Do you have enough structure in your days?
Its the eternal battle for me between going with the flow and being the creator of great things with a real schedule.
Or is it a battle?
It shouldn’t be a battle.
Without structure, we couldn’t survive. Within structure, creativity comes to life.
There are very few artists I know who have real careers that can live without structure. While your actual creative process may be a flowing one, your days need some sort of order to ensure your survival and make time work for you instead of against you!
If you have been feeling defeated by your days, always lack the time to do everything you dream of doing, feel sort of numb or chaotic, mood-swingy and upset that you aren’t making things happen, you may need structure!!! And structure is easy to create!
Even water that flows freely and foams in excitement needs structure in order to exist.
Where there is no structure there is nothing to contain life. Pour water into a glass. Now you can drink that water. Pour water into unstructured space. How easy is it to drink that water off of the ground?
Structure makes great things possible, and in some cases it is the only way that anything becomes possible.
You may not need to make drastic changes in your methods in order to succeed whre you are miserably unproductive, you may just need structure!!!
10 Ways To Know If You Need Structure In Your Life
1. You aren’t sure what you are doing today.
Boom! This is the big one. While it is awesome to have days of organic creativity, its not organic to not know what you are creating today. Even if you are going to clean your house and prepare a space to be more productive, and that is the only thing you can be sure you need to do, that actually has to get done! Living without a sense of a purpose for each day is a dull haze.
2. You have no deadlines to get important things done.
If you have no real shape to time, the illusion of time will take over your life. We have to shape time to create things. Dates far out in the future like, ” Oh, in January, 4 months from now, I am going to do this” just don’t work in most cases. You need to start from a deadline and work backward, setting dates that you actually have to keep. More on this to come but for now, ask yourself:
Do I have deadlines for important projects and events?
3. You talk a lot and do very little.
Don’t talk about it, be about it. If you want to make yourself feel better about doing nothing by talking about all the things you are going to do, you are doing yourself a great disservice. You need to do the things you need to do. Talk about them when they are done!
4. Your sleep cycle is a total blur.
Blur meaning: I sleep when I want to and I am awake when I feel like it…
Try waking up at the same time every day. An early time will instatly help you to restructure yourself.
When you are on a chotic sleep schedule, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine your organs get confused in their own cycle.
You may feel less effective because you ARE less effective!
5. You miss things because you keep your commitments “in your head”.
When my calendar is my memory, I am in deep trouble.
If you have a real problem keeping a calendar, keep one on paper rather than one that is digital. Something you can hold and touch and cross things off of is vital to seeing your own progress!
6. You can’t get motivated to do anything.
Why should you be motivated if there is no sense of urgency to do anything?
7. Your house is a perpetual mess.
In the absence of real productivity, a mess collects in your mind. That same mess is mirrored in your home.
8. You aren’t creating anything you are proud to be creating.
Deadlines and structure help you to see progress. If you can’t see progress, there is no pride in creation. Do you see how this structure thing works? It is vital!
9. You have no time.
How could you possibly have time when there is endless time because there is not shape to your time?
10. The thought of a deadline seems like a joke because you aren’t sure how to meet deadlines you set for yourself. See #2.
When you attempt to put structure into your life, you realize that deadlines are only as real as they can be felt. If you don’t have a real penalty for missing a deadline, chances are it isn’t real. This is where hiring a life coach is a great idea. Announcing to your co-workers your deadline to get social accountability is a great idea.
So… is a need for structure your personal ah-ha revelation?
It has been mine, over and again.
Creative beings like to feel free. But in too much freedom without bounds, you sort of flounder, not knowing what to do first.
A few suggestions:
- Keep a calendar
- Create a very clear deadline for what you want
- Add order to things that you were sort of “winging.” Example: now I have a a calendar for this blog that was once just me writing every day about whatever I felt like writing at the outset. That is not productive. Editorial calendars are a real thing. They spark amazing ideas and they get things feeling and looking exciting!!!
- Finish all the projects lingering around you, unfinished!
And… you will start to crave structure. You will find yourself excited to get the checklist done. You will be shocked at all the ideas that come when you have a finite amount of time to come up with them!
Make it happen. Life is happening now, and you don’t want to miss it because you forgot what day it is because you are so completely lost in unstructured space! xoxoxo Dana
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