical and psychological well-being ,” Daniel emphasises. He recommends group activities like music, dance, running, rowing, yoga, cooking and improv theatre aimed at achieving’ uplift’ in this regard.

” One space that groups cohere is through storytelling ,” he adds. This includes tales of success as well as collapse and vulnerability.” Organic procedures , not artificial ones, generate cohesion ,” he explains. This includes spontaneous emergent acts like gathering in a coffee shop before project or a saloon after work.

The book ends with an interesting chapter on how many conversations represent tense in different ways. For example,’ strong future’ expressions like English, Italian, and Korean require parties to clearly distinguish between present and future.’ Weak future’ lingos include Mandarin, Finnish, and Estonian.

This book was written before the coronavirus crisis, and it would be interesting to survey research on how a crisis opens up a brand-new ability of timing. A crisis represents challenge as well as opening, and it is high time methodical frames developed for undertake catastrophes in a society at several levels.

The author also cautions readers to regularly record their lives and knows, so that it is possible to even view them later as a season vessel. This helps” stir the present working a’ present’ for the future .” Life is not just about living in the moment, but tying suffers and possibilities into a coherent whole.

” The challenge of the human condition is to bring the past, present, and future together ,” Daniel indicates off.

( Edited by Teja Lele Desai)

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