11 a.m. Weak Whiskey Soda, 5 p.m. Nap

Ben Franklin’s Daily Routine

Lately I’ve tried, and failed, to impose a daily routine on myself. This morning, I’ve been pouring over Daily Routines and it’s making me feel a little better. My proposed daily schedule is militaristic compared to Winston Churchill’s:

Despite all this activity Churchill’s daily routine changed little during these years. He awoke about 7:30 a.m. and remained in bed for a substantial breakfast and reading of mail and all the national newspapers. For the next couple of hours, still in bed, he worked, dictating to his secretaries.

At 11:00 a.m., he arose, bathed, and perhaps took a walk around the garden, and took a weak whisky and soda to his study.

At 1:00 p.m. he joined guests and family for a three-course lunch. Clementine drank claret, Winston champagne, preferable Pol Roger served at a specific temperature, port brandy and cigars. When lunch ended, about 3:30 p.m. he returned to his study to work, or supervised work on his estate, or played cards or backgammon with Clementine.

At 5:00 p.m., after another weak whisky and soda, he went to bed for an hour and a half. He said this siesta, a habit gained in Cuba, allowed him to work 1 1/2 days in every 24 hours. At 6:30 p.m. he awoke, bathed again, and dressed for dinner at 8:00 p.m.

Dinner was the focal-point and highlight of Churchill’s day. Table talk, dominated by Churchill, was as important as the meal. Sometimes, depending on the company, drinks and cigars extended the event well past midnight. The guests retired, Churchill returned to his study for another hour or so of work.

In conclusion, I need more whiskey sodas in my day. I also need a social secretary, and a wife.

Are you good with routine? Will you marry me?

16 thoughts on “11 a.m. Weak Whiskey Soda, 5 p.m. Nap

  1. I have a day job and am still terrible at structuring my day. My best shot is to set a destination and head toward it. I’m not sure how often I actually make it, but it has me set out with purpose. In my mind, I believe I collapse a sense of purpose with actual accomplishment. This can lead to a string of unproductive, yet vaguely satisfying, days.

    (i.e., help…)


  2. Just remember it takes 21 days to make or break any habit. If it’s a struggle, try to do it for just 21 days…whatever routine you’re getting into…before giving up on it.


  3. I love daily routines (the blog). People that have them are fascinating to me. Like you, I keep trying to impose one and I always fail. Like, I just missed my 11 am whiskey soda! Now I need a nap.


  4. I volunteer. My wife commonly refers to me as her ‘social secretary,’ so I have experience. AND I like whiskey. 🙂


  5. That blog is going to interfere greatly with my “should-be” routine today. I’m not great with routines, myself. Probably would benefit from one though. Generally, I wake up whenever, write and work until I have somewhere to go, shower and go, come back and work until I’m too tired to work anymore. That, or I avoid work all day 🙂


  6. I used to be great with a routine. I was rigid with it, but this year kind of threw a wrench in all that. I still stick to the things I do, just not in the same order or time frame I used to do it. I get up early enough to get ready and eat a good breakfast, but not early enough for a meditation practice. So I put the meditation practice at the end of my day. It’s working. But what I’ve really learned is to give a little. To bend. Attachment to my routine was causing suffering because I’d panic about not being able to stick with it. No attachment, no suffering.


  7. one must ponder whether Churchill would have been able to regularly accomplish all this in the presence of that plague species: Internet.


  8. Tell me about it. I became a teacher because after a few years of having to self-schedule my time I was so exhausted by it that I picked having my day dictated to me and so regimented that I have 15 minutes to shove my lunch into my mouth. It’s still less exhausting than having to plan my day.


  9. Bits of my days/weeks are organised and routine. Like getting up at 6am, going to the pool for 30 mins swim. Back in time to get the kettle on to sit down to do 1 hour writing (I’m working on a book) and then breakfast.

    I’m working on setting up routines like, every Monday morning reviewing last week and planning this week; brewing/foraging/preserving every month.

    My latest routine that I want to implement is do compile my finances on the last day of the month, and then make seasonal cocktails that evening.

    I think planning my time became a lot easier when I was working with my natural patterns rather than trying to adhere to the 9-5 traditional work culture.


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