Chanakya’s Time Management

Aakash S
4 min readJun 11, 2018


“Time perfects men as well as destroys them”

Chanakya was a scholar of economics and political science.
While most of the ancient texts, including some Holy Books have materials that have become obsolete in today’s world, Chanakya’s book Arthashatra is still relevant.
According to Chanakya, if a king is active and energetic, only then his subjects will be spirited and lively. If the ruler is lazy and has a lax attitude, then his subjects too would be negligent and will have a laid-back approach. Besides, a lazy king will be easily defeated by enemies making ‘discipline” a must trait for a king during Mauryan Era.
According to Chanakya a King had a very exhausting schedule where they slept only for four and a half hours. So, a Mauryan King divided his 24 hours into 16 periods of one and a half hours each and would perform his duties.

Chanakya’s Time Table for Mauryan King.

“Do not delay even for a moment in executing, the delay even for a moment causes loss of a task.”

1:30 am: A Mauryan King would Get Up

The life of the Mauryan King was not as easy as other kings, perhaps that is why they could rule the Kingdom so well.
A Mauryan king would get up at 1.30 am in the morning, and meditate for around one and a half hours with respect to the day’s work.

3:00 am — 4.30 am: The King Would Strategize Political Matters

The work of Ashoka Samrat, his father Bindusara, and Grandfather Chandra Gupta Maurya would start at 3 am. The Mauryan King then would examine various political matters, discuss the daily important matters with his councilors, and would then send his spies to various corners. This activity would last for one and a half hours that is till 4.30 am.

4.30 am — 6.00 am: Dedicated to Meetings

The next one and a hhalf-hourwas strictly dedicated to meeting. At religious hours, the King made sure he carried out his duties including household, religious and personal duties effectively. During this period, he met advisors, teachers, and priests to discuss matters on rituals. He also met his personal doctor, the royal astrologer along with the royal cook.

6.00 am — 7.30 am: Spent in the Court Hall

This one and an hour after sunrise are quite vital as during this period the King receives all the reports regarding revenue and expenditure of the previous day. This is also a period where the King discusses the matter of defense.

7.30 am — 9.00 am: Hearing Time

During This one and a half hours, the king hears the petition of his people who come from his own town as well as other cities in his kingdom. He hears their petition and listens calmly to the public grievances.

9.00 am — 10.30 am : King’s Personal Time

During this period, A Mauryan King would take bath, pray and then eat breakfast. This one and a half hours is purely his time where nobody disturbs him.

10.30 am — 12:00 pm: The time of Allotment

During this time Samrat Chandra Gupta Maurya, Bindusara, and Samrat Ashoka along with other Mauryan Kings would appoint officials, ministers and even allot different types of tasks to them.

12.00 pm — 1.30 pm: Time of Council of Ministers

This is conference time with the King and his Council of Ministers. Back in those days, if a king wanted to change anything he would consult his council of ministers. Things would only be implemented if the council of Ministers approved it. So, this was an hour of talking, writing letters, and discussions of laws.

1.30 pm — 3:00 pm: King’s Recreation Time!

3:00 pm — 4.30 pm: Defense Time

In This one and a half hours, Mauryan Kings would inspect the forces, talk to the Senapati, the Chief of the Defense and review everything related to the matters of Defense.

Later, during the time of sunset, the Mauryan King would spend his time in Prayers. From 6.00 pm to 7.30 pm he would meet his spies, who would come from various areas. From 7.30 pm to 9.00 pm he would spend time in having a bath, eating dinner and studying. At 9.00 pm he would retire for the night and would get up at 1.30 am to meditate.

This is how well organized the schedule of the Maurya King was, From Chandra Gupta, Bindusara to SAMRAT Ashoka and other later Kings!

Wonder, if a similar schedule is practiced by students, bureaucrats, professionals, and politicians, India will be as disciplined and successful as the MAURYAN Empire was — Don’t you think so?

Yes, we can increase the sleeping time, maybe from four and a half hours to 6 or even 7 and a half hours because even then our timetable would be disciplined — What do you think?

Source and Reference:

Arthashashtra, by Kautilya, Edited by L.N. Rangarajan

Arthashastra by Kautilya, translated by R. Shamasastry