Structure and its importance

Chances are you know people who are at either end of the organisational spectrum. On the left of arc is the person who never plans anything, goes with the flow and thrives on chaos. They’re not generally effective and tend to jump from task to task, never giving 100% to any one thing.

At the other end of the spectrum is my sister…..Hampton white coat hangers all facing the same way , meals prepped in the same size Tupperware containers on Sunday, daily routines that border on militant underpinned by an electronic diary that is colour coded with so many colours, some are yet to be discovered.

These two ends of the spectrum are probably also representative of people who can be classed as stressed-out and in-control.

How does structure help?

Firstly

Naturally emotional people find that structure allows them to make greater sense of situations and experiences. A structured existence lets them “feel” things in their own time and they are not as easily ambushed by emotions. In some ways, structure can set you free.

Secondly

Humans are creatures of habit. Structure allows them to develop good habits through repetition and consistency and eliminate bad habits. If you develop a great daily routine full of good habits then there’s not enough time in the day for the bad habits.

As I’ve said before, your body, your health, your friendships and intelligence are the balance of your good habits minus your bad habits.

Thirdly

Be careful listening to the likes of Jocko Willink about will power. That shit is not finite for most of the general population who aren’t millionaires and who don’t have their lives wired tight. Most of us are raising kids, organising meals, juggling work and sport and doing the housework. A point lost on those who have simplified their lives through cutting away ALL outside influences. These same people have learned structure while in the military and think it’s motivation. (He is a champion motivator, don’t get me wrong, but don’t use him as the metric to measure your own motivation).

Create structure and build momentum – habits lead to consistency and this leaves will power that can then be used later in the day. There’s plenty of science to support this, and I’m more than happy to have it out with Jocko regarding this topic….

Lastly

Lastly – And this is based purely on my combat experience. Having structure in place gives you something to fall back on when chaos strikes. Make plans and have contingencies – then when it all turns to shit try and find some normality through the structures of your daily routine. You can be flexible and move things around, but if you have a plan at least you have something to fall back on. Even in the most confusing and violent of contacts, soldiers are drawing on experiences gained through their previously structured and consistent training.

Note

My belief is that the term self-motivation is stupid.

Nearly everyone is motivated by something greater than themselves. Generally, it’s an outside influence or force that they can visualise, be it money, success, fame or in most cases a second party providing the motivation for them. It’s important to understand what it is that motivates you. But, it’s even more important to build structure and consistency into your daily program. Why?

Motivation might get you out of bed, or to that meeting, or at the starting line – but; it’s the structure and the consistency that you apply in the days, weeks and months before  – that will make you a champion.

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