8 min read ⌚
The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing
We all want to know “When” to do something or hit the perfect timing.
It seems as if, many questions are still ignored and looking the other way has not helped.
Daniel Pink sheds light on the process of building that momentum, and understand the nature of human psychology.
It’s needless to say that delving into this matter could be of particular use to society and the individual.
So, let’s unravel it!
Who Should Read “When”? And Why?
While reading, we were positively shocked to hear about the importance of getting the timing right. Most often, we take this to be a trivial and less important thing to be worried about, but the facts paint a different picture.
Apparently, it’s absurd to designate a leader who could head-up this whole initiative.
With that said “When” is clearly a must-have or better must-read for everyone who wants to go through the aspects of human psychology.
These tendencies vary on a case to case basis but are a great reminder of how people behave and react at different stages of life.
About Daniel H. Pink
Daniel H. Pink is a revolutionary within the confines of biology and psychology and was the co-executive producer of the National Geographic Channel.
He mainly covers topics that revolve around business, behavioral science and psychology.
Amongst other things, he is a best-selling author according to the New York Times Magazine.
“When PDF Summary”
Michael Macy and Scott Golder, professors from Cornell University, conducted a comprehensive study regarding human emotional patterns. They analyzed more than 500 million tweets, coming from every corner of the world and came to a startling discovery.
It was the consistency that left them shocked not the discrepancy as one might have guessed. According to the study, tweeters were displaying energetic and enthusiastic behavior in the morning and experienced a deteriorating mood in the afternoon; while in the evenings, they’d normally perk up.
The tweeter’s background or religious beliefs had nothing to do with this flow.
Nearly three centuries before this sociological breakthrough, scientists have already explained or established the biological clock theory.
It was predicated on the understanding that all living things, regardless of their structure, have it.
The DRM (Day Reconstruction Method) designed by behavioral scientists provides us with more data and tracks hour-to-hour mood changes.
British and Swedish professors compiled a list of questions that ultimately became the first test designed to measure our internal clock system.
This was later improved at the hands of distinguished chrono-biologists Martha Merrow and Till Roenneberg.
They coined a few terms to explain how our body functions during the 24-hour time frame: Larks, Third Birds, Owls.
It may seem complex and very misleading at first glance, but let’s dig up a bit.
To understand their perspective on human behavior, you have to answer the following questions:
- What time do you usually hit the bed?
- What time do you usually wake up?
- What is the middle of those two time-periods?
On the chart below you can get a glimpse into how humans are categorized regarding this matter:
The lion’s share goes to Third Birds.
Most of us actually fall into this category, because we are on neither side of the extremes. In a practical sense, this indicates that you go to bed somewhere between 11-12PM, and wake up at around 7-9AM.
Genetics also argues that people on the extremes are not made, as many would assume, but born.
For Thomas Edison, his fellow scientists often said: You are more likely to find him in his lab at midnight than at any reasonable hour.
According to Daniel Pink, age is also one of the driving factors that determine one’s chronotype. For example, teenagers tend to be leaning more towards Owls, and that’s not surprising. Their midpoint in sleep is around 6-7AM, while most parents fall into larks.
When it comes to the sexes, men and women also slightly differ in this regard.
According to the study, men tilt toward eveningness, while women toward morningness.
So that would cover the basic behavior tendencies that we as humans tend to nurture, both consciously and unconsciously.
There’s a dilemma going around:
How to figure out our daily “WHEN.”
The most straightforward would be by adhering to the three-step method.
- First, verify your chronotype
- Second, find out what needs to be done
- Third, take a look at the chart and find out which time of day suits you the best:
Daniel advises you to track your behavior on a weekly basis. Hence, you need to answer these three questions every ninety minutes:
- What are you doing at the moment?
- On a scale from 1 to 10, how alert or switched on are you?
- On a scale from 1 to 10, how energetic do you feel?
You can use your smartphone, or whatever device you have at your disposal to set up an alarm clock and follow the exercise.
Let’s give this task the benefit of the doubt, and ponder about the difficulty of optimizing your schedule.
It’s impossible to make it flawless, and it’s not advisable to circumvent the issue.
So, the one thing you can do is minimize the adverse effects by:
- Being aware
- Working the margins
They say: Each morning is a new chance to fulfill your dreams.
In addition to that, let’s list four tips for getting the most out of this very despised time of day:
- Drink a glass of water when you wake up.
- Don’t drink coffee immediately after you wake up.
- Soak up the morning sun.
- Schedule talk-therapy appointments for the morning.
Daniel believes that the emotional and cognitive aspects of our lives are the ones that deserve the attention. With that said, it’s utterly destructive to neglect the physical element by labeling it as insignificant.
He encourages people to do a bit of morning exercising, and states the reason:
- Lose weight (when you haven’t eaten for 8 hours, your blood sugar is low, and the body is using the fat stored in the tissues to produce energy)
- Elevate your mood
- Studies suggest that people are more likely to be consistent with the routine if they do it in the morning
- Perform better during the day
- Avoid injuries
People openly argue about the need for good night’s rest, and how to define the perfect bedtime. Nowadays, when productivity is regarded as the most valuable gem, and society struggles to adhere to this principle, mapping out a plan seems like the only option.
– Find the best time to take a nap (ideally between 2.pm and 3. pm)
– Find a peaceful place
– Drink a cup of coffee before you decide to catch forty winks
– Set a timer (30 minutes nap is the perfect time to reinvigorate yourself)
– Rinse and repeat
In chapter 3, Daniel addresses the issue of marriage.
It comes as no surprise that people have this natural urge for reproduction, and science is clear on this. So, the question which raises many eyebrows is – When is the perfect time to tie the knot?
Here are three general guidelines that you ought to follow:
- Just hang in there, and wait until you are old enough
- Don’t get married before you’ve finished your education
- Don’t rush, and allow your relationship to mature
In 2010, Nobel Prize-winning economist Angus Deaton teamed up with four social scientists and created the age distribution curve of well-being. They interviewed approximately 340,000 people and got the following results:
We get the impression of a U-curve that slightly slumps in the middle and goes back up again.
The same applies to both sexes, and the differences are literally non-existent with regard to life-happiness over the years. Numerous studies conducted in the aftermath of this revelation only validated the deep-rooted theory.
The most shocking piece of the puzzle was the fact that even monkeys exhibit the same mood or well-being trajectory. Zookeepers and animal researchers used advanced techniques to get to the bottom of this phenomenon.
The question is, how to cheer up after a midlife slump?
Is there something we can do?
In fact, there are five steps that when implemented correctly could invigorate you:
- Set Interim Goals
- Commit to Those Goals with All Your Heart
- Stop Your Sentence Midway Through (Ernest Hemingway used this tactic to gain momentum the next day)
- Don’t break the Chain
- Fantasize and Find A Role Model Who Evokes a Sense of Credibility
Bruce Tuckman, an organizational psychologist, refined a theory which showed how groups progressed through time:
- Phase 1: Form and Storm
- Phase 2: The Midpoint
- Phase 3: Perform
Brené Brown presents an all-encompassing definition of midlife:
It’s the period “when the Universe grabs your shoulders and tells you ‘I’m not f—ing around, use the gifts you were given.
But you are entitled to a response and here’s what you should do:
- Prioritize Your Top Goals
- Develop Mid-career Mentoring Within the Organization
- Mentally Subtract Positive Events
- Write a Few Paragraphs About Yourself
- Wait for Your Turn
Let’s look at a case.
In the early 1930s, Mildred Marie Wilson gave birth to a boy – James Byron Dean. Jimmy enjoyed a happy life, as his family moved from Indiana to Southern Carolina right about the time he was starting at school.
A couple of years later, his mom died of cancer, and Jimmy’s father sent him back to live with his relatives.
He finished high-school and was raised in the traditional American spirit.
In 1951, he dropped out of UCLA, to pursue an acting career. He was lucky to secure a couple of commercial and TV roles at such a young age.
At the age of 23, he was cast in the film adaptation of a John Steinbeck novel.
The movie quickly became a blockbuster and got him a nomination for an Oscar. That same year, he even landed a bigger role, which earned him the Oscar.
Four months before his 25th birthday, James Dean died in a car accident.
Daniel Pink tries to ascertain which of the following scenarios is better:
- Live a longer life, but never tasting success; perhaps even ending up homeless
- Or, having all the success as early as possible
According to researchers, people tend to rate higher the Jimmy scenario – pointing to an upturn.
In all honesty, our lives are not always dramatic, but they do entail turmoil and challenges.
With that said, Daniel Pink believes that the life-curve unfolds as a three-act drama:
- Act One – Launch
- Act Two – Harsh Realities Descend
- Act Three – The Bittersweet Culmination
Key Lessons from “When”
1. The “When” is not rigid
2. Nurture ideas that can sustain you
3. Thrust through life
The “When” is not rigid
Even though we listed a couple of universal truths, that doesn’t mean that you cannot influence your personal “When.”
And yes, it’s not as straightforward as many people assume to get an aerial view of how things unfold.
But, it’s great to start from the hurdles that block your path to enlightenment in the mattering question.
Nurture ideas that can sustain you
The key in life is to learn and mature inwardly.
If the focus is predominately placed on your well-being, then you have to be very careful with regards to the mindset you cultivate.
As a matter of fact, people often cling to worthless ideas, that produce disastrous results in the long-haul.
Thrust Through Life
Whomsoever told you that life is fair and smooth, lied to you.
It may come as a shock to you, but today’s generation is all about fairness, which is a meaningless concept if you don’t attach some substantial weight to it.
So, we hate to say it, but you’d be better off if you understand the challenges that may come your way.
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“When Quotes”Empathy is about standing in someone else's shoes, feeling with his or her heart, seeing with his or her eyes. Click To Tweet If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story. Click To Tweet High performers, its research concludes, work for fifty-two minutes and then break for seventeen minutes. Click To Tweet Innovation and creativity are greatest when we are not at our best. Click To Tweet We simply don’t take issues of when as seriously as we take questions of what. Click To Tweet
Our Critical Review
Being completely immersed in doing something, is undoubtedly the way to surmount the obstacles.
We kind of get the idea that any game is beatable if you are apprised of the facts and shortcuts.
In addition, we extracted the key takeaways from this book in an attempt to root out misleading agendas that permeate society.