Buffy McDonald, Reference Librarian, recommends When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink.
A book about the power of timing.
There are optimal times for doing different things—from learning a new skill, to making a major decision, to invoking creativity.
One way to think about this power of timing is through the concept of circadian rhythms. Most living things have these daily rhythms that impact their behavior, moods, and performance. For example, when we wake up our body temperature is lower, and as time passes our body temperature rises; with that rise in temperature comes more alertness and energy.
Another example: When Danish schoolchildren’s test scores were studied, the researchers found that students who took the exam earlier in the day did significantly better than those who took the exam in the afternoon. The researchers also found, however, that if the students took the exam after a break in the afternoon, their scores were no longer impacted in the same way.
Our biological clock can impact our energy levels, productivity, and creativity.
We are more productive at certain times of day and less productive at others. Understanding what works well for us can be quite helpful. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to timing. We can experiment with different ways of scheduling our different types of activities to find what works best for us.
Timing is not everything, but it is a big thing.
I highly recommend reading When. It is a well-researched book with insights that could help you improve your decision-making skills as well as help you understand how you work and under what conditions you are at your best.
Hint: Frequent short breaks are more effective than occasional ones and regular short walking breaks are even better. Short, outdoor walking breaks have been shown to increase motivation, concentration, and enhance creativity in the workplace.