When What Matters

Asian man standing in front of a wall with a number 1 painted on it looking thoughtful

“I’ll have the chocolate fudge cake with cream…”


You’ve been there.  A full and hearty meal, stuffed to the gills and we want more.


It’s okay though, dessert goes in a separate stomach… doesn’t’ it?


What’s interesting is that if you wait 15 minutes or so you’re less likely to eat that dessert. 


There’s something about the body and senses being warmed up, maybe being in eating mode, that makes it easier to continue stuffing yourself. The 15 minutes lets your body’s food signals cool down, the frenzy mode to pass and you’re less likely to need a new belt.


The same applies to work scenarios.  That situation where you’re at the end of the day and just know it would be quicker to finish what you’re doing rather than do it in the morning.


The same task will take half an hour now but two hours tomorrow.  You’re in the flow, your mental RAM has the information loaded up and you’re clear of irrelevant thoughts.


Tomorrow you’ll need to warm up and find your flow.  You’ll wonder how easy it was yesterday and dilly dally until the thing you know should take 30 minutes has taken 90 and you’ve not actually started it yet.


This delay has been costly.


On the other hand, waiting 48 hours before making a (large) purchase has been shown to drastically minimise the likelihood of you making that purchase.


Cue, abandon cart emails, insistence from salespeople to buy today, and short deadlines on price offers.  Tools to take advantage of the happy hormones floating around your body.




You see timing does matter.


Knowing how timing affects your brain and your body is vital in understanding when you’re best placed to do certain activities and tasks.


For instance, I do my best work early afternoon, do better in the gym late morning and play my best golf first thing (when my mind isn’t cluttered with other things).


Productivity isn’t always about understanding WHAT to prioritise but WHEN to prioritise it.


We talk about what to do so much it’s hidden the power of when.  ‘When’ can make something that seems to be not working into something that does just by changing when you do it.


Try experimenting with when you’re attempting to embrace new habits, it may surprise you. 


After all, it’d be weird having dessert after breakfast.


Wouldn’t it?


If you want some help figuring out the what or when or, when to do what, let me know.


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