Do you have a daily routine? If you don’t, take a lesson from the Father or Productivity, Benjamin Franklin.
As you can see from his schedule, Ben Franklin was a man of routine. His autobiography goes into greater detail, but just by looking at his daily agenda we can see how carefully he planned his activities. His routine obviously worked (just look at his list of achievements).
If you want to increase productivity, follow Franklin’s example and incorporate these 5 elements in your daily routine:
- Personal Time – Before the work begins at 8:00, he’s been reviewing his plans, his goals, and his values, helping him start the day off right. We all know that once we arrive at the office, our day can quickly get derailed by the pressing matters of others. But the morning time is a special time, and can be the most productive time of the day–if we plan for it.
- Balance – This seems like a very sustainable routine, one that he could carry on week after week without “burning out”. Obviously, there are times in life to “sprint” such as during the launch of a new product or campaign. But if we don’t put limits on work, it can quickly leave us frustrated and exhausted. Michael Hyatt and Chris Ducker both experienced burn out this past week and had to recalibrate.
- Technology – Benjamin Franklin didn’t have an iPhone, he didn’t use Evernote, and didn’t have the internet. Clearly these tools are not necessary to be productive, and actually can just slow us down. His schedule was no doubt scribbled (probably in cursive) on a piece of parchment that he reviewed each morning. The lesson is don’t get too hung up on what tool you’re using. Just use an organizer that is easily accessible and visible.
- Consistency – You know that results (at least significant results) don’t surface immediately. They come as we consistently carry out an activity. This wasn’t a routine that he followed once a week: it was his “daily” routine.
- Values – Did you notice the two questions on the left side? As you can see, Franklin had a passion for virtue and doing good works. By asking “What good shall I do this day?” first thing in the morning, it connected him to what mattered most and helped him make plans for the day. If you can structure your day around your deepest values, that’s a sure recipe for success.
Benjamin Franklin passed away nearly 300 years ago, yet his habits and routines are still emulated today. If you haven’t already, create your own daily routine and stick to it. I’ve created a daily schedule template that follows Franklin’s same format. Download it here. What do you use to keep track of your daily routine? Leave a comment below.