Notes from a Reading Journal: “When,” by Daniel Pink. Wow, timing really is everything! Thanks to this book, I will aim to NEVER make an important decision in the afternoon again! I will also stay away from doctor’s appointments in the afternoon. 

Some of my best personal gains from this book came from Pink’s tips on how to structure your workday based on your chronotype (I am a lark), and when and how to schedule more frequent restorative vigilance breaks and naps. Not surprising, nature breaks and tech-free breaks replenish us the most!

Pink suggests starting by scheduling three breaks per day, and listing when you will take the breaks; how long they’re going to last; and what you are going to do during the breaks.  

As for how to finish your workday, Pink recommends closing out the last few minutes of your day by writing down what you accomplished since the morning. Then, lay out your plan for the next day. This is PERFECT advice for your Work Journal

Lastly, I loved the study mentioned on Page 324 about time capsules and people going back to their journals and finding them even more meaningful than they expected! I guess there are no ordinary moments. Just moments that we record that make up our lives.

Quotes I Collected in my Reading Journal:

·      Page 54: “Whatever you do, do not let mundane tasks creep into your peak period.” 

·      Page 80: “Regardless of our chronotype, the afternoon can impair our professional and ethical judgment… Inserting regular mandatory vigilance breaks into tasks helps us regain the focus needed to proceed with challenging work that must be done in the afternoon.” 

·      Page 88: “High performers work for fifty-two minutes and then break for seventeen minutes.”

·     “Pause Like a Pro: Most expert musicians and athletes begin practicing in earnest around nine o’clock in the morning, hit their peak during the late morning, break in the afternoon, and then practice for a few more hours in the evening.” 

Deeper still, is the note about Warren Buffet’s conversation with his private pilot on achieving things in life. Buffet told his pilot to start by writing down his top twenty-five goals for the rest of his life, and then to pick his top five goals from the larger list. Those five goals would be the focus of his energy and priorities, and he would have to let the other twenty go until he had first achieved his top five. 

The Buffet exercise has my head spinning right now. I have my top 5 picked out, but I consider them to be ongoing projects. Personal things that require maintenance and work constantly. Relationships, health, operating businesses. The big parts of my life. Sure, I can rattle off 20 other “that would be cool to do” types of things, but as far as goals, I think staying healthy and happy and maintaining relationships will always be top 3. I’m not sure if I don’t care about enough things, or if my reaction to this exercise proves that I already had my focus on the right things. 

I’m thinking the Top 25 exercise is for people who are lost and haven’t done a lot in their lives, maybe, and they approach middle age with panic because they just haven’t done anything. My mind continues to reel, but I am not lost. I am not operating in the dark about defining goals. Maybe it is time to flex and dream a bigger dream.