The Power of When

The Power of When
by Michael Breus, PhD


Genre: Nonfiction, Personal Development

Summary: After studying circadian rhythms and the world of sleep, Breus discovered that if we do certain things at certain times we can be more effective.  He takes you through four types of people: dolphins, bears, lions and wolves.  Each has character traits that make them who they are and at the same time stating their very different needs for certain activities to take place at certain times.  Certainly each type has overlap and over-generalizations, but the author can pinpoint pretty closely where you land.
Are you a Dolphin?  Dolphins are about 10 percent of the population and are intelligent insomniacs.  Not only are they light sleepers, but they also are wired with nervous energy.
A Lion?  Real lions are morning-oriented optimists that have a medium sleep drive and account for 15-20 percent of the population.
Are you a Bear?  Bears sleep with the rise and fall of the sun, sleep well and make up 50 percent of the population.  They are social and struggle significantly during afternoon hours at work.
Finally, are you a Wolf?  Wolves are nocturnal, creative extroverts with medium sleep drive and take up 15-20 percent of the population.
But why does all this matter?  Breus discovered that a wolf won’t be as successful in the morning at accomplishing goals or asking for a raise as a lion.  Dolphins were noted to avoid risky behaviors and striving for perfection, yet they are happiest when left alone to do their work.  When you know when your body functions at its best, you can make smarter choices in every aspect of your life.  I’m sure you also noticed how much Breus talked about sleep.  Each type needs sleep, but each one needs a different kind.  The Power of When can encourage you to discover the perfect time for every responsibility and pleasure in your life, to make the very most of your time.

Breus’s book gives you a quiz to determine your type, and then once you have identified it, you can simply use the book as a tool to learn your strengths and weaknesses (which you may not have even known you had!).  He helps you determine the best timing for a wide variety of scenarios in your life, such as “the perfect day”, goals for your schedule and the best times for working on relationships, fitness and health, sleep, eating and drinking, work, creativity, money and fun.

Truthfully, it was intriguing to see how my “type” (a Bear) played into my daily life.  His suggestions of delaying my morning coffee (…deep breath…) and keeping my hardest or most difficult tasks in the morning instead of the afternoon made a lot of sense.  It has certainly made me consider shifting a few of my daily tasks around.  If you like learning about how to work more productively, consider checking out The Power of When.  You might learn something new about yourself, your family and the best time to ask for that raise for which you have been pining.

For other book reviews, click here.