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Essential Smarts Blog—thoughts, conversations and research on doing great work.

June 28, 2017

Work needs to be fun. And that includes making toys!


May 12, 2017

Most people think of craft in glowing terms, like it’s all about flow and spontaneity. But weaving is slow, hard, technical work. To succeed as a weaver—just as in any craft—you've got to love every bit of creative the process.


April 30, 2017

Being a craftsman means you’ve never paid your dues: you’ve got to earn your way each day, by improving, innovating and delivering your best work.


March 2, 2017

When you’re thinking of improving inefficient practices, proceed with caution: the pursuit of efficiency can sap the charm and meaning from your work.


December 2, 2016

If you don’t care enough about your work to want to master it, then you’re doing the wrong thing.


November 21, 2016

Keep high quality work examples close at hand to inspire you to greatness. .


October 19, 2016

Creative people follow careful routines. They come up with the pattern for sleeping, eating, socializing and working that best supports their work, and then stick with it. What should be your routine?


September 19, 2016

By regularly spending time studying poorly executed work, it helps you turn a critical eye to your own creative process.


August 25, 2016

People usually don’t worry about their work practices until things grind to halt. But the time to study your methods is when things are going well, so that you can identify the habits and processes that inspire your best work.

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