Dispersal is a key process in the ecology and evolution of spatially–structured populations. Dispersal may occur before or after reproduction, a feature ignored in models analysing the eveolution of dispersal. Using a simulation model, we examine how the temporal order of reproduction and dispersal within the life cycle affects the competition of genotypes with different dispersal strategies. We found that the evolutionary outcome in time–discrete models depends significantly on the temporal order of dispersal and reproduction, provided that: (i) density–dependent dispersal strategies are involved into competition, and (ii) the environment is temporally variable. Our results suggest that selection can act in different directions, depending on the relative timing of dispersal, reproduction and environmental fluctuations in the life cycle.