The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing

Riverhead, 2018 more...

Editorial Rating



  • Scientific
  • Eye Opening
  • Concrete Examples


Daniel H. Pink makes a compelling argument that “timing is everything” as he examines the role that time plays in human interactions. A large existing body of work already evaluates how to address projects, trends, and issues; this book launches what Pink calls a new genre of “when-to” books. He delves into the science of timing and taps into research from various fields. He presents valuable analyses as he addresses the time-related factors that affect people’s daily habits. He discusses the importance of “beginnings, midpoints” and “endings” and the role of timing in group dynamics. Pink complements each chapter with a “Time Hacker’s Handbook” that offers worthwhile exercises to help readers incorporate his when-to concepts into their personal and professional worlds. Pink’s guide will particularly help those who’d like to improve the flow of their days, projects, work and personal schedules, as well as managers who want to boost productivity and workplace satisfaction.


“Timing is everything.”

Pink offers valuable lessons about why it matters to give questions of when-to as much consideration as you give questions of how to. He builds his book around the central premise that timing affects the choices everyone makes on a regular basis. Whether to focus on a person or project, to marry, to change jobs, to share good or bad news or simply to go for a run are all types of “when decisions.” Though timing is everything, most people make these decisions based on guesswork or intuition instead of deliberate consideration. People often treat timing as an art, but Pink provides research and case studies demonstrating that timing is actually a science. Findings from varied disciplines – anesthesiology, anthropology, endocrinology, chronobiology, economics, social psychology, and more – provide insight into how better timing can help people work smarter and improve their lives. To incorporate these ideas into your life, Pink advises, begin considering decisions based on “when-to” questions, rather than the how-to perspective prevalent in most time-management methods. With this new when-to strategy in mind, you may gain a better grasp on how the divisions of time within a day, project, career or lifetime create a framework and can lead to meaningful consequences.

About the Author

Daniel H. Pink is the New York Times best-selling author of A Whole New MindDrive and To Sell Is Human.  

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