An ADHD client I was working with resisted putting structure in place. Like many I work with, he knew it would probably be beneficial, yet never having imposed structure in his life as an adult, he figured he could get by without it. However, anxiety and stress were present on a regular basis and that didn’t feel so good.
Through coaching, I showed him how to manage tasks so they didn’t get forgotten and he could get on top of things before there were negative ramifications due to important things not getting done. But when it came to time-blocking or having any sort of routines in place, he saw that as restricting his life. Not the first time I’ve heard that comment. Many people I work with express that same mindset at the outset: “I don’t want to have everything in my life all laid out. Routines feel limiting.” A common complaint of those before putting structure in place.
Perhaps that stems from childhood when structure was imposed on us by parents, schools, and society. That was for our safety, taught us to self-regulate, and provided a sense of security and responsibility in order to grow up with healthy boundaries and a sense of self. Structure and boundaries provide a foundation for a child’s overall well-being; fostering emotional, social, and cognitive development. Structure creates a supportive environment that enables children to navigate the challenges of growing up and develop essential life skills. The benefits of having structure don’t disappear once we are adults! We now get to choose the boundaries we wish to have in order to make our lives easier and more fulfilling.
And since, as children, we rarely had a say in our schedules, many grow up longing for the time when they could just ‘run free’ so-to-speak. Eh…that isn’t exactly what happens, is it?
So, this client pushed past his initial resistance and we created morning and evening routines and put structure in place for his days and weeks. He shared that he didn’t feel he could have ever had another view of routines until I worked with him.
And that ‘Ah-ha moment’ finally occurred in his mind when I explained that:
“Routines are a way of optimizing one’s life versus restricting life.”
He now loves having routines in place and stated that, having never had this amount of structure before (which he thanked me showing him how to embrace), he can now see that it isn’t a restriction. It only feels like a restriction before you change your mindset around it.
With structure, decisions of how you spend your time improves, procrastination dissipates, overwhelm reduces, and you can have the freedom and spontaneity you desire WITHOUT the fear or guilt of something getting avoided by default. THAT is where the freedom lies!
Planning ahead, changing your plans, and taking time off are more possible with structure in place. And you will sleep better as a result of stress and uncertainty vanishing.
I love helping clients create these kinds of systems and habits for themselves personally as well as for leaders and their teams. From project management to getting your home organized – and everything in between – I have been getting the world on-track for decades. There hasn’t been a situation where I wasn’t able to create a system or structure for it to optimize life.
Life Structure frees you to live your life as you choose.
Consider Productivity Coaching.