How To Create Structure When You Don't Like Structure - But Need It!

how to create structure when you don't like structure

Talking about how to create structure for creatives is like sticking your hand in a beehive, it’s a bit tricky. Creatives are notorious for being rebels and not following any plan. Only our own plan.

Imagine this:

You are fired up, you are super excited about your goal. This is the right one. You have other dreams and goals, but this one is the big one. And you finally have time to work on it. You sit down to get to work but first, you just have to check if there are any new skating stories on Insta from @jvn because he is so lovely and funny. Oh, and you concentrate better when the floor is hoovered, it’ll just take 5 minutes. Ok, ready. Wait! You got that email you have to have a look at, and THEN you’re ready to work on your goal. What! Fu**! It’s time to start dinner. Never mind, you’ll get time tomorrow, and anyway, you did get the hoovering done.

Can you relate?

It’s me I’m talking about. I need structure. And a detailed plan, and it needs to be written down into daily small jobs. I need structure if I want to do any work related to my goals, my creative growth and my personal growth. Otherwise, I’m all over the shop, doing a bit of this, doing a bit of that. Basically, I get nothing done, definitely nothing that’ll make me closer to my dream.

But I resist this structure all the way.

Every creative person I have spoken to or coached, every multi-passionate person I have spoken to struggle with sticking to a plan that’ll make her follow-through on her goals and dreams.

You need structure, you want structure, but you rebel against a structure. Why?

2 Reasons Creatives Rebels Against Structure

  1. Your plan and your structure are simply not good enough. You’re not organized enough, it’s not properly thought out and it isn’t realistic to how you work.

  2. You rebel against structure and following a plan because of fear.
    Fear of doing the work because of what you think that’ll bring of change to your life.
    Fear of not being good enough - your expectations of yourself are too high.
    Fear of success. Fear of being seen and open yourself up to criticism.

Related: 2 Hidden reasons you’re not getting your creative work done

I understand all of those fears, and then some. And I understand the rebel ways of a creative, fiercely independent mind, the “no one can tell me what to do”- mind. Bloody hell, that’s how I came out of my mother’s womb!

Here’s the thing, though - the only one that rebellion is stopping is YOU.

How to create structure when you don’t like structure- but need it!

You create a detailed but flexible plan, also called structure for rebel creatives.

Your plan is

  • based on a small steps system where each goal is broken down into many, many small jobs.

  • fuelled by self-compassion.

  • creative in its design.

  • where you’re allowed to “break the rules.”

  • blending beautifully with your life and personality.

A 4-step method to structure your creative and personal growth

Step 1:

You take 1 top goal and break it into at least 12 subgoals. Then you prioritize your subgoals into a list of 12 where 1 is the top priority and 12 has least priority.

You have now broken your 1 top goal down into 12 months.

Step 2:

From your list of 12 subgoals (step 1), you take the first 2 subgoals and put the other 10 subgoals to the side.

Then you break these 2 subgoals into 8 smaller subgoals and prioritize then from 1-8.

Now you have goals for 8 weeks with the most important goal for week 1.

Step 3:

Break each of 8 subgoals into weekly goals with the steps you need to take first in week 1.

Step 4:

Take each weekly goal and break it down into daily steps - or as many days in a week you can work on your goal. If you have 3 days in your week where you have time, then you break that week’s goal into 3 days.

If you have 4 days in week 2 where you can work on your goal, then you break that weeks steps into 4. And so on.

Let’s recap:

You take 1 goal >>

Break it into 12 subgoals, 1 for each month of a year >>

Then take the first 2 months subgoals and break them into 8 smaller subgoals, 1 for every 8 weeks. >>

Plot the 8 smaller subgoals into a calendar, over 8 weeks. >>

Break each of the 8 weeks down to daily steps.

Repeat with the other 10 months of subgoals.

Now the fun part of this plan of structure

You have now laid the groundwork for your new plan of structure and now comes the fun and most important part.

Make it your own.

This step is vital and why many of us don’t follow through on our plans and schedules.

You have a framework to work from now, but you have to make your structure personal so it works for how your life looks. Which is different from how my life looks, and your friends’ life.

Use a calendar you love, make it nice if that inspires you.

A word of warning: don’t make your calendar more important than the steps you put in it!

You might need to review your plan daily. I do.

Nothing ever goes to plan for anyone, so be flexible and creative.

If you make enjoying the process your goal, you can’t go wrong.

What you do next: