If you want to accomplish something, you need to be intentional. It will help to know when you get your best work done. Some people are morning persons, some people function better at night. Either way, know when you’re at your best.

Benjamin Franklin accomplished lots of things in his life: just skimming trough his Wikipedia page will give you an idea: he was a writer, printer, politician, one of the founding fathers of the United States, he invented the lightning rod, the Franklin stove, he founded public libraries and Philadelphia’s fire department. The list goes on and on.

Franklin had a ruthless schedule. Not sure if he started out as a morning person, but he surely became one, because he started his days at 5 AM.

A couple of things to take away from his schedule:

  • Start intentional. Benjamin Franklin awakened with answering the question “what good shall I do this day?”
  • Block time for important things. 5 AM to 8 AM was devoted to study, making up a plan for the day and have breakfast. You might be familiar with “decision fatigue”: you can only make so many good decisions in a day before. This is the theory behind doing your most important things in the morning: you’re least prone to make mistakes because of what happened earlier.
  • Schedule your winding down for the day. Franklin set apart some time every day to put things in order, have supper, listen to music and chat with friends. He used the end of the day to reflect as well.
  • Schedule your sleep. I read somewhere that you day starts when going to bed. Sleeping is important to regain new energy, it is connected to how you feel and all kinds of health related things.

Is this easy? Not at all. In his autobiography (great book), Benjamin Franklin writes:

“In truth, I found myself incorrigible with respect to Order; [he called his strict schedule his Order] and now I am grown old, and my memory bad, I feel very sensible the want of it. But, on the whole, tho’ I never arrived at the perfection I had been so ambitious of obtaining, but fell far short of it, yet I was, by the endeavour, a better and a happier man than I otherwise should have been if I had not attempted it”

Make an intential plan, try to stick to it and figure out what schedule works to be most productive.

Thanks Duco, for the tip.