Day Crafting Today / Blueprints for Play: A Day Crafter’s Guide to Creative Experimentation.

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Blueprints for Play: A Day Crafter’s Guide to Creative Experimentation

When I was a kid, growing up in the 70s and 80s, there was a lot of routine. Set meals for set evenings. Same pattern for school. The same 3 TV channels showing the same black and white programmes on Saturday night. Same place for holidays (Putsborough Beach, N Devon). We were pretty poor and my clothes were routine; jumble sale t-shirts and patched jeans were handed down. All of this is likely responsible for my enthusiasm for the makeover.

blueprint makeover, image of someone about to cartwheel

Routine can be good. It can mean simple, minimalistic days with productive habits and behaviours so deep they leave grooves in the workshop; days so predictable and dependable you don’t need a schedule. These kinds of days are perfect for low stress, high productivity, deep work and reflective practice – but they can drive you slowly up the wall. They don’t take you out of your comfort zone which is where, amongst other things, growth, zest and inspiration can happen.

My first makeovers were my bedroom. I’d move everything in my realm around. In doing so, layout problems would be solved, possessions would be sorted out Kondo style, and I’d enjoy a sense of newness and novelty for months afterwards. This external, environmental, compensatory control can be a significant inner life hack if you don’t have control of much else (even of your own thoughts and emotions). For example, by rearranging the items on your desk you are enacting a ritual that can help you focus.

In the last few weeks, I’ve been experimenting with my days; giving them a makeover. I’m not rearranging my environment but rather the timing of the elements in my days. The point of this post is less about the original problem I was trying to solve but is more about the delightful secondary benefits: the sense of play and inevitable new thinking and fresh perspective that arises from the objects in my day being in different places. This started as a question of optimisation but has become more about play.

When things are new, time slows down.

Work doesn’t have to fit between 9 and 5. You can experiment with a more integrated day and tap into different cognitive energy resources (many people are more creative in the evenings). Can you move meetings outside? Can you play with Pomodoro timing if you haven’t before? See what energy you can unlock and what new quality you can give the time in your day.

The Practice

In the spirit of embracing the new and playing with your daily routine, the prompts listed below are a way to infuse your day with a fresh sense of curiosity and improvisation. Each phrase (curious and open to interpretation) invites you to experiment with your blueprint, from the rhythm of your tasks to the sensory experiences you might miss. Whether altering the pace at which you operate, reevaluating your current circumstances from a new angle, or rearranging your schedules, these prompts invite you towards a deeper engagement with the present moment.

They encourage you to question your automatic routines and invite novelty into your practice to discover the possibilities within each day’s blueprint. By engaging with these playful strategies, you might find unexpected joys and insights that can emerge from even the smallest of changes, leading to a richer, more fulfilling experience of daily life. Select whichever you want to work with or choose one at random and force fit a practice or behaviour inspired by it.

Click here to generate a random number between 1 and 50.

Blueprint Playbook

  1. Ask your body.
  3. Make a brick, not a wall.
  5. Work at a different speed.
  7. Reevaluate the situation.
  9. Consider the transitions.
  11. Go a different way.
  13. Move it all around.
  15. Prioritise time affluence.
  17. Plant a seed.
  19. Increase the friction.
  21. Mute a sense.
  23. Remove limitations.
  25. Think outside the timebox.
  27. Swap two things.
  29. Start again.
  31. Curate your tasks.
  33. Change the scenery.
  35. Mimic to learn.
  37. Theme the day.
  39. Accept and embrace what is.
  41. Connect different activities.
  43. Build a bridge.
  45. Use unfamiliar tools.
  47. Be kind to future you.
  49. Use dice to decide.
  51. Outsource your blueprint.
  53. Follow a hunch.
  55. Seek out novelty.
  57. Change your perspective.
  59. Enhance a sense.
  61. Reverse your routine.
  63. Visualise your thinking.
  65. Prioritise energy affluence.
  67. Craft with different materials.
  69. Get out of the building.
  71. If your day was a garden…
  73. See it from outside.
  75. Stop and prepare.
  77. Compress tasks.
  79. Follow all rabbit holes.
  81. Ask, what if.
  83. Recognise and challenge assumptions.
  85. Focus on one thing.
  87. Expand, be expansive.
  89. Take a micro-adventure.
  91. Limit your options.
  93. Break patterns.
  95. Alternate focus.
  97. Play, find the game.
  99. Schedule worry time.


Written by Bruce Stanley on Wed, February 21, 2024

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