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Mark Di Vincenzo: When’s the best time to Tweet?

The story behind Buy Shoes on Wednesday and Tweet at 4:00 begins at about three in the morning on an otherwise uneventful July day in 2007.

That’s when my wife, Jayne, got up, found a legal pad and pen and started writing furiously—in the dark. A few hours later, I looked up in a daze. She was standing over me and holding a legal pad. She couldn’t wait to tell me about an idea she had about a book I should write, about the best time to buy things.

Even in my dazed state, I thought it was a great idea, but I was in the middle of writing a book about a very different topic (an international drug ring that had a very significant base of operations in the city where I live). I wanted to work on that book, so I put Jayne’s idea on the back burner, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I decided to broaden her idea, so I prepared a proposal for a book about the best times to buy and do things and go places.

That led to the publication two years later of Buy Ketchup In May And Fly At Noon: A Guide To The Best Time To Buy This, Do That And Go There.

Buy Shoes on Wednesday is the all-new second edition, and although it was just recently released, I’ve been asked a lot about my favorite tips out of the hundreds in the book.

Buy Shoes on Wednesday and Tweet at 4

Here are 10 of of my favorite tips from the book:

When is the best time to color your hair?

When it’s slightly dirty. To understand why, you have to know what hydrolipid film is. It’s an oil that protects your scalp, and after you wash your hair, you don’t have a lot of it on your scalp, so you don’t want to color your hair then. The dye can irritate your scalp.

When is the best time of year to lose weight?

The winter. Who would have thunk it? Isn’t winter the season in which we bulk up and hide our additional poundage under big, thick sweaters and heavy coats? For some of us, yes. But there’s something called brown fat, which is also called good fat. It’s called good fat because it burns calories instead of storing them, and it goes into overdrive—burning and burning and burning—when we feel cold. A study with mice that were exposed to a 41-degree room for a week lost 14 percent of their weight and 47 percent of their body fat even though they were given a high-calorie diet, including twice as many calories as usual. A study with humans sitting in a room chilled to 61 to 66 degrees also found that their brown fat burned calories at a faster rate than if they were in a warmer room.

When is the best time of day to eat lunch?

11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Yes, that’s right. A growing number of dieticians and doctors say we should be eating four meals a day: a large breakfast, two 300-calorie lunches and a small dinner.

When is the best time of the day to eat a doughnut?

In the morning, if that’s all you have. The American Dietetics Association isn’t advocating a heavy doughnut consumption, but it says breakfast is such an important meal, that we should eat a doughnut if we have nothing else more nutritious to eat. The sugar in the doughnut will give us energy for a couple of hours, giving us time to eat something healthier, preferably a protein-heavy meal.

When is the best time to get into a car with an older driver?

When the driver is your grandmother or grandfather. Some seniors, especially those who can barely see over the steering wheel, get a lot of grief about their driving habits. But research by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, which examined accident claims in 15 states and Washington, D.C. from 2003 to 2007, found that the injury rates were .7 percent for grandparent drivers and 1.05 percent for parent drivers.

Which is the best time of the week to take your car in for a repair?

Monday mornings. Car repair owners say their customers tell them if they have to be late for work one day a week, they don’t want it to be on a Monday. So fewer of them drop off their cars—or wait for their cars—on Mondays. That makes it an excellent time to go. In fact, some car repair shops say they are so slow on Mondays that they will cut deals with customers to get work in the door. But you have to ask for them.

When is the best time to start teaching your child math?

At 14 months. Children who are exposed to numbers – even if it’s hearing a parent count to 10 over and over – do better in math when they start school.

When is the best time to start to teach your child to swim?

At 12 months. Children who start taking lessons this early are less likely to drown later in life. And at that young age they haven’t heard stories about drowning, so they are less likely to be afraid of the water.

When is the best time of day to do housework?

4 p.m. At this time we receive an energy boost, which carries over into the early evening, and behavioral psychologists say our moods tend to be good then. So the sight of a mop or a vacuum cleaner won’t make us sad.

Which is the best month to sign an apartment lease?

December. The 12th month tends to be cold and dark, and many of us are busy going to holiday parties or running Christmas-related errands, so who wants to move then? Very few people, and that’s why it’s a good month to move. Apartment complex managers need to fill vacancies, even in December, so they are more likely to offer enticements for those who are willing to move then. Enticements might include a free month’s rent, a lower security deposit or a shorter lease.

—Mark Di Vincenzo, author of Buy Shoes on Wednesday and Tweet At 4:00

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