The Power of When by Michael Breus

Harrison Wendland
11 min readSep 10, 2019

I read this book after reading When: The Scientifics of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink and thought that it might be a good complement to it. While there were plenty of great takeaways from this book and definitely one of the most impactful that I have finished this year, it was structured differently than was Daniel Pink’s book. This was all about the way that each of us are structured as individuals. We are all very different people and operate based on a different chronotype — our internal biological clock. Chronotypes are also defined as behavioral manifestation of underlying circadian rhythms of myriad physical processes.

The first thing that I noted was the 4 different chronotypes that the author shared. To find out your chronotype, take the author’s online quiz here or maybe you’ll be able to determine it for yourself just by reading what I’ve written. I am a lion and ideally would sleep by 10:00 and wake by 5:30 each morning.

4 chronotype categories

1. Dolphins — insomniacs, intelligent neurotic light sleepers with low sleep drive
2. Lions — morning-oriented driven optimists with a medium sleep drive
3. Bears — fun, loving, outgoing people who enjoy a solar sleep schedule and have a high sleep drive
4. Wolves — night-oriented creative extroverts with a medium sleep drive

The author then went into a further breakdown of each of the 4 chronotypes — beginning with dolphins. I highlighted the 4 key personality traits and the 4 key behaviors along with a short explanation of some further characterizations for each chronotype which I will share below:

Dolphin’s 4 key personality traits

1. Cautiousness
2. Introversion
3. Neuroticism
4. Intelligence

Dolphin’s 4 key behaviors

1. Avoiding risky situations
2. Striving for perfection
3. Obsessive-compulsive tendencies
4. Fixating on details

Dolphins usually wake up feeling unrefreshed and are tired until late in the evening when they suddenly hit their stride. Most productive in random spurts.
Can cause anxiety-related insomnia based on their low sleep drive and light sleeping patterns.
Often get mired in details, can get lost in emotion. Are usually less…

Harrison Wendland | Write about personal development, communication, entrepreneurship & books I finish (80+ yearly). Find me on Twitter & LinkedIn