Benjamin Franklin’s Daily Schedule



Ben Franklin Daily Schedule

That’s a copy of Benjamin Franklin’s daily schedule. I’ve written about this before, but (for obvious reasons) I wanted to return to it today.

What I love about his schedule is how open and simple it is. Though it was a routine, it was very forgiving for all the nuances and variables that each day’s tasks and priorities seem to bring.

He had only six blocks of time scheduled each day:

  • Getting ready for the day: shower, breakfast, personal study, and prepare for work (3 hours)
  • Morning work (4 hours)
  • Review of current projects and to eat lunch (2 hours)
  • Afternoon work (4 hours)
  • Dinner and rest and wrapping up the day (4 hours)
  • Sleep (7 hours)

So simple yet still structured and helpful.

From time to time I take a look at my own daily schedule to make sure it’s serving me as well as it should be. Because I want to be the one who sets my schedule just like I am the one budgeting my finances.

A schedule, just like a financial budget, is there for the purpose of serving my goals. A schedule makes sure the minutes don’t get away from me. It helps me keep from squandering my time.

As a creative person, I’ve found the structure of a schedule is extremely empowering.

I used to think the opposite. Many folks still do think the opposite. They think “time budgets” are oppressive and that a schedule is something only prickly people do. Well, that’s silly.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

There’s no good reason a creative person should live without any sort of routine, discipline, or accountability.

What is margin if not a constraint that keeps us from overflowing our borders? It is by living with constraint that we are enabled to do our best creative work.

If you’re struggling to get a simple yet helpful schedule in place, maybe there’s something from Ben Franklin’s day that could inspire you.

Consider setting a block of time each day for something that’s important to you.

A Focus on Time

Speaking of time management — you don’t have to be (or live like) a founding father of the United States to get the most of your time each day.

I like to schedule every minute of my day, but that doesn’t mean you have to.

While you may be feeling bummed out at your current approach to time management (or lack thereof) the good news is this:

Diligence, focus, and deep work are all skills that can be learned.

As I announced yesterday, in a little less than two weeks I’m launching something that will help you tremendously. It’s a class on time management.

It’s a class for people who dislike schedules just as much as it is for those who love them.

(Go ahead and read that last sentence again.)

Now, if you’re asking how that is possible, let me tell you…

It’s possible because taking ownership of your time and attention is different than merely implementing a few quick tips for how to rock a Day Runner.™

Focus, priorities, time management, etc. are important because they’re about loving life. Again — not for prickly people, but for all people.

Which is why A Focus On Time promises to be equally relevant for those who adore spontaneity as well as those who thrive in administrative.

This is a class for those who want to get the most of their time — their life — every day.

Go here to find out all about the class and sign up to be notified for when it comes out. You’ll get first dibs at early-bird pricing, and I’ve got an updated version of my PDF ebook about procrastination that I want to send you as my way of saying thanks.