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Friday, April 26, 2019

Review: When

When is Daniel Pink’s book about timing. A short read, it covers several things you already know, like the timing of your circadian rhythms and the difference between Larks and Owls, as well as how your circadian rhythms change  over your life cycle. The surprising thing about this isn’t so much the well known difference between kids and teenagers, but that despite all the research we have about how important time of day is, schools still largely ignore all that research and set school start times too early, mostly because of parents wanting to drop off their kids before their first meetings at work.

Each chapter in the book has an addendum with “time hacks” on how you can best improve your life using the knowledge you have. One interesting one is the “Nappuchino”. The idea here is that it takes about 25minutes for caffeine to hit your bloodstream, and about 6 minutes for you to go to sleep. So what you do is drink a cup of coffee, set an alarm clock for 30 minutes, and take a nap, and the alarm clock will go off at the optimal time for the coffee to kick in and give you an afternoon boost!

There are chapters on starting long term projects and the mid-life slump. These are less interesting, though apparently one common phenomenon is that that most projects don’t get into gear until halfway to a deadline. Good managers can make use of that phenomenon by setting up a checkpoint/review midway through a project. Another interesting idea is the pre-mortem, where you brainstorm ideas of how the project could fail prior to embarking on the project, and then using that as a checklist of things not to do.

Overall, the book’s short, so even if you only get a few ideas from it, it’s worth the read. Recommended.

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