Daniel Pink: Become A Master of Perfect Timing, Episode 10

Looking back over your life, how many things would you say happened due to perfect timing? It’s a very interesting question and one that Dan Pink has concluded is not so much a matter of random things coming together, but is actually something we can have a great deal of influence over. I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to talk with Dan about his newest book, “When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing.” In our conversation, Dan shared a wealth of great information about how we can become masters of the daily timing inherent in our lives. You won’t want to miss the insights Dan shares.

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We tend to think that timing is random – but timing is really an art form that we can cultivate and systematize for our advantage

It’s quite ironic that among the many things we try to take control of in order to be productive and effective, one of the most influential pieces of what enables both productivity and success is often completely ignored. That influential piece is timing. Dan Pink has spent the last few years scouring volumes of research that demonstrate the timing is not a random chance thing that we should hope and pray for, it is something we should take control of. In Dan’s words, “The use of timing is an art form and we can cultivate and systematize it for our advantage.”

The story of 500 million Tweets and a predictable pattern of mood in the course of a day shows that we can make systematically better decisions about when we do things

Can you imagine what it would be like to analyze 500 million tweets in a research study? One of the studies Dan Pink devoured in his examination of timing was a deep dive into just that. What was discovered through the study was amazing! The research shows that there is a predictable pattern of mood that cycles up and down throughout the course of a day. When you understand that and that you have your own cycle of moods, you can begin to systematically make better decisions about the types of things you do at certain times of the day. That’s one of the things that Dan says the average person can add to their toolbox to help them become more productive in the work they do.

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Dan Pink shares how digital tools can disrupt our ability to fuel creativity and productivity

Digital tools are a wonderful addition to the resources we have that enable us to be productive. But they can also be a powerful distraction to becoming a master of perfect timing. Those who are mindful of the need to be focus on and attuned to the present moment will take control of their devices instead of letting their devices take control of them. Dan demonstrated that kind of wisdom during our conversation by keeping his phone away from him while he was having a conversation with me. He said he’s convinced that the absence of distraction that comes from the notifications and lights on his smartphone, enabled him to concentrate more, give greater value to you, the listener, and recall information he needed for our talk in a much more effective manner. Dan has a handful of suggestions just like this that you can apply to your daily life, so be sure you take the time to listen.

How can you manage the timing of your day to be more creative and productive? Dan Pink has practical advice you can apply immediately

For the end of this conversation with Dan Pink, I was very curious how he would suggest the average person could take control of the timing issues of their day and thereby enhance their creativity and productivity. True to form, Dan did not disappoint. His advice centered around the diligent planning of breaks throughout the day, wise use of the different time cycles of the day, and much more. If you would like to learn how you can become a master a perfect timing in your own life, you need to listen to this episode and read Dan’s new book.

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Outline of This Episode

  • [1:09] What does leadership mean to Dan Pink? – Creating new leaders
  • [1:58] Why Dan wrote his newest book, “When”
  • [3:05] Timing is not focused on nearly as much as other factors, and it should be
  • [5:12] The story of 500 million Tweets and a predictable pattern of mood throughout the day
  • [9:16] How organizations frustrate the cycle of productivity most people naturally fall into
  • [13:01] How have lessons about timing changed in the digital era?
  • [18:08] Is the timing of the major events of 2017 an example of punctuated equilibrium?
  • [22:25] Dan’s tips on how to become a better master of timing in daily life

Resources & People Mentioned

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