When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink
3 words: thought-provoking, practical, fun to read
OK, so we know me & self-improvement books are like this, right?
Well, this one takes it up a notch. Several notches, actually. Because here’s a phrase you don’t often hear a person utter, when referring to a self-improvement book:
“This is so much fun to read, I don’t wanna put it down!”
No, the usual statements go something like this:
- “This book is blowing my mind.”
- “I keep making a list of all the new thing I wanna try.”
- “Wow! Suddenly things make so much sense!”
This book caused those responses, too, but the “This is so much fun to read” comment is the one that stands out here. And reading the Acknowledgments explained why: Pink’s wife read the whole book out loud to him, so he could edit it. Every book written with this approach has delighted me. (See Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton)
So: much of what I loved about When involved the writing style and the tone.
But people, the content! The information! The stuff a person can learn!
Here are a few that stood out for me:
- We all have an afternoon slump. There are tactics we can use to counteract it, but basically we have to work around it.
- We also have a midpoint slump (and sometimes a midpoint spark). When we’re in the middle of a project, we can slow down and lose enthusiasm. But it’s also at the midpoint — halfway to a deadline — that we often kick it into gear. (That’s the midpoint spark variation.)
- The perfect nap: the nappuccino
- I’ve got bad news and good news… (Deliver the bad news first)
And here’s a tip I’ve been actually using and feeling pretty good about:
At the end of the workday, spend 2-3 minutes writing down what you accomplished that day — because making progress on goals is a significant motivator. I often think of small steps on projects as moving the ball down the field, and if I stop and appreciate those little steps, it can be darn satisfying.
I whipped through this book in 2 days flat. I could not and would not put it down. And then told the Dear Man all the things that are fascinating about this book. And then I also told his Dear Sister and Dear Brother-in-Law, who were captive in the car with us.
This will also happen to you. You’ve been warned.
Give this book a whirl if you like.. exploring everyday life through new eyes, thinking about timing, considering factors that surprisingly affect outcomes, Freakonomics, compulsively readable prose
What books have you found compulsively readable or quotable?