The comfort of structure

Remember when you were in school and there was an often-invisible framework of frequent homework and tests, as well as structure provided by classes, sports, activities, jobs, and parents, that kept you on track and moving forward? And then you get out of school and the framework disappears completely but the tasks you’re required to fit into the time available have multiplied. 

Figuring out when, where, and how long to work, when to do chores, how much time to spend on tasks, when to eat, when to sleep, when to get up, how to get up, when to go out, when to stay in: all these are balls you must keep in the air at the same time.  And some people have trouble with doing this, because after all, in school, there was no class dedicated to this stuff.

Creating or turning to our own version of a structure similar to that experienced during our school years, can be very comforting and helps us get things done. In times of need, structures become even more important. And sometimes it’s the structure of those around us that help ground and anchor us in the rhythm of life.

I was speaking with a woman the other day about this and we both came to the realisation that we were both missing structure in our lockdown experiences. For her, it was the structure that her son’s school days had provided, as well as completing her own post-graduate studies. Without these two frameworks, she was feeling out of whack and ungrounded.

For myself, I recognised that when I was in a share house and working from home, there was an unconscious structure that helped frame my days in that I had housemates leaving for work and then coming back. So I had a trigger as to when to put tools down. Now it’s simply up to me to determine when to stop.

Creating a structure is possible though. Yes, it’s easier to have frameworks like school, children, partners, and housemates to hang our structures on but it’s not the only way. A mixture of planning, calendaring, booking in motivating meetings, catchups, walks, getting excited about breakfast, are a number of ways that you can begin to create structure.

If you need more guidance as to how to bring more structure and support into your life, lets chat! Take advantage of a free 30-minute chat with me and let’s get more of what you need into your week!

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