Contribution by Jamie Mastrangelo
Scientist, inventor, writer, and diplomat Benjamin Franklin began each day by asking himself this question: What good shall I do this day? He carefully planned each hour of his day and created a schedule for himself that he felt would optimize his time and make him a better person. Many of us started the new year with a list of resolutions, but it takes a lot of self-discipline to stick to them and break old habits.
Often we complain that our lives are too hectic and there just aren’t enough hours in a day. Skipped breakfasts, racing from one place to the next, and a poor night’s sleep have become the norm. Analyze your day. Are you maximizing your time and leaving enough of it for the things you value most? If you are like most Americans, the answer is probably no.
Few of us take the time to carefully plan each day. Instead of continuing to be swept up in the momentum of life and going through the motions, take a moment to think about what it is you want to accomplish that day. Start with something small like cleaning out your medicine cabinet or making that long overdue phone call to grandma. Work toward bigger goals like creating a presentation to really impress your boss or acing the AP biology exam. Beginning each day with a purpose can make you feel more accomplished and also allow you to spend more of your time doing the things that fulfill you as a person.
In between establishing the first fire department and helping draft the Declaration of Independence, Ben Franklin made time for music, and straightening up the house. He also squeezed in seven full hours of sleep each night. Keep that in mind as you ask yourself, “What good have I done today?”