Book review: When by Daniel H. Pink

When by Daniel H. Pink
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Links: AmazonTBDGoodreads
Publication Date: January 9, 2018
Source: Borrowed

Everyone knows that timing is everything. But we don’t know much about timing itself. Our lives are a never-ending stream of “when” decisions: when to start a business, schedule a class, get serious about a person. Yet we make those decisions based on intuition and guesswork.

Timing, it’s often assumed, is an art. In When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, Pink shows that timing is really a science.

Drawing on a rich trove of research from psychology, biology, and economics, Pink reveals how best to live, work, and succeed. How can we use the hidden patterns of the day to build the ideal schedule? Why do certain breaks dramatically improve student test scores? How can we turn a stumbling beginning into a fresh start? Why should we avoid going to the hospital in the afternoon? Why is singing in time with other people as good for you as exercise? And what is the ideal time to quit a job, switch careers, or get married?

When I first saw When show up at my library, I was pretty excited. So were a lot of other people, because I ended up having it on hold forever before I finally got the email that it was ready. Then I got distracted, as I often do, by a bunch of other books I’d checked out or bought or decided to read for the heck of it, and all of a sudden the book was due back in two days and I had to marathon it. (Why do I do this to myself?) Luckily, it’s only 272 pages and let’s be honest, it’s not that deep. It’s a really quick read.

The book is fine. Just fine. I don’t know that I really learned anything. I don’t know that it really lives up to its premise. But it’s fine. If anything, this book is about learning to listen to your body. Pink advises us not to try to change ourselves to fit someone else’s schedule. He says not to try to make important decisions when you’re tired and to plan your workday around your natural highs and lows. None of this is really that groundbreaking, but it’s entertaining, at least.

Would I recommend it? I’m not sure. Maybe if you like psychology or you’re looking for some non-fiction that doesn’t require a ton of thinking. If you’re looking for something really insightful, you can skip this one.

Have you read When? Are you interested in psychology?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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10 thoughts on “Book review: When by Daniel H. Pink

  1. kavish says:

    The afternoon slump part was a bit interesting coz it’s something I’ve always faced but never thought about. Since then, I’ve made it a point to not do work that require much thinking in the middle of the day.
    Other than that, I agree, it was just fine. Not a bad read, but didn’t exactly learn much that I didn’t know.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sara @ The Bibliophagist says:

      Oh, I definitely experience the afternoon slump too! I do my most complicated things right after I have my coffee and save the easier things for the middle of the day. I guess I never really thought about that before, but he was right about that.


  2. inknpaper85046788 says:

    You always review book that sparkle my curiosity…this is one of them. I do like books about psychology, but I predict I will fall asleep while reading this book. I read a few pages ( Amazon) and, as you said, the content of the book is fine, but there is something off about it. Maybe…the writing style? Too dry? Too many facts? Too predictable? If I have time to read it I will tag you in my review so we can share thoughts and feelings….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. inknpaper85046788 says:

    Yes, I think I might fall asleep lol..
    I will tag you in my review, if I am able to find and read the book. I am sure it is an interesting reading . Do you think it has potential for lesson plans on time for high schoolers or middle grades students?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sara @ The Bibliophagist says:

      It’s mostly about listening to your body and not trying to force yourself to do important things when you’re tired, so I’m not sure that it would really be helpful. Unless you wanted to talk about time management so that they’re not leaving things to the last minute 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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