Ben Franklin's Daily Schedule

Continuing with my fascination of schedules, this is Ben Franklin's:

  • Wake at 5
  • Work from 8-12
  • Lunch for 2 hours
  • Work from 2-6
  • Sleep at 10

Those in-between times from 5am-8am and 6pm-10pm are what's really interesting.

Contrive the day's business and take resolution of the day. Prosecute the present and... breakfast!

What great language!

It's so easy for me to just start working after breakfast. My workday starts without much thinking or deliberation.

Lately I've tried to be more thoughtful and ask Ben's morning question, "What good shall I do this day?" And with that, I write down 3 things that I want to accomplish before I walk out of my office at 6pm.

I need to get into the habit of being more reflective and asking the second question, "What good have I done today?". Instead of abruptly ending my day at 6pm, I'll probably transition out of work mode around 5:45 and leave 15 minutes for reflection.

If I reach the end of my day and don't meet my 3 goals, I would imagine asking myself:

  1. Why didn't you meet your goals?
  2. Was the thing that prevented you **really** more important?
  3. Is this avoidable in the future?
  4. Should I make the missed goal(s) a part of tomorrow's?
  5. Were the goals I chose this morning, in fact "good goals" or could they have been better?

This kind of retrospective activity is healthy and productive on a daily level. It's one more step in organizing your time and attention.

What's also important (and healthy) is that outside of work times... I'm going to play like hell and enjoy my family. No work outside of work or everyone suffers.

What about you? How do you organize your day?