Holiday Closure: All Easton Schools Closed Dec.14 & morning classes cancelled Dec.15

Easton Training Logo Badge

January 10, 2023

Structure Is The Spice of Life: Crush IT

Tatyana Grechina

Structure Is The Spice of Life: Crush IT

Often, it’s not what we do, but our approach to doing it that will yield the greatest results. We might have the coolest ideas for projects and best intentions, but if we haven’t nailed our daily buzz, we cut our chances of realizing those visions in half. 

We’ve all at times lost our routines to chaotic free flow, where days, weeks and months fly by in total disarray.  It feels like running through the woods constantly tripping and stumbling over rocks. Somehow, we miraculously keep going, but we feel out of control the whole time.

As kids, we can’t wait to get rid of bedtimes and chores and strict rules around staying up late to eat ice cream in bed. 

In some – most – spaces, if it weren’t for structure, we’d have total chaos.

The adult versions of ourselves, on the other hand, quickly realize we can’t get by on chaotic freedom alone. Through our fumbling early years, we gradually move past the need to rebel, and we return to the comfort and security of routine, structure and goals.

Could it be that setting stricter guidelines and structures for ourselves actually facilitates the freedom we want?

Why structure helps us hit our goals

Turns out, total “freedom” doesn’t actually feel good. When there’s no structure, we lack a hierarchy of importance or any sort of standard operating procedures for our life. We free-fall, keeping up living but with no excess energy to sustainably strive towards our goals. 

Of course, we might hit some of those goals anyways, but this chaotic progress has a whole lot less clarity and ultimately a slower pace.

The truth that we all sooner or later discover is that we need structure. We need it to guide us and bring even the most whimsical of us back to earth. When we maintain a solid foundation and connection to the real world, we integrate our magic in a real way which we can share.

Author Cal Newport talks about this phenomenon in terms of a new reality that our busy lives, laden with emails, Slack and Google invites, must reconcile. If most of our day gets eaten up by repetitive administrative tasks, how do we move forward with our larger projects? 

Through the lens of a novelist on scheduling creativity, Cal invites us to consider if we’re giving ourselves enough scheduled “free” time. 

Give yourself a break: some tricks for implementing structure

When we have all the basic elements of our day tucked into a routine, we can save on mental energy and apply it towards bigger goals and projects. 

Here are some ways that you can add systems of structure into your life that can eliminate wasted brain space. 

Tighten up your workflow, and get your headspace moving from Office On The Left to Office On The Right.

An autopilot schedule

Creating an autopilot schedule can free up the mental capacity to think about our bigger picture projects and plans. One way to start plotting this system is by grouping tasks into two categories: regularly occurring and non-regularly occurring. 

Schedule the regularly occurring ones in such a way that you seamlessly do them each week, and allow space for the non-regularly occurring tasks to develop. Your regular work gets done consistently, and extra brain space gained through completing this work allows you more clarity towards your bigger goals.

Prepping meals ahead of time helps you not skip a meal when you’re too busy to make food and takes deciding what to eat out of the equation.

Tackle decision fatigue

The autopilot schedule you create can also reduce the mental strain that comes from “decision fatigue”, the burnout our brains feel after making choices all day. 

David Asprey, ‘Father of Biohacking’ suggests 30 ways to avoid decision fatigue, from saying “no” and planning out your day the night before, to mastering a few delicious meals and the mid-day recharge. Keeping your bedtime routine sacred and creating a morning routine you enjoy are also key!

Less choices means less burnout, and if you enjoy this approach, you can get as inventive as you’d like in the planning which will make your daily life that much simpler, like how successful people often wear the same thing every day. 

Create a space for yourself that you want to spend time in. Then make that time happen.

Carve out time 

Carving out generous chunks of time each week where you can focus on an important activity will make a huge difference in your progress. Often, we may feel selfish wanting tons of extra time for something, especially if we have lots of other responsibilities. However, if we want to truly progress, we have to be ruthless about carving out time.

Be intentional when thinking about these chunks. Depending on the goal, bigger chunks a couple times a week may work better than smaller, more frequent blocks of time. 

If your goal involves research or getting deep into creative work, you’ll accomplish more in a four or five-hour timeframe. If that goal is to add some morning movement into your routine to get your blood flowing, short 45-minute or one-hour bursts of time could hit just right.

Batch your tasks

If you have the freedom of making your own schedule or leading your own projects, you can further structure your work days by batching – a process of grouping similar tasks together to streamline your workload. Perhaps certain days are writing days while others are reserved for editing, newsletter creating or research. 

The ability to stay focused rather than jumping from task to task can help you get deeper into each element without distraction!


Sign up for a free class

Sign up below