Part of living a simple, minimalistic, stoic life is making and keeping a routine. The vast majority of my days are the same. Not the content, so to speak, but rather the format. Wake, do things pretty much in a similar order than yesterday, sleep, repeat.
This does not mean I have boring, monotonous days every day. In fact my days are the opposite! My days are exciting and full of energy because I control the flow while generally knowing what to expect. It also helps that I work for myself but this routine based mentality can work for anyone and everyone!
While I have had my routine for years, I do tweak it from time to time. At one point I was a young, single man playing hours and hours of late night online poker, and my routine during those days was…a little different…than it is now.
Presently my routine has generally consisted of 17 hour days. This 17 hour schedule developed organically from a 16 hour routine. At first I would push my waking hours as long as I could, generally until around 23:00, and then I would sleep in until around 07:00 or so. I was getting the doctor recommended 8 hours and not thinking much of it.
As I have aged I have realized that while sleep is of paramount importance (healing!), I do not necessarily need a full 8 hours every night. Rather I should listen to my body and what my body was saying was that I can run on less sleep at night and work in naps during the day if needed. (Who doesn’t love a nap?!)
The result has been my current schedule of 17 hour days, starting at 05:00 with lights out at 22:00. I have kept this schedule for the past decade or so and recently I learned that I am not necessarily a trailblazer in this category.
Enter Benjamin freakin’ Franklin. He literally kept the EXACT SAME SCHEDULE!
One of the smartest humans to ever live was owning his days on the exact same schedule but ~250 years before me! While Ben certainly was not perfect, who is? I know I am not. Are you? Chances are you are not either! But you can try to be, day in and day out, which is what Ben and I are doing. Asking what good can we do. Examining our day. Looking to make the world a better place. Refusing to be spiteful or vindictive.
To honor Mr. Franklin I have listed my SCHEME in his format, with a small 2021 spin on it.
Thank to my Apple Watch, one of the most fantastic devices ever created, I monitor both my sleep and heart statistics. Keeping to this routine has helped me develop a resting heart rate < 50 bpm that dips below 40 bpm on many occasions.
While there are anomalies from time to time (sleep in every once in a while, treat yo’ self!) sticking to
my Ben’s routine has been a tremendous help for both my physical and mental health. Parenting experts are in near unanimous agreement that children do better when they stick to a daily routine. Why in the world would anyone think that would change as we age?!
Develop a routine that works for you. Then stick to it. One day at a time.