Day Crafting Today / Ideas, tools, behavioural psychology and practical philosophy from Day Crafting that you can put into practice now.

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Ideas, tools, behavioural psychology and practical philosophy from Day Crafting that you can put into practice ...

Today...

Day: Monday. Definitely feels like a Monday. Typically the day when most tasks get done.
Time: Just about 2:19 am
Chronorhythm:

Based on a finch chronotype day of 7am to 11pm.

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Are your days NEAT enough?

Why is it that citizens of certain places live significantly longer, healthier lives than the rest of us? These ‘blue zone’ places include Sardinia, Okinawa, Icaria in Greece, the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica and a Seventh-day Adventist community in California. What they have in common are some fairly simple lifestyle factors that contribute to their residents’ longevity, such as a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, regular physical activity, and a strong sense of community.

I guess we could all move to blue zones and enjoy the benefits but perhaps there is another way. If you don’t live in a blue zone, hope is not lost, perhaps you can design and craft some of the elements into your days

I’ve been researching the physical activity aspects of the blue zone lifestyle that describes the energy expended for everything we do that is not sports-like exercise. It’s termed NEAT which stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis.

NEAT can have a significant impact on overall energy expenditure and weight management as well as keeping your muscles, joints and balance healthier. For example, in the Blue Zone of Okinawa, the older adults typically engage in activities such as gardening, walking, and cleaning, which are all forms of light physical activity. Similarly, in Sardinia, older adults engage in a lot of walking, tending to livestock and working on the land, which all increase their NEAT.

This is where I’d like your contribution. I’m writing the next Day Crafting workbook on self-care and I’d like to include some practical ideas. If we designed our environments, situations and lifestyles so that we had to include more NEAT what could we do?

Here are some of the examples I’ve collated.

  • Park father away so you have to walk a bit further
  • Don’t use the remote control or put it the other side of the room so you have to get up to use it
  • Buy fewer ingredients more often, walk to local shops
  • Cook from scratch, taking longer, moving around as you cook
  • If you’re desk based, get a standing desk Use the toilet on a different floor, or one further away
  • Walk and cycle more, drive less
  • Replace mechanical conveniences.
  • Rake the leaves up, cut the hedge with shears, mix food by hand
  • Move every 20 minutes or so. Set an alarm on your watch to remind you
  • Have walking meetings. Walk while you chat to a friend

I’d love to know what you would add. I’m looking for ideas that kind-of force us to move more. If NEAT activity is left to us feeling like it then I think that we’re less likely to incorporate it – unless you’re temperamentally wired to put more NEAT into your day. Let me know what your suggestions are.

The Practice

There are several ways that people who don’t live in Blue Zones can Day Craft their lifestyles to be more like those of the people who do:

  • Eat a plant-based diet: Blue Zoners tend to eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, and low in meat and processed foods.
  • Move naturally: Blue Zoners typically engage in regular, low-level physical activity such as walking, gardening, and other forms of light physical activity. People can try to incorporate more of these types of activities into their daily routine.
  • Prioritis’e social connections: Blue Zoners tend to have strong social connections and a sense of purpose, which can be promoted by joining clubs or groups that align with their interests, volunteering, and spending quality time with friends and family.
  • Find ways to de-stress: Blue Zoners tend to have low levels of chronic stress, which can be promoted by practices such as yoga, meditation, or mindfulness.
  • Build a sense of community: Blue Zoners live in tight-knit communities where people look out for each other. People can try to build a sense of community by volunteering, joining clubs or groups, or participating in neighbourhood events.
  • Take a nap: Napping is a common practice in Blue Zones, people can try taking short naps during the day to improve energy and productivity.

Keep in mind that not everyone will be able to replicate all aspects of a Blue Zone lifestyle, but incorporating even a few of these elements can have a positive impact on overall health and well-being.

Written by Bruce Stanley on Tue, January 31, 2023

Previous entries

Only a minority of people actually review their course

Are you off course? This is an especially relevant question if you’re in new territory or if you’re making a new thing and more often than not, we are in that situation. Even if we think we’re doing the same thing, the world around us is volatile and constantly changing. How does the opening question help? It helps in that the more often you review your direction and signs of progress, the more often you can course correct potentially saving you from using resources you would otherwise waste and the associated frustrations.

[It turns out that not many people do this very often]

Fri January 13 2023

Counting your happy days

Here’s a short story about Abd al-Rahman III and Day Crafting. He was the grandson of the Emir who chose him from all of the potential successors to take the throne at the age of 21. His father had been assassinated by one of his brothers but there were other uncles and cousins to choose from so he must have been special. Abd al-Rahman III was unusual in other ways – despite his Arab lineage, he was a short and stocky, fair-skinned, blue eyed man which suggests there were European concubines in his family tree.

Fri December 02 2022

What rhythms does your body move to? Circadian, ultradian, infradian and circasemidian.

Is your day a harmony or a discord? This isn’t just poetic language. You have a finite amount of energy you can use during your day to maximise your productivity, wellbeing, creativity or whatever else matters so there are two actions you can take.

Firstly to make sure that energy is as high as it can be each day and secondly to schedule your choice of when you do things so that you’re doing the task when your energy for it is at its peak (this might mean you can do more, efficiently).

For example, the peak time for physical performance is late afternoon to early evening for most elite speed athletes which is why the Olympics schedules the 100m for that time. Here are our main energy rhythms that affect each of our days.

Thu November 10 2022

Why would you want to join a choir if you’re an introvert?

Does the lack of time or fear of stepping out of your comfort zone prevent you from experiencing joy and remarkable days? This is a short story about grief and the crunch day to take on a challenge.

Thu September 22 2022

Day Crafting: The Productivity Workbook

Day Crafting is about developing the skills to use time meaningfully. It is the everyday art of making a good life. It is a set of methods to craft the style in lifestyle.

How is your day different from how it could have been? Bridging that gap is the practical skill of Day Crafting. It is the good life in two steps: balance and flourish today, then repeat tomorrow.

Tue September 06 2022

Day Crafting: The Body-clock Workbook

Day Crafting is about developing the skills to use time meaningfully. It is the everyday art of making a good life. It is a set of methods to craft the style in lifestyle.

How is your day different from how it could have been? Bridging that gap is the practical skill of Day Crafting. It is the good life in two steps: balance and flourish today, then repeat tomorrow.

Tue September 06 2022

When self-care meant getting dirty and skirting peril

What does self-care mean to you?

Is it on autopilot or something you relish giving attention to? What problems do you encounter in your day to day self-care routines? I’m asking because I want to make the interventions in Day Crafting fit the kinds of problems we all encounter – and I’m starting to write the Self-care Workbook this week.

Mon September 05 2022

Monthly Apprentice Practice Set

MAPS is a monthly open workshop space for Day Crafting Apprentices to gather (over zoom). It is part action learning and part masterclass. It is a good way to develop and deepen your skills with the support of a leaning community. It feels like being in a warm and friendly workshop where fellow Apprentices are pleased to see you and find out how you’re doing.

Tue August 30 2022

Day Crafting Tailored Workshops

Day Crafting workshops are practical; as with any craft, workshop participants should be able to pick up useful skills and life-changing insights in even the shortest time. Workshops also include accessible content covering related theories and psychology but it is in support of the experiential focus.

Fri November 19 2021

Introductory Workbook – Learn Day Crafting at your own pace

Here is the first in a new Apprentice Series of Day Crafting workbooks. This works as a standalone course or as a compliment to the Day Crafting Apprentice Course – or as a refresher if you’ve completed the Day Crafting Apprentice Course. Further workbooks are available here.

In this post you will find some photos from the workbook, a free sample to download containing a range of example pages and a link to buy the book.

Mon November 01 2021

Get Your Day Crafting Five A Day

What five things could you craft into every day to help your life flourish? This simple intervention goes to the heart of the Day Crafting philosophy – the good life is more days with time for these activities. The ingredients for a good life are simple, the challenge is intentionally making time for them and giving them our attention.

Fri June 04 2021

School holiday Day Crafting primer for children

How can Day Crafting help your children structure their days when they’re on holiday from school? Answering the question, ‘What do you want to do today?’ can be quite a cognitive challenge. My daughter is 10 and we’re experimenting with this tool (which we’ve co-adapted) to provide some inspiration.

Sat May 29 2021

Reset your days to your internal clock

Imagine a clock that told you personally when it was your best time during the day to do certain tasks – such as the optimum time to do analytical thinking or to have a difficult conversation. The best time to eat carbohydrates or to drive or to have sex. This clock could be fairly specific and handle conditions, for example it could tell you when to exercise to perform at your best, or to lose weight or to raise your mood, or to build strength or avoid injury (each of these conditions would give a different time). It could give you a surprisingly long list of optimum timings – like the best time to make a sale or take medicine, to learn something, to drink alcohol, visit the dentist, solve creative problems and get out into the sunshine, to go first – or not, to work on through or to take a break. And unsurprisingly, when to get up and when to go to bed.

Thu April 22 2021

How To Think Like A Day Crafter

I’m fortunate enough to be in control of my schedule, so why does the 9 to 5 work ethic, amongst other influences, still loom and glower over my thinking? I feel like a long departed influential industrialist striking a pose like Isambard Kingdom Brunel is shaping my choices. Along with him is a sports (or business) coach who talks about goals and winning and success. I think there is a capitalist media mogul in there too, pushing rumours and feeding worries about insecurities that I can purchase my way out of.

Fri March 19 2021

The problem with business goals and imagining the future

Why is Day Crafting primarily concerned with shaping today, this day as the way to a good life?

I began coaching leaders almost 20 years ago in the context of their skills development, quality of life and ambitions. I noticed that nearly everyone could easily imagine exciting future goals. I was part of a programme that took executives through a deep visioning process and at the end they knew this: where I want to be in x months or x years time. However, almost none of them knew how to affect the quality of the day they were actually in and most goals were dropped a matter of weeks later. The part of our thinking that imagines the future is no match for the identity and behaviour part that dominates the present.

Fri March 05 2021

The best way to design a new behaviour

I know a ‘lean systems’ expert. Her job, in aerospace manufacturing is to observe processes in factories and work out how to make them more efficient. This involves changing the position of machines and materials and the flow of materials around the space. Crucially it involves changing people: their ideas, their habits and practices, but people don’t like change.

Fri February 12 2021

Redesigning rest and unlocking energy use

Given that the human brain is constantly monitoring our energy budget and predicting our energy use and attempting to get us to balance output with restoration, it is perverse, but not altogether out of character, that the part of our brain that thinks it runs the show should come up with a notion such as, ‘I’ll rest when I’m dead’. Sometimes we choose to believe the dumbest ideas.

Fri February 05 2021

Crafting freedom from the hidden rules we allow to govern us

Last Wednesday the power went off. It was planned. Someone from the power company told us this was going to happen from 9am with power back estimated at 4.30pm. So, as a family all at home in lockdown we scheduled a special day of doing a lot of unplugged things. Including going for a walk after lunch.

When we got back at 2.30 the power was back on early ... so what did we do?

Fri January 22 2021

Setting intentions – the Day Crafting tool you’ll use most

Have you heard of a stitching pony? Every craft has ubiquitous tools, the potter’s wheel, the smith’s anvil, the carver’s chisel – and the leatherworker has the stitching pony which is used to grip the material. To the Day Crafter the tool used most often has to be intention setting.

Fri January 15 2021