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The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing

Daniel H. Pink

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The instant New York Times Bestseller
#1 Wall Street Journal Business Bestseller
Instant Washington Post Bestseller

"Brims with a surprising amount of insight and practical advice." --The Wall Street Journal

Daniel H. Pink, the #1 bestselling author of Drive and To Sell Is Human, unlocks the scientific secrets to good timing to help you flourish at work, at school, and at home. 

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 W
hen: 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, Pink distills cutting-edge research and data on timing and synthesizes them into a fascinating, readable narrative packed with irresistible stories and practical takeaways that give readers compelling insights into how we can live richer, more engaged lives.

"Pink delivers the bad news about our time-based weaknesses with some good news about how to compensate for them. More delightful still, many of these tips involve simply slowing down, taking breaks and stealing naps. Alas, none of this advice will prevent time from flying by, but at least there are proven ways to fill our hours a bit better." -The Wall Street Journal

"Known for his popular books on motivation and creativity, Pink tackles the science behind how we organize our time and how we should set up the routines of our days." -Washington Post, 11 Leadership Books to Read in 2018

"[Pink] unpicks compelling patterns... And he includes handy 'time-hacking' advice on how to put the insights divulged into practice." -Nature

"Daniel Pink is one of the few non-fiction authors alive today capable of filtering the work of so many scientific minds through his original human stories and onto the page. He is doggedly diligent in his academic research yet his examples are accessible... Like a long walk with a good, funny, wise friend in a leafy park, reading this book is time well spent." -Harper's Bazaar

"The breadth of the book's scope is impressive... Pink makes a point to end each chapter with takeaway points that readers can apply to their own lives. When is engaging, conversational and tightly edited, making it an easy yet important read." -Associated Press

"When contains a cornucopia of compelling information and insights." -Philadelphia Inquirer

"Helpful tips and insightful solutions." -Forbes

"Pink should change many people's understanding of timing with this book, which provides insights from little-known scientific studies in an accessible way... By the book's end, readers will be thinking much more carefully about how they divide up theirs days and organize their routines." -Publishers Weekly

"Consistently applying the principles laid out in the book could have dramatic impacts on one's life and on society." -Washington Post

"Solid science backed by sensible action points." -Kirkus

"Helpful, inspiring and thoughtful advice." -Booklist

"[When] reveals that timing really is everything... This marriage of research, stories and practical application is vintage Pink, helping us use science to improve our everyday lives." -BookPage

"Minutes are precious-and easier than ever to waste. Daniel H. Pink's deeply researched but never boring study could be a turning point. College students and business managers alike may find new ways to organize their schedules and ease difficult decisions by using the 'hidden pattern' of time to their advantage." -The Wall Street Journal

"A new thought-provoking book about time and timing." -Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette

"[Pink's] latest book, When, draws on research from psychology, biology and economics to explore how timing impacts every aspect of our lives." -EdSurge

"In this amazingly actionable and equally enthralling book, Dan tackles all the big timing questions." -LinkedIn

Praise for Daniel H. Pink and his books:

"Provocative." -Malcolm Gladwell

"Compelling." -The Washington Post

"Like discovering your favorite professor in a box." -Publishers Weekly

"A frothy blend of utility and entertainment." -Bloomberg

"Convincing." -Scientific American

"Radical, surprising, and undeniably true." -Forbes

"Audacious and powerful." -The Miami Herald

"Right on the money." -US News & World Report


Einband Taschenbuch
Seitenzahl 320
Erscheinungsdatum 08.01.2019
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-525-54278-0
Verlag Penguin LCC US
Maße (L/B/H) 17,2/10,5/2 cm
Gewicht 150 g
Verkaufsrang 15918


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  • 1.
    The Hidden Pattern of Everyday Life

    What men daily do, not knowing what they do!

    -William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing

    If you want to measure the world's emotional state, to find a mood ring large enough to encircle the globe, you could do worse than Twitter. Nearly one billion human beings have accounts, and they post roughly 6,000 tweets every second. The sheer volume of these minimessages-what people say and how they say it-has produced an ocean of data that social scientists can swim through to understand human behavior.

    A few years ago, two Cornell University sociologists, Michael Macy and Scott Golder, studied more than 500 million tweets that 2.4 million users in eighty-four countries posted over a two-year period. They hoped to use this trove to measure people's emotions-in particular, how "positive affect" (emotions such as enthusiasm, confidence, and alertness) and "negative affect" (emotions such as anger, lethargy, and guilt) varied over time. The researchers didn't read those half a billion tweets one by one, of course. Instead, they fed the posts into a powerful and widely used computerized text-analysis program called LIWC (Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count) that evaluated each word for the emotion it conveyed.

    What Macy and Golder found, and published in the eminent journal Science, was a remarkably consistent pattern across people's waking hours. Positive affect-language revealing that tweeters felt active, engaged, and hopeful-generally rose in the morning, plummeted in the afternoon, and climbed back up again in the early evening. Whether a tweeter was North American or Asian, Muslim or atheist, black or white or brown, didn't matter. "The temporal affective pattern is similarly shaped across disparate cultures and geographic locations," they write. Nor did it matter whether people were tweeting on a Monday or a Thursday. Each weekday was basically the same. Weekend results differed slightly. Positive affect was generally a bit higher on Saturdays and Sundays-and the morning peak began about two hours later than on weekdays-but the overall shape stayed the same. Whether measured in a large, diverse country like the United States or a smaller, more homogenous country like the United Arab Emirates, the daily pattern remained weirdly similar.

    Across continents and time zones, as predictable as the ocean tides, was the same daily oscillation-a peak, a trough, and a rebound. Beneath the surface of our everyday life is a hidden pattern: crucial, unexpected, and revealing.

    Understanding this pattern-where it comes from and what it means-begins with a potted plant, a Mimosa pudica, to be exact, that perched on the windowsill of an office in eighteenth-century France. Both the office and the plant belonged to Jean-Jacques d'Ortous de Mairan, a prominent astronomer of his time. Early one summer evening in 1729, de Mairan sat at his desk doing what both eighteenth-century French astronomers and twenty-first-century American writers do when they have serious work to complete: He was staring out the window. As twilight approached, de Mairan noticed that the leaves of the plant sitting on his windowsill had closed up. Earlier in the day, when sunlight streamed through the window, the leaves were spread open. This pattern-leaves unfurled during the sunny morning and furled as darkness loomed-spurred questions. How did the plant sense its surroundings? And what would happen if that pattern of light and dark was disrupted?

    So in what would become an act of historically productive procrastination, de Mairan removed the plant from the windowsill, stuck it in a cabinet, and shut the door to seal off light. The following morning, he opened the cabinet to check on the plant and-mon Dieu!-the leaves had unfurled despite being in complete darkness. He continued his investigation for a few more weeks, draping black curtains over his windows to prevent even a sliver of light from penetrating the off