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Book Review: WHEN: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing – Daniel H. Pink


Book Review of: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing


I must admit that I’m somewhat addicted to new ideas and techniques that will keep me organized and efficient:


  • I schedule time in my day to simply “think.” That’s right…I make it a point to schedule uninterrupted time to think strategically and creatively about new ideas and solutions.
  • I make plans that center around organizing everything from my closets to my inbox.
  • I love to prioritize lists and highlight them in bright yellow once accomplished.
  • I use Action Plans (link: https://site.assessmentplus.com/5-tips-action-planning-360-feedback/) with SMART goals, deadlines, and due dates.


I’ve read the books, implemented the tips, and own more notebooks with to-to lists than is necessary – or maybe even legal! Just when I thought I had it figured it out, one of my favorite authors, Daniel Pink, provided thought-provoking and evidence-based information about what makes people good at their jobs, how they do their jobs, and – most importantly – When. It turns out that when you schedule time in your day for various tasks is a key component to the likelihood of accomplishing said tasks. After all, who knew it made such a difference whether you check your emails just after pouring your first cup of coffee or waiting until after lunch?


Do you feel like there are never enough hours in the day? Does your to-do list consistently grow, to the point where you feel like you’ll never get it all done? Do you attempt to tackle your tasks by priority but feel like everything’s important? Don’t worry – Me too! It can be quite overwhelming to manage the list of tactical tasks, the strategic priorities, the goals you’ve set, the emails to which you must respond, the phone calls to return, etc. And as one or two items are completed, four to five more seem to be added.


Pink’s research helps answer one constant question: How will we catch up? He conveys the importance of timing in decisions that affect your performance and productivity, your career, and your life. Although we may feel like we have no control over time and that it passes far too quickly, we can purposefully sync our internal clocks with the timing of the outside world. We can do this by choosing to do a specific task at precisely the best time. By making timing more intentional in our lives, Pink believes that we can then better control how our time is spent and become far more productive, leading to the accomplishment of our goals and, ultimately, success in making necessary changes.


Pink doesn’t only rely on personal experience, but cites numerous studies that support his ideas of how best to manage our time, offering practical advice about how to improve any schedule and maximize productivity and efficiency. Better yet, he suggests the best times of the day to complete specific tasks and the best times of the year to start new projects.


As an Executive Coach for many leaders who are targeting “prioritization” and “time management” as areas they would like to improve, I will definitely be sharing Pink’s advice and ideas with my clients. This is must-read for professionals who are trying to be as effective as possible and get the most accomplished in their busy days. After all, Pink’s book might just make us all feel like we’ve been given a little more time to work with – something we could all use!

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