The Importance of Structure
The word structure has a bad rap. When we think about it, the first thing that might come to mind is a restriction, limitation or restraint which doesn't quite motivate us. It can do the opposite and discourage us. However, the fact is that structure is an essential piece we all need in our lives to be successful especially when we’re starting something new. Structure creates order and outlines our steps to achieve our goals. I want to breakdown three critical reasons why we can all use structure in our lives. And how we can benefit from it to help give us a more in-depth insight.
Structure Aids the Plan.
Once an idea is born, the structure has to be formed immediately for that idea to prosper. Creating an outline for your structure will help build the parameters within that idea. So, before you take action, your idea first has to be, organized and planned to create the structure needed to succeed. For example, knowing what your plan will do, whom it will serve, and how it will operate establishes an arrangement for you to create within. That doesn't mean it won't outgrow your structure if it does, that's an accomplishment worth celebrating. However, remember your structure is here to help you build your idea not limit it. Every journey has a beginning, and every beginning starts with a plan. Without structure, there to help breakdown the method it will remain just a wish full of potential.
Structure Gives us a Routine
Now that we have a plan of action it’s time to implement and act on it! The exciting part, right? For new entrepreneurs, this part can be a massive challenge because you’re essentially creating a routine from scratch. One benefit of being employed for an established company is that the company provides structure in advance. As an employee, you're informed on the office hours when to clock in, and what time everybody eats lunch. However, now as an entrepreneur, you no longer have that luxury. Now, it's very crucial to create a schedule to give your new time purpose.
Speaking from experience the first few weeks after I left my job was very difficult because I no longer had structure when it came to my time. I struggled with balancing my work and leisure time, and both conflicted with each other until most days I gave up. However, things started to change when I created a schedule and a morning routine. I slowly started to see the results I wanted. However, in-between getting the results there was plenty of trial and error when it came to creating a routine that worked and this will be true for anyone. Depending on your lifestyle will depend on what time of the day works best for you. As a writer, early mornings and late nights were my sweet spots where I found I was most effective. Finding the right work environment must also align with your structure to help reach your goals. A solution for this challenge is to invest money into a workspace or finding that right café or book store to set up shop. If you’re fortunate, you may find that your apartment or house is the perfect work environment for you and if so I genuinely envy you!
Structure Helps us Prioritize
Today we live in an instantaneous world. Everything we imagine is only a click, swipe, or tap away. While there are plenty of benefits from these new advancements inadvertently, they tend to mess up our priorities in the process. Instead of enjoying the time we set aside for family and friends we become distracted on less critical matters. Thankfully the solution for this problem leads us back to our structure.
By writing down our goals and plans, we now have a visual aide. Once, everything is laid out we no longer have to guess what we need to achieve. The next step is to put them in order of importance and lock in what’s a top priority. This strategy is similar to tackling your debt. To take a page from Dave Ramsey to resolve your financial issues you have to lay out your bills, due dates, and budget. Depending on the urgency and how much you owe will determine which one you should pay off first. After you pay off that bill, you then focus on paying off the next, and this creates the snowball effect. This method is no different when we’re creating a structure for our lives. If you’re anything like me, then you probably get excited very quickly about the new opportunity, and your brain instantly becomes scattered not knowing where to start. After while the excitement wears off, your focus loses momentum and nothing gets done. This cycle happens as a result of focusing on too many things at once. I promise that if you write out your plans and position them in order of importance, you will avoid endless hours of stagnating.
The structure is more important than we realize. For any idea or goal to reach its most genuine potential, we have to create a structure to secure and protect it. Structure gives us clarity on what’s important, helps us order our priorities and holds us accountable when we don’t meet our goals. This perspective provides new meaning to that old saying "think outside the box." I once lived by that saying and believed it to be an expression of freedom and a life untamed. However, now I realize that I work better when I work within my structure. Everybody's structure and their process will look and feel different, but that’s the beauty of it. We all are unique structured individuals.