How many times in your life have you heard the expression, “timing is everything”? I’ve heard it so much that I’ve taken it to heart. A good friend of mine years ago told me “If you ain’t got timing, you ain’t got diddly”. That’s why timing is essential especially when we are doing the essential things.
I came across a cool article from Forbes.com that not only expands on this premise, but shows us how to maximize it!
According to Daniel H. Pink, author of the new book, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. we need to maximize the RIGHT times to do things in our lives. Here are four great, practical examples:
1/Get a bird’s-eye view of your day. You have determine what kind of bird you are. Are you a lark, an owl or a third bird? Larks are “early to bed and early to rise”. Owls are the opposite, and third birds are somewhat in between the two. Research shows that most of us go through the day in three stages: a peak, a trough and a recovery. “For most of us, that peak is the morning, the trough is the early afternoon and the recovery is the late afternoon and early evening,” says Pink. Night owls, you generally operate in reverse. For you, it’s recovery, trough and then peak.
2/Manage money when you’re at your analytical best. Pink says if you’re going to make financial decisions, do it at your “peak” part of your day. That’s when you’re at your most analytical. In fact, he says, you’re likely better suited to tackle many of your most important tasks each day during your peak. When you hit the trough of your day — which is when your brainpower decreases — instead of grabbing a coffee, try taking a break to boost your productivity and overall performance. Try getting up, moving around, getting outside and fully detaching….WITHOUT your cell phone. Finally, there’s the recovery period, when you’ll likely get another boost of energy that’s particularly well-suited for creative tasks.
3/Automate financially to save you from yourself. We talked about this some in my earlier post “3 Ways to Save Cash This Year.” Research shows that there are some financial maneuvers the human brain isn’t particularly wired for, including saving for things far in the future — like college for our kids and retirement for ourselves. If that’s true for you, take yourself out of the loop. Automate contributions into not just 401(k) retirement savings accounts, but also IRAs, HSAs, 529s and even emergency savings. And while you’re at it, you may want to download the AgingBooth app on your phone and take a good look at yourself — 30 years from now. Research shows looking at yourself in a prematurely aged state can provide motivation to save even more.
4/Look for small-but-mighty productivity boosts. To save yourself time and money, try asking yourself this question about every task you take on throughout the day: “Will I do this again?” If the answer is yes, then ask yourself what can you do now to make doing this in the future easier and more efficient? For example, if you find yourself sending the same types of emails on a regular basis, draft models for them. If you know you have those same things going out on certain days, schedule them on your calendar. That in and of itself will save you time and increase productivity.
See, timing isn’t just everything, it may be the ONLY thing when it comes to being more productive!