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


Day: Nearly Friday. Second least productive working week day.
Time: Just about 4:19 am

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

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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.

illustration of someone thinking along with text reading, think like a day crafter

When I’m making decisions about what is important there are these influences that are hard to ignore. They are part of our upbringing and they’re reflected by the culture around us.

But I’ve been rethinking my thinking. I find myself ready to think differently, to shrug off the industrialist, coach and capitalist and think instead as a craftsperson thinks.

Instead of thinking, what is my mission in life?
Think instead, how can I make today meaningful?

Instead of thinking, what future state will make me happy?
Think instead, how can I craft time for this today?

Instead of thinking, what should I add to my bucket list?
Think instead, how can I fully experience today?

Instead of thinking, how can I make more money?
Think instead, how can I release more time?

Instead of thinking, who do I want to become?
Think instead, how can I be more myself today?

Instead of thinking, how am I ever going to finish this task?
Think instead, how can I break the task into complete-in-a-day size chunks?

Instead of thinking, how can I cope with the fear of big changes?
Think instead, what small change can I experiment with today?

Instead of thinking, what is urgent?
Think instead, what is important?

Instead of thinking, what should I know about the future?
Think instead, what problem can I solve today?

Instead of thinking, how can I win the game?
Think instead, how can I practice better?

Instead of thinking, how can I keep everyone else happy?
Think instead, how can I make time for what I need today?

Instead of thinking, how can I face tomorrow?
Think instead, how can I make sleep and self-care effective today?

Instead of thinking, what great results should I focus on?
Think instead, how can channel my energy into better practice?

Instead of thinking, how do I make a successful innovation?
Think instead, how do I do brilliant innovating?

Instead of thinking, when will I arrive?
Think instead, how do I take the next step?

The Practice

Future you doesn’t exist.

Think like a craftsperson, bring your attention to the working surface of the day. Keep your tools sharp. Invest as much of your energy as you can into your daily rhythm and practice.

Written by Bruce Stanley on Fri, March 19, 2021

Previous entries

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