What We’re Reading: October 2018

by | Oct 11, 2018 | Books, Self-Leadership, Strategies and Tips

The Sanger team’s 
book club recently completed Daniel H. Pink’s latest book, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. Our team has often had anecdotal conversations about the best time to complete work, so we were excited to read about the science behind it.

Here are our top takeaways and experiments:

1. Energy audits: Many team members enjoyed practicing the daily energy audit—your “daily when.” Pink serves up a useful tool to help readers understand when their energy peaks and dips throughout the day. Not everyone has the storied post-lunch slump! Our team plans to continue to schedule our most complex tasks during times when we have the highest focus. For many of us, it happens to be in the morning, but a few of us enjoy working best into the late afternoon.

2. Good endings: How often do you rush out of work or out of your study space, eager to move on to your next activity, without digesting how much you accomplished? For our team, the answer was the majority of the time. Pink stresses the importance of strong endings to any set of activities in order to boost happiness and productivity. In particular, he cites evidence that “[m]aking progress is the single largest day-to-day motivator on the job.”

To encourage an inspirational finish to the day, Pink suggests pausing to reflect on what you achieved that day and then laying out a quick plan for the following day. Silke and Michelle plan to experiment with these behaviors. Jeff noted that there are several planners available on the market that can help structure reflection on daily achievements. In particular, he suggested looking into the Full Focus Planner or Panda Planner.

3. Purposeful midpoints: Pink references midpoints—in projects, during the day, and during life—as time periods that can often be problematic. A study on teams proved over and over again that they get a majority of work done after the midpoint of a project. In other words, the day halfway between the launch of the project and its deadline creates urgency and stress that spur the team into action.

Sanger staff agreed that this regularly occurs on our project teams. We plan to continue to address when the midpoint occurs and then hold reflections on team dynamics and progress at that time.

We highly recommend When to students and teams alike! Next, our team will be reading Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well by Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone. Read along with us or check back for our thoughts!
When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing
by Daniel H. Pink