6 Time Blocks to Success

6 Time Blocks to Success : Learn to Schedule your Day Like Benjamin Franklin Part 2/2

America's first productivity coach?
America's first productivity coach?

In part 1 of the series, we took a look at how Benjamin Franklin scheduled his days and learned that Franklin divided his day into 6 time blocks, with each time block having a specific purpose. In the second part of the series, we will take a close look at how Franklin used each time block to achieve extraordinary productivity throughout his lifetime.

1. Morning (5:00 am – 8:00 am) ‘Planning’ Franklin was well known for his early rising, but early rising alone doesn’t make for a productive day. Looking at his morning schedule, Franklin would “Rise, wash, and address Powerful Goodness; Contrive day’s business, and take the resolution of the day; prosecute the present study, and breakfast.”

It is easier to focus and plan the day’s responsibilities in the early morning hours before the commotion begins. By creating our goals for a purposeful day early in the morning, we are able to focus and increase productivity. On the other hand, not planning your day in advance may lead you to be taken over by ‘urgent and important’ tasks that have you constantly putting out fires as taught by Stephen Covey. Finally, what may be the most important part of Franklin’s day was to ask the question “What good shall I do today?”

2. Noon (8:00 am – 12:00 pm) ‘Doing’ Work

3. Lunch (12:00 pm – 2:00 pm) ‘Rest/Study’ “Read or overlook my accounts and dine.” During his lunchtime, Franklin would take time to read and overlook his accounts. Even during lunch, Franklin would make sure that he worked to improve himself.

Although we may not be able to work at such high levels of productivity like Franklin, we can take the cues and implement them to fit our schedule and energy. Do you have extra time and energy during lunchtime? Have you been meaning to finish that book you started? Or do you want to get a little exercise in during lunch? With a little creativity, we can use lunchtime further our self-improvement.

4. Noon (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm) ‘Doing’ Work

5. Evening (6:00 pm – 10:00 pm) ‘Wrap-up/Leisure/Reflection’ Franklin used his evening time to wrap-up the work from earlier in the day and had also allotted leisure time with music and conversation. He also took time to reflect on the day and asked himself “what good have I done today?”

After a long day’s work, take time to wind down, whether it be through exercise, music, and/or a wholesome dinner and conversation. This will help you to relax and prepare you for a good night’s rest. But, before going to sleep, do you reflect on the day’s happenings? What good have you done today?

6. Night (10:00 pm – 5:00 am)Sleep’

No one will deny the great productivity achieved by Benjamin Franklin was just a coincidence. Looking at his daily schedule, we are able to get a glimpse of why he was able to achieve so much during his lifetime. Retired at 42, Franklin was free to spend most of his time in leisure, but instead found himself hard at work inventing and writing. In the morning, he planned his day, then took action ‘doing,’ till the end of the day, when he would wind-down and reflect on the day’s events. Waking up at 5:00 am and sleeping at 10:00 am may not work with our schedule, but by taking the cues set forth by Franklin, we can plan each day to be as fulfilling and productive as you want.

What good will you do today?

photo by: nostri-imago

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