Friday, July 31, 2009

Time Management for Writers or: Ben Frankin vs. Goethe

In Maira Kalman's wonderful picture-blog for the New York Times she does a nice little thing on Benjamin Franklin and mentions also how Franklin scheduled his working day:

5am - 8am: Wash, get dressed, breakfast, plan the day - "address 'Powerful Goodness' and take the resolution of the day."

8am - 12am: Work

12am - 2 pm: Lunch

2pm - 6pm: Work

6pm - 10 pm: Clean up desk, dinner, diversions and "examination of the day"

10pm - 5am: Sleep.

The schedule is strikingly similar to Goethe's schedule. According to Gero von Wilpert in "Die 101 wichtigsten Fragen: Goethe", it went like this:

5/6am - 10am: "Early coffee" and work

10am - 1pm: "Second breakfast" and administration work like letters

1/2pm: Lunch and nap

After that - about 5pm: Work

Early evening to sundown: Diversions, theater, maybe work

9/10pm - 5am: Sleep.

Benjamin Franklin doesn't say anything about a nap in the afternoon, but it's known that he liked to nap and it's also known that the body has a slump around 2, so I bet he did a bit of power-napping to round off his lunch, though it's not on the schedule. Gothe did, and admitted it.

Here's Franklin's schedule:

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