*DISCLAIMER*

This article, and subsequent videos and media were made before we were aware of Churchill’s views and beliefs made popular in the media recently. We do not agree with, condone, or support Churchill’s views and systematic racism, and did this week’s challenge as a way to explore a daily schedule recommended to us because of its absurdity and his interesting daily habits.

*DISCLAIMER*

Have you ever tried changing up your daily schedule? If you have you’re probably familiar with how much your habits tend to affect your creativity, workflow, and focus. The daily schedules of many successful people throughout history are documented online, but some are much more strange than others.

Now, I’m quite fond of my schedule. I try to balance sleep, work, and downtime the best that I can while not going completely insane, so when someone suggested adopting Winston Churchill’s daily routine for a whole week, I was less than thrilled.

I’m part of a podcast (listen here) called Better Off Better, and it started with me and my two best friends entering into a verbal agreement that affected my life from then on. We do weekly challenges to test out things that people everywhere seem to think make them better people. Now, we know we aren’t great people, so why not try and fix that though very competitive challenges where we purposely pit ourselves against each other? Doesn’t that sound healthy?

So, what was Churchill’s schedule?

Winston Churchill, who served as the British Prime Minister during WWII, followed this daily routine:

7:30 a.m.: He awoke and remained in bed to eat his breakfast and read the newspapers. From his bed, he continued working, while dictating to the secretaries.

11:00 a.m.: He got out of bed to take a walk around the garden, then poured himself a whiskey and soda.

1:00 p.m.: Churchill joined guests and family for a multi-course lunch.

3:30 p.m.: He worked from his study, supervised the estate, or played board games with his wife.

5:00 p.m.: He took a nap for an hour and a half, a habit he had acquired while in Cuba. He claimed that naps allowed him to do a day and a half’s work in 24 hours.

6:30 p.m.: He woke, bathed, and prepared himself for dinner.

8:00 p.m.: Churchill had dinner with guests, where drinks and cigars accompanied the meal. Often they would stay up past midnight. Afterward, Churchill would return to his study and work for an hour before bed.

Now, when you first look at this it kind of seems great. I don’t know if day drinking and board games are your thing, but I was kind of stoked. Besides, the promise of doing “a day and a half’s worth of work in 24 hours” didn’t seem like a bad deal either. So, would I give Winston Churchill’s daily routine a glowing review?

Hell no. And here’s why:

1: Morning

7:30 is a bit early for my taste, but easy enough to do (although it’s harder when he stays up past 1am). The wake up time isn’t my issue with the morning portion of Churchill’s routine. My problem is staying in bed until 11. Besides the fact that you have to start your day in bed (without a secretary I assume) trying not to fall back asleep, he eats breakfast in bed. Every day.

This is a nightmare to me. I hate eating in bed, it’s messy and you have to sit in a weird position and I just don’t like it overall okay? You try eating cereal while propped up on a weird thin pillow for seven days and then come back to criticize me.

Working from bed wasn’t all that bad, but I just felt like I got less done. I find that I need that environment change in the morning to get me fully focused on my work. So while very comfortable, working in bed was in my opinion less productive.

After this is where the fun begins. It certainly felt nice to get out of bed at 11 for a nice walk, and although I don’t have a garden to wander in, the pond near my house worked wonders. Again, I had to modify a bit, as I didn’t want to wander my neighborhood with whiskey and a cigar, but I had them when I got home from my walk. I can honestly say that I get this part of the day. Sometimes a mid-day whiskey hits the spot (if you’re over 21 of course) although I can’t back cigars health-wise, it was kind of a nice thing to try out for a few days.

2: Mid-day

Mid-day really wasn’t too bad, 1pm is a perfect lunchtime for me and I love some board game time for sure. Getting back into work after whiskey proved to be a bit harder than I thought some days (I may have had more than one), but I still got some solid work done in those few hours, though not as much as I would usually like.

The issue came with a 5pm nap. Something we were all excited for when the podcast started quickly became the worst part of my days. 5pm is a terrible nap time. I was just getting back into the flow of working and honestly I don’t particularly like naps anyways.

Waking up at the weird time right before and kind of during sunset was disorienting and did not, I repeat, did not allow me to do a day and a half’s work in 24 hours. It left me feeling groggy and confused, and jumping right into the shower after waking up was equally as uncomfy. Night showers may work well for some people, but as someone who doesn’t blow dry their hair, I hate night showers. Letting my hair air dry during the day is a perfect system, and Churchills routine had me going to bed with still-slightly-damp hair.

3: Night

Again, no problem with the time he had dinner, 8pm is perfectly fine with me. My issue with the night section is really the times. First of all, we’re in a damn pandemic Winston! I can’t have my friends over for a nice dinner, so the four hours I was supposed to fill with a friendly dinner and bonding time with buddies I spent drinking alone until it was time to go read.

I don’t mind a bit of drinking alone, hell I do it quite often, but four hours? Even if it took me an hour to eat dinner, there’s still three hours where I’m not supposed to be working. That killed me. As much as people say he had a productive schedule figured out, do. Not. Believe. Them. There was so little time carved out for working that I felt stressed even during the working times!

Bed at midnight wasn’t the worst thing in the world. I tend to be up later than that, but knowing I had a 7:30 wake up time (to sit in bed some more) got me to accept the earlier bedtime. In fact, I would’ve chosen to go to bed earlier if I could’ve so I would be less tempted to fall back asleep in the morning.

So…

Overall, no, I do not recommend the Winston Churchill schedule. I’m always an advocate for daily walks, reading time, board games, and the occasional afternoon whiskey, but the schedule overall was not something I felt benefitted by in any way. It did not help me focus, it did not help me work, and it did not help me lead Britain through World War Two.

Check out our video over-viewing Winston Churchill’s Daily Routine:

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https://www.Cinemonic.com/Jenny-Whipple

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