Learn to Schedule your Day Like Benjamin Franklin

Are you aware of how you spend your time?

Hey Benny!  You call that a smile?
Hey Benny! You call that a smile?

Most everyone knows Benjamin Franklin as the man on the $100 bill. But did you know he was a philosopher, statesman, inventor, and writer among other things? Benjamin Franklin was able to accomplish more in his life than many people combined. How did he have time to accomplish so much?

The answer lies in the fact that he considered constant self-improvement as a necessity. He was a strong proponent of early rising, even writing a book titled ‘Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise’ praising the virtues of early rising. But early rising alone doesn’t increase productivity if you don’t schedule your time efficiently. Although we have forgotten much of his contributions, we are fortunate enough to revisit him via the great works he has left us.

His autobiography outlines the daily schedule he followed and made sure each and every hour was used to his potential:

“The precept of Order requiring that every part of my business should have its allotted time, one page in my little book contained the following scheme of employment for the twenty-four hours of a natural day.“

Benjamin Franklin’s Daily Schedule

Morning

5 am

Rise, wash, and address Powerful Goodness; Contrive day’s business, and take the resolution of the day; prosecute the present study, and breakfast.

Morning Question:

“What good shall I do today?”

6 am

7 am

Noon

8 am

Work

9 am

10 am

11 am

Lunch

12 pm

Read or overlook my accounts and dine

1 pm

Noon

2 pm

Work

3 pm

4 pm

5 pm

Evening

6 pm

Put things in their places. Supper. Music or diversion, or conversation. Examination of the day.

Evening Question:

“What good have I done today?”

7 pm

8 pm

9 pm

Night

10 pm

Sleep

11 pm

12 am

1 am

2 am

3 am

4 am

Benjamin Franklin scheduled his days into 6 time blocks that consisted of 1 block in the morning, 3 in the afternoon, 1 in the evening and 1 at night. As we can see in Benjamin Franklin’s schedule, he was very methodical and deliberate in his approach to each day, waking up early and planning the day in the morning. In today’s busy world, you may not be able to construct a schedule like his, but we can learn a lot by studying Franklin’s schedule to aid in improving our daily productivity.

In part II, I will be discussing Benjamin Franklin’s 6 time blocks to highlight the benefits of having a structured schedule that is tailored to your lifestyle and needs.

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2 thoughts on “Learn to Schedule your Day Like Benjamin Franklin”

  1. @Dave – Although his schedule is not for the faint, we can definitely learn from his schedule and use it to improve our productivity, good luck!

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