I don’t like structure? What about you? Do you like to go with the flow or are you only comfortable if you plan everything you do?

So for me planning and structure stilts my creativity. I love to go with the flow and always told myself that rather than structure, I love:

  • Last minute.
  • Spontaneity.
  • Changing plans.
  • Making plans as we go.

Do we need structure?

I think the answer to this question is actually yes – but to differing degrees.

Even though I fight it, I do find myself becoming more and more structured – it’s partly a case of having to, what with juggling my coaching business, training to be a psychotherapist and being a wife and mother.

It has become clear to me that the need for structure is becoming increasingly important…but why?

Why is structure important?

It probably seems obvious to those of you who relish structure but for those of us who struggle with structure it’s not all that simple. For a long time, I struggled to see the benefits and could only see the shackles I felt structure gave me. So why is structure so important?

  • A good structure records purpose and direction – ensuring you don’t stray too far up the wrong path.
  • Planning results in achieving deadlines and goals.
  • It helps inform others so they can plan what they are doing.
  • It can help you achieve more and keeps you focused.
  • It gives you breathing space as you can effectively schedule activities and meetings.
  • It gives you sight of what is ahead, allowing you to plan how to overcome any hurdles.

How do you ensure you keep the spontaneous element?

Even with a robust structure, it is still important to have flexibility in your plans so you can react quickly and effectively to change and seize opportunities as they arise.

It’s important not to over plan too – I’ve heard it suggested that 75% of the working day should be occupied with planned activities and 25% reserved for surprises! I like the theory but this is still a little too structured for me…so I’ve started building in time for reflection.

As my life and work have become increasingly hectic, I’ve found having a nice blend of structured planning and going with the flow to be the best solution for me.

What works for you?