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Benjamin Franklin’s Productivity System

Issue #6

Benjamin Franklin's Productivity System

By Luis Duque | Issue #6

Hi friends,

Before I get started, I want to ask you if you would like a monthly roundup of the podcast episodes that came out that month? I know we are all busy and life gets out of hand so I want to make sure you can still get all the value from the podcast episodes in a short and concise email. If this is something you would like, simply click here.

This past week I have been increasing the amount of time I am studying for my PE exam. This means I have to cut other things to make room for this new priority. The time I am able to spend on other things such as the podcast, volunteering, or even relaxing has been cut dramatically. I have been studying about 7 – 9 hours per week and I would like to go up to closer to 15+. This has led me to rethink my productivity systems and try to find ways to minimize distractions and simplify my routines.

I believe we need to continually try to improve out own systems and the way we approach day-to-day problems. I recently came across an interesting article about Benjamin Franklin’s time management and self improvement skills. He meticulously planned each day in a very interesting way, take a look:

The Morning Routine

This for me has been a game changer. I am able to do something for myself and spend sometime in quiet before my family wakes up. As an introvert, this is much needed time. I have applied some of the principles from the Miracle Morning book by Hal Elrod including his life S.A.V.E.R.S to prepare myself for the day.

Morning Focus

During this time, Franklin would evaluate his most immediate priorities and then plan how to manage his time in the most effective way. In my case, I like to select the ONE thing I will focus on for the day which is a principle I picked up from The ONE Thing book.

Daily Schedule with Notes

“If you are failing to plan, you are planning to fail!” Is a famous Benjamin Franklin quote that he undoubtedly lived by himself.

Evening Reflection

Every night Franklin would reflect on his days success and failures in what he called an examination of the day. During this time he think back ask himself “What good have I done today?”

While I am nowhere close to Benjamin Franklin's productivity level, I like to think that the systems I have developed are allowing me to do the things that are important to me. There are no rules about productivity, we just need to find what works for us.

Do you have a morning routine?

I am always interested in what other people do to manage their mornings, tasks, projects etc… so hit Reply and let me know! Even if you don't have one, let me know how I can help you manage your time.

I hope Benjamin Franklin's time management skills gave you an idea on ways you can improve your own system.

Also, make sure you check out the podcast episode with Matthew Gaddy where we talk all about productivity and ways we can become more efficient at our work as engineers.

Let's continue Engineering our Future


Quote of the Week

Looking at me, from the engineer’s perspective, it’s like, ‘Look at this idiot,’ but once you’ve got a couple hit products under your belt, this word ‘idiot’ seems to slip away somewhere.”

From Range by David Epstein resurfaced using Readwise

This Week's Favorites

  1. Article: Mel Butcher recently published an article called “Outcomes, Not Grades”. This is so important to understand, especially as students and young engineers. I honestly did not care much about the grades in school as long as I was understanding the topics and doing well in the homework.
  2. Podcast: I am a huge fan of Adam Grant and his podcast Work Life Balance. He just released a new episode all about his new book Think Again. If you follow his podcast you know he takes long breaks so I am excited for new episodes coming out.
  3. Book: I just finished reading Range by David Epstein and it was an interesting one. He really digs deep into a variety of examples from different professions to show how having a wide range of skills can make us better at our one thing. If you have time, this is a must read.

Check the Newest Podcast Episode

Are you a young professional that struggles with creative productivity systems that will lead you to a more fulfilling career? This week’s conversation with Matthew has been one of my favorites. He is very knowledgeable about how to create those productivity systems (he even has a course on it) as well as how we should approach setting our goals. In this episode, we discuss the value of creating a system that works for you as well as some of the biggest mistakes he has seen young professionals make in their careers.

I’m Luis, a Bridge Engineer, Podcaster, and STEM advocate. In this Newsletter, I share things I am working on, learning about, or exploring. Make sure you reach out with your thoughts – I want this to be a more direct and personal avenue of communication for the Engineering our Future community. 

You just read issue #6 of Engineering our Future.

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