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'What Good Shall I Do This Day?' Asked Benjamin Franklin Every Single Morning 'What Good Shall I Do This Day?' Asked Benjamin Franklin Every Single Morning

'What Good Shall I Do This Day?' Asked Benjamin Franklin Every Single Morning

by Yasha Wallin
March 5, 2013

We all have different ways of working. Some make lists of their day ahead, others charge right in and see where that takes them. Benjamin Franklin, inventor of the lighting rod and the odometer (to name just two of his creations), was also an author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat—and a list man. How he managed to get everything done in 24 hours still seems like a miracle, but clues to his productivity lie in looking at his daily schedule.

If this daily list is any indication, the man of many hats—whom his biographer called "a harmonious human multitude"—never skipped a meal or a chance to enjoy conversation, music, and leisure. And he still got plenty of work done, establishing the first public library in the world, signing both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution—you know, founding our country—no big deal. But the best part of his schedule are the questions he asked at the start and end of every day: What good shall I do this day? What good have I done today?

What's your daily routine? How is your day organized compared to Franklin's?

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