finding the right time

William Liao
2 min readMar 30, 2023

You can save yourself from an absurd amount of wasted effort by knowing the difference between finding time versus finding the right time.

Not all minutes in the day are created equal and here is why:

For the last two nights, I’ve been sitting at my desk from 8PM to 9PM trying to complete a creative task (details at the end if you’re curious).

Both nights, I hopelessly stared at my computer screen and failed to get it done.

The reason why was pretty obvious in hindsight: my brain was thoroughly drained from work earlier in the day and was not up to the task despite my best efforts.

Realizing this, I scheduled to work on this task during my lunch hour today instead — it’s early enough in the day that my brain will have plenty of fuel, and it’s at a particular time of day when I do not feel pressure to constantly monitor work messages.

Equipped with more mental energy and focus compared to previous nights, I was able to it done in 20 minutes.

While admirable, the last couple of nights I dedicated to working on this creative task were clearly the wrong time. I was not in a state of mind to work effectively, and the price was 2 hours of my life.

You should give timing the same thoughtful consideration you give any other important thing in life because it is just as powerful, if not more, at influencing the outcome as the effort itself.



William Liao

Taiwanese American, daily blogger of ideas about impactful work in service of others, photographer (