Day 393: Structures and Systems That Support

I am a bit in love with the word structure at the moment – and closely related to that word is the word system which is also a word that I am opening up in my life. These two words are powerful when applied with common sense in everyday life.

For example – in my work – I have many responsibilities stretching over a variety of different areas – and many of these responsibilities are closely tied to deadlines. There are too many responsibilities, and too many deadlines for me to remember. The only way for me to manage my responsibilities is through creating structures. And by trial and error I have established a functional structure – a system – that supports me to handle my responsibilities.

In summary – my structure/system is a data-table with all the information of a particular responsibility fed into the different columns and rows of the table. In the beginning and at the end of each week I take a closer look at this table to establish what deadlines are coming up – and thus – what responsibilities that I must tend to. During these moments I plan my week and the coming weeks by referencing my table – I project myself into the future – and assess how much time I need to be able to reach the deadlines. And then I schedule my time more thoroughly in writing for the coming week.

Then the week starts – and I am in the middle of the heat. And usually at that point – there is no time for me to take a look at the bigger picture. Deadlines and responsibilities merge into one flow – and here my structure/system/plan helps me immensely – without it I would loose myself in the waves of information and movements that occurs. However with my structure – I am settled – and when I need reference I take a look at my structure to see where it is I am going next. My movement is already decided – all that is required from me is that I animate it and put life into my structure – which practically means that I follow, that I am present and alive within my structure.

By using this system I have managed to create a comfortable and effective workflow. And I would say that is possible to create structures and systems in all areas of life that helps us to reach our best self – that removes undue pressure and hardship – because what systems and structures do is that they automatize – and they put the pressure unto physical reality. And the cool thing about physical reality is that it handles pressure without any limits. A calendar will be able to store massive amounts of information effortlessly – all that we have to do in order to utilize that potential is to create a routine where we use and counsel our calendar on a daily or weekly basis.

A mistake that I have sometimes made is that I forget the support available in structures and systems – and believe that what is important is to take action and just get things done. Thus I have in my past felt as if it is not worth my time to sit down and plan my week – because apparently I am then loosing valuable moments where I could have taken action. The reality is that this perception value is faulty. When a effective structure and system is in place – this makes the following action so much easier and faster – because I know where I am going and I know what I am doing – I can place ALL of my focus on the CREATION – instead of having to juggle between focusing on the task at hand and keeping the overview at the same time.

However – there are times when there can be too much structure – it then suffocates rather than supports with expansion. This is for example the case when tasks and responsibilities are micro-managed allowing for no creativity or flexibility. In such cases structure becomes a nuisance that creates anxiety and pressure. Hence – for me – I enjoy tasks structured with much room for flexibility, changes and unforeseen happenings. A structure or a system is a support – a means to reach an end – and not the goal in itself.

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