So back in 1791 Ben Franklin,
or at least his publishing house
because he had died a year prior,
published his autobiography.
And in that autobiography
Franklin actually laid out his daily schedule.
Now you may have seen a picture of this schedule
online before but what I wanna do in this video
is actually go through the schedule
and see what we can learn from it,
both in terms of what’s useful in the schedule
and what it might actually be missing that you should have in yours.
Let’s get into it.
Alright, so first things first,
at least according to this schedule,
he woke up at 5 am every single morning.
Which means that he definitely lived up to his early to bed early to rise mantra.
And this is the first thing I wanna get into
because as I talked about in my video
about how to wake up early
you don’t actually need to wake up early to be successful.
This is something that Ben Franklin definitely advocated
but there are many different people throughout the world
who have been successful even if they wake up at 8 am,
10 am, or whatever hour that they feel like
because we are all different.
In fact, people have different chronotypes
which are essentially biologically set times
at which they tend to go to bed and get up.
So figure out what yours is and live by that
not just some schedule from a dude who lived 300 years ago.
So the first real item of business on this schedule
is the morning question.
What good shall I do this day?
And this is setting an intention
and I think it’s a great habit to adopt in your own life
because setting an intention
allows you to give yourself direction for the day
and when those urgent tasks or distractions
come up later in the day
you’re gonna be able to keep you eye on the prize
and avoid them.
After he’d set that intention,
the next items which are rise, wash,
and address powerful goodness.
Which was his personal word for god.
And after that he would contrive the day’s business
and take the resolution of the day.
Which is a big fancy, chancy way of saying
make a daily plan.
So this is another great habit to start doing.
Setting the intention
gives you some direction for the day in a general sense
but sitting down and making a daily plan
allows you to make it more concrete.
You can break that big task, that big important work
down to the subtasks that are a lot easier to understand
and put into action.
And then you can order them so you know
exactly how you’re going to tackle the day.
After making his daily schedule,
Franklin would prosecute the present study.
And that’s some old English
that I didn’t know how to interpret
but the popular interpretation
is that he’s basically doing some studying
on whatever he’s learning at the time.
And it’s pretty safe to say that Franklin was a voracious,
life-long learner since according to Wikipedia
他的称号很多 他是作家 画家
he was, among other things, an author, printer,
政治理论家 政治家 互济会会员 邮件管理员
political theorist, politician, freemason, postmaster,
科学家 发明家 市民的积极分子
scientist, inventor, civic activist,
statesman, and diplomat.
Now this is a part of his schedule that I really like
because it’s something that I do myself.
I find it really helpful
to have some sort of learning project that I’m pursuing
independent of my work or a book that I’m reading
at basically all times.
And when I wake up in the morning after I brush my teeth
and feed my cat
I read every single day for about 20 or 30 minutes
before doing anything else.
And my friend Martin
does the same thing with language study.
He’ll get up, he’ll do some studying in Spanish or French,
and then get into the day’s work.
So if you have an independent learning project
you now spend some time on that before you get into the work
that’s gonna exhaust you
and deplete those willpower reserves
and if you don’t, you should probably get one.
Next up we’ve got breakfast, which is breakfast.
I eat breakfast in the morning,
probably a pretty good thing to do,
and then we move into the main work block of the day.
And Franklin split this up into three different tasks.
First up there’s a four-hour block of work
followed by a two-hour block for eating and reading
and going over accounts,
and then a final four-hour block of work.
And I have a few comments here.
So the first thing I wanna note here
is that because he mentioned in this noon segment
that he does some light reading or goes over accounts,
I interpret that as doing shallow work during his noon hour.
And if he’s doing shallow work during the noon hour
then it stands to reason
that he’s at least trying to do his deep,
highly-concentrated work during those two blocks of time.
So it’s a good idea to try to schedule differences
between your intense work that’s really important
and the work that doesn’t require quite as much brain power
or quite as much attention.
Secondly, at least on his schedule,
Franklin did not make time for breaks
during his main work hours.
And this is something that you definitely want to do.
I made a whole video on why breaks are important.
So I’m sure that he probably did it in real life.
I mean, I can’t go back in a time machine to verify,
but working for five hours at a time
without a break is pretty tough.
And you’re gonna hit a point during that work session
where your efficiency is gonna go down.
So make sure you’re taking some breaks,
going for walks, getting a little bit of exercise,
and breaking up those work sessions with some relaxation.
So once the work ends, the first thing that Franklin did
was to put things in their places.
Essentially put things away
and reset his space back to neutral.
Now this reminds me of a technique
a friend told me about a long time ago
which is called clearing to neutral.
Basically, you clear your workspace
back to its neutral clean, ready-to-go state
at the end of the day once you’re done with your work.
And the reason you wanna do it then
rather than before you start the next day’s work
is that it’s a shallow task.
It’s really easy to do,
it doesn’t take a whole lot of willpower, and if you do it
then when you come into your work the next day
the workspace is ready to go
and you don’t have to waste any time or willpower
getting the space ready.
You can just steamroll
right into the most challenging work of the day.
Once he had everything put away
the next things were supper, music,
diversion, and conversation.
And I’m sure that because life is complex even back then
he left a lot off the schedule so I do think it’s telling
that he put this on the schedule.
That shows that he really did value time with friends
and relaxation and that he understood
the importance of taking breaks
and making time for recharging in between work sessions.
And that brings us to his last true activity of the day
besides sleep, which I’ll get into in a second here,
and that is the asking of the question
what good have I done this day?
And asking that question, reflecting on the day’s events
and what you’ve done is just as important
as setting the intention in the morning.
If you get yourself into the habit
of reflecting on what you’ve done during the day
then you can start to pinpoint what went right
and what went wrong.
And when you know what went wrong you can start to target
why it went wrong and then make changes
which will help you improve the next day.
Now he does have sleep written on his schedule
and he slept about seven hours a day
and the only real thing I have to say here
is that just because some dude 200 years ago
put seven hours of sleep on a schedule
doesn’t mean that seven hours
is the optimal amount of sleep.
Everyone needs a different amount of sleep
so when you’re creating your schedule
make sure you tailor it to the amount of sleep
that your body actually needs.
记住 你的睡眠 营养
Remember, your sleep, your nutrition,
and your exercise are the levers
with which you can control your body’s energy levels
and hence your ability to get work done.
So don’t overlook them.
Alright, so to recap here
I wanna pull a few of the best lessons out of his schedule
that I found and share ’em here.
And I also wanna mention
a few of the things that were missing
that you should think about
when you’re creating your own schedule.
First, I really like
how he tried to start every single day with purpose.
He set an intention for the day and he created a daily plan
to make sure that he carried it out.
I also like how he made specific time for shallow work.
He had those two work blocks
but then he would love over his accounts
and do easier stuff over the lunch hour.
And I also like how he made it a point to schedule time
for clearing his space to neutral,
getting everything cleaned up so that it was ready
for the next day’s work.
Now a few things
I thought the schedule was missing include exercise,
taking small breaks during those work sessions,
and, through no fault of his own
since he lived 200 years ago,
a lot of the things that we have to deal with in life
像是上下班 上下学 烹饪等等
like commuting to work or school, cooking, et cetera.
So when you’re making your own schedule
take schedules like this
or schedules from other famous people you read online
as inspiration not as an exact recipe.
执行好的计划 加上它 体验它
Take what’s good, add it in, experiment with it,
and figure out what works for you.
Also if you find that you’re not perfect
at following your schedule
realize that Ben Franklin wasn’t perfect
at following his either.
In his autobiography right after he wrote out the schedule
Franklin wrote that, “I was surprised to find myself
“so fuller of faults than I had imagined;
“but I had the satisfaction of seeing them diminish.”
So if you have one crappy day
or you have an interruption that comes up
that messes with your schedule just accept it,
forgive yourself, and then wake up the next day
and set that intention again.
And as time goes on,
because you deliberately built a schedule for yourself
you’re gonna start building routines and habits
that will make these things happen less often
and in turn you’ll be more successful.
So guys thanks for watching this video.
Hopefully you enjoyed it.
I’m gonna link to that schedule
down in the description below.
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