Benjamin Franklin’s Daily Schedule

(originally uploaded by Nick Bilton)

Studiomate Chris pointed me to Benjamin Franklin’s Daily Schedule. The non-clutter-person in me loves that he alloted time in the evening to ‘put things in their places’…

32 Comments leave a comment below

  1. This is fascinating! I love his morning and evening questions!

  2. As a father I can see why he leaves four hours in his day for “put[ting] things in their places.”

  3. Hmmm…. where’s exercise…?

  4. That is a really good find, thanks for sharing!

  5. His autobiography has the list of daily habits that he monitored and measured.

  6. A nice long lunch break midday….I think I need to go back to this!

  7. thanks for sharing that, I need to figure out how to wake up at 4am.

  8. From now on I’m not going to wake up, I’m going to Rise…

  9. Thanks !
    I love it!!!!

    Enjoy the moments,

  10. Id like to see his wife’s “to do”.

  11. I would also like to “rise” in the morning, “dine” for lunch and engage in some “diversion” at night. Great post!

  12. I Love this! Something to live by.

  13. There’s probably no exercise because he had to walk to many places and do more things by hand because he hadn’t unleashed the full potential of electricity yet.

  14. he would rise at dawn and swim in the thames, stand in the open window stark naked for an ‘air bath’ and sleep as darkness fell.

  15. I love how he schedules multiple things into blocks of time, rather than each item having it’s own segment. It allows for flexibility within a structure!

  16. nice one.

  17. I always liked Ben until I read his autobiography. He was the most obnoxious, full of himself, holier than thou person I’ve ever read about. It’s a miracle that he lived to old age.

    If it were a novel I would have been waiting for someone to shoot him.

    I couldn’t put the book down because it amazed me so.

  18. wonder how Ben would fair in today’s modern day of distractions?

  19. It’s a nice idea, but I don’t believe it, or maybe this what what he did when he was young? In David McCullough’s biography of John Adams, he describes Adams getting up at 5 a.m. when he was in Paris and then going around to Franklin’s place to haul him out of bed at about 10 or 11 a.m. and trying to get him to go to work. And he was feted and fawned over all over Europe as a great scientist and inventor; plenty of partying (and flirting).

  20. do they had typewriters back then?

  21. Love the list – I agree that it does not sound like the historical Ben Franklin, perhaps it is what he intended to do, or perhaps it was intended as advice to others? Whatever, thank you for sharing it!

  22. you might enjoy reading other creative folks routines:


  23. Very Good!

    I Love it………………..Assum

  24. talk about accomplishments! he was such an amazing person and perfected getting the most out of his day; his life—order being one of his means to doing so. i loved Franklin’s autobiography. recommended!

  25. The guy sleeps at most four hours a night! Remember this was written when was a relatively young man (1760s). By the time he’s in Paris it’s 20 years later, and in fairness at that point, he’s sharing his evenings with French ladies rather than English philosophers. C set la vie.

  26. This is indeed fascinating.
    Franklyn did so much in so many fields.
    Science, politics, state matters, diplomacy, spirit.

    He is truly a great founding father and a persona of great magnitude.

    I would love to know more about him.

  27. He never followed this schedule. As ambassador to France, his partners hated him because he would wake up at noon and party until 3. He also got a lot more done because the people he partied with were the heads of the French nobility and government. The 15 year old prostitutes loved him.

  28. wow inspired. thanks tina :-D

  29. I posted this on my blog today. I think I might need time to “put things in their places” and “examine the day” in the morning and at night. But I don’t think I’ll adopt his sleep schedule.

  30. I’m currently reading his autobiography (free as an Kindle book.) and thought I’d come back and share what I learned.

    It was, indeed, a schedule he set up as a youngish man to encourage the virtue of order. He admits he had a hard time keeping it and eventually gave it up completely, rationalizing that it was really because no one would like him if he was perfect.

  31. wow he has a better schedule than I do. i’m a senior in high school and i don’t even planned that detailed on a day to day bases