Establishing structure does not mean you need to plan every little detail in your life with no room for spontaneity. Having structure means keeping a schedule or routine, which includes making time for yourself, and activities that bring you joy.
Having structure can do wonders for improving productivity, stress, and even anxiety and depression. For some people, having no routine can be physically and emotionally draining.
In this article, you will learn why maintaining structure in life is important, and five helpful tips for you to start to establish your own unique structure to enhance your well-being.
- What does a structured life mean?
- Why should we create structure?
- The many benefits of having a structured life
- 5 Ways to create structure
- 1. Establish a healthy morning and bedtime routine
- 2. Make a to-do list
- 3. Plan your meals
- 4. Make time for self-care and activities you enjoy
- 5. Make sure your structure suits you!
- Wrapping up
What does a structured life mean?
A structured life can mean different things to different people, depending on their lifestyles. Oftentimes we don’t know that we depend on some kind of structure in life until it is gone.
Structure in life can mean routines and protocols you implement in order to help get things done.
For example, you may have a morning routine each day before going to work; this is structure. If you make plans to go on a trip with friends, you will decide the date you will go, the length of the trip, where you will stay, and perhaps some activities you will do. When you do this, you have created a structure to guide you.
Why should we create structure?
Maintaining a sense of structure in your life can have many benefits. Having structured routines can have a significant positive impact on your mental health, including improving bipolar disorder, preventing substance abuse, as well as managing anxiety and depression.
A report on addiction and early abstinence states that “Structuring one’s time is an important aid to recovery”. It also says that a structured life helps individuals in addiction recovery to decrease negative emotions such as depression or boredom.
Without structure, there is a greater risk of returning to unhealthy and risky behaviors, as there is nothing to help you stay on track and stick to healthier routines.
Research indicates that people in good health engage in more routine behaviors. For example, individuals who are successful at maintaining good health may have a healthy food plan, engage in routine exercise, and do not skip meals.
The same study shows that a bedtime routine is associated with improved sleep habits.
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The many benefits of having a structured life
Having a regular routine can help you to feel a sense of control, which can reduce your stress and anxiety levels. Research shows that routine helps to make life feel more predictable, stable, and controllable, which can give a calming and anxiety-reducing effect.
A structure in life can also help with increasing productivity and ending procrastination. When you establish structure in your life it is easier to complete tasks that you need to do.
Having a routine and schedule allows for better time management and the effective completion of mundane tasks, leaving more room for enjoyment or extra tasks that need to get done.
Research shows that people who lack structure in their life may be more likely to suffer from stress, poor sleep, poor eating, worsened physical condition, and procrastination.
A lack of structure may result in worrying about finding time to complete tasks and neglecting your health. For example, if you do not schedule time for healthy meals or grocery shopping, unhealthy substitutes become the norm.
5 Ways to create structure
In order to reap all the benefits of having a structured life, here are 5 tips that will help you create structure in your life.
1. Establish a healthy morning and bedtime routine
Having a structured morning and bedtime routine will have a significant impact on your day. A good quality morning routine can help you to feel in control of your day and assist you in attending to your self-care needs.
A morning routine can include skincare, brushing your teeth, eating a healthy breakfast, and even squeezing in an enjoyable activity such as reading or watching your favorite show. Exercise and meditation are other activities you can incorporate into a healthy morning routine.
A healthy bedtime routine can have an incredibly positive impact on your sleep habits, which are inextricably linked to your overall health.
Evidence shows that having a good routine can improve your quality of rest, which in turn can positively affect your mental sharpness, performance, emotional well-being, and energy level.
A good bedtime routine means trying to sleep at a similar time each night, attending to your personal hygiene (for example brushing your teeth, washing your face, taking a shower), and activities that help you to relax and get ready to sleep, such as meditation, reading a book or having a caffeine-free tea.
2. Make a to-do list
Making a list of things you want or need to get done in the day can help you to prioritize and manage your time. When making the list it is important to set objectives that follow the SMART goal guidelines. Setting SMART goals helps you to develop the focus and motivation needed to achieve the goals on your to-do list.
That being said, it is important to remain flexible when it comes to the to-do list. Sometimes your days can become unpredictable, or plans will change, and you will not check everything off your list. Other times you may find it difficult to find the motivation, and that’s okay!
Don’t be too hard on yourself, it’s okay to have off days where you don’t achieve everything you wanted to.
Not everything is under your control, and that's okay. Use the list as a guide and a tool to prioritize, manage your time, and provide structure to your day.
3. Plan your meals
Having planned meals adds a layer of structure to your life. It can help improve your overall health, reduce the stress around rushing meals, and help you to save time.
Planning meals can also help you to eat better and can even save you money! As with any new routine, meal planning may take time and practice to get used to. You may have to experiment with what works best for you.
4. Make time for self-care and activities you enjoy
Sometimes when we are trying to increase structure in our life, we may neglect to engage in enjoyable activities due to feeling like our time is too occupied by other routines or activities that need to get done.
It is important to ensure that you are intentionally scheduling time for activities you enjoy when implementing structure into your life. In other words, you need to set aside time for self-care. This can provide a sense of connectedness to others and improve your overall quality of life.
Some examples of enjoyable activities include getting together with a friend, playing a sport, listening to music, gardening, or going for a nature walk.
5. Make sure your structure suits you!
Lastly, and arguably most importantly, make sure the structure you implement suits you! Your life is unique, and the structure that helps you may not be suitable for the next person.
For example, if you work a nine-to-five job, your sense of structure may look quite different from a freelancer who is a night owl, or a post-secondary student.
There are no rules when it comes to establishing a structure that works for you. As long as the structure and routines implemented are healthy habits that serve you and help you maintain a balanced life, then keep doing what you’re doing!
💡 By the way: If you want to start feeling better and more productive, we've condensed the information of 100's of our articles into a 10-step mental health cheat sheet here. 👇
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Implementing structure into your life is an ongoing process with many benefits. Finding the right structure for your unique life can take practice, revision, and flexibility, but the effort is worth it. Start by trying some of the tips in this article and see what works best for you!
What do you think? Do you find it hard to create and follow a structure in your life? Or do you want to share another tip that really helped you get your life on track? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!
Jessie Faber Writer
Writer, athlete, social worker, and professional thrift shopper. Born in Canada, but currently living my dream playing professional soccer in Greece. Passionate about mental health advocacy, sewing, singing, and playing guitar.
Classes, routines, and protocols are all life structures that help us get things done. If you have a game night with a group of friends, for instance, it's a fun evening. Make a plan to get together once a month and decide who will bring the games, food, and drinks, and you've created a life structure.How can I create more structure in my life? ›
- Consistency – doing the same thing every time.
- Predictability – expecting or knowing what is going to happen.
- Follow-through – enforcing the consequence (“say what you mean and mean what you say”)
Classes, routines, and protocols are all life structures that help us get things done. If you have a game night with a group of friends, for instance, it's a fun evening. Make a plan to get together once a month and decide who will bring the games, food, and drinks, and you've created a life structure.How do I create my own structure? ›
- Establish a healthy morning and bedtime routine. Having a structured morning and bedtime routine will have a significant impact on your day. ...
- Make a to-do list. ...
- Plan your meals. ...
- Make time for self-care and activities you enjoy. ...
- Make sure your structure suits you!
In general, a structured life is keeping a schedule or routine, which includes making time for yourself and activities that bring you joy.What does it mean if you need structure in your life? ›
A regular structure also creates a sense of familiarity and control that can reduce your stress levels and help you feel more in control of your time and life generally. Routine can also move you past procrastination, without you having to really push yourself through .What are 5 examples of structures? ›
Buildings, aircraft, skeletons, anthills, beaver dams, bridges and salt domes are all examples of load-bearing structures. The results of construction are divided into buildings and non-building structures, and make up the infrastructure of a human society.What are 10 examples of structures? ›
You can think of the following examples: Natural: a nest, a skeleton, a shell, a tree, an ant-hill and a skull, Man- made structures: a bridge, a car, a house, a shoe, a table, a cage and a car port.What are natural structures 5 examples? ›
Natural Structures: Shells, trees, skeletons, nests, etc.
Natural animal structures: nests, beaver dams, termite hills, coral, wasp nests, bee, hives, tunnels made by moles, mice, rabbits, birds' eggs, tortoise shells, etc. Natural geological structures: caves, mountains, etc.
A structure is a collection of variables of same or different datatypes. It is useful in storing or using informations or databases. Example: An employee's record must show its salary, position, experience, etc. It all can be stored in one single variable using structures.
One way to keep control and help children learn is to create structure. Structure is created by consistent routines and rules. Rules teach children what behaviors are okay and not okay. Routines teach children what to expect throughout the day.What makes a simple structure? ›
Simple structure is a basic organizational design structure with low departmentalization, little work specialization, wide spans of control, centralized authority (typically the owner has most of the power) and little formalization or rules that govern operation.Do I need more structure in my life? ›
Lack of structure can make us feel unmotivated and distracted and often leads to you doing everything at the last minute. Of course, flexibility is important, but structure is necessary for creating a sense of stability and balance in your life.How do successful people structure their days? ›
They use successful plans to complete a combination of the following activities in the morning: meditate, read, journal, exercise, prioritize their day, envision a successful day, and eat a nutritious breakfast to fuel their day.How do you create a structure at work? ›
- Plan the future. ...
- Consider the past. ...
- Build your organizational structure. ...
- Fill in the people. ...
- Balance authority and responsibility. ...
- Fill in employee data and metrics. ...
- Practice robust performance management of employees. ...
- Review your organizational structure annually.
Despite all of the advantages of using structured techniques, there were problems inherent in the complete path of structured techniques: structured programming, structured design, and structured analysis.How can I be more structured in thinking? ›
- Have a clear and concise problem definition.
- Study the roots of the problem.
- Brainstorm possible solutions to the problem.
- Examine the possible solution and choose the best one.
- Implement the solution effectively.
- Evaluate the results.
Norms, roles, and institutions are all components of the social structure on different levels of complexity.What is the most important purpose of structure? ›
The main purpose of such a structure is to help the organization work towards its goals. It brings members of the organization together and demarcates functions between them.Why is structure important for a person? ›
Good structure enables people to anticipate what is happening, provides a shape to the day and an organised framework for support.
Implementing a structure to your day can give you a sense of control. It can also improve your focus, organization, and productivity. Having a routine is about more than just your day-to-day responsibilities and your work—don't forget to make time for self-care.What are the 5 elements of structure? ›
What are 5 key elements of organizational structures? Five elements create an organizational structure: job design, departmentation, delegation, span of control and chain of command. These elements comprise an organizational chart and create the organizational structure itself.What are the 4 main types of structures? ›
The four types of organizational structures are functional, multi-divisional, flat, and matrix structures.What are the 5 structural elements? ›
- Rod - axial loads.
- Beam - axial and bending loads.
- Post (structural)
- Struts or Compression members- compressive loads.
- Ties, Tie rods, eyebars, guy-wires, suspension cables, or wire ropes - tension loads.
Human-made structure means any structure constructed with the intent of providing shelter to persons or property. It does not include structures constructed specifically for live- burn fire training purposes.What makes a structure strong? ›
The shape and the material used to built a structure determine its resistance. Resistance is the capacity of a structure to bear the tensions that it is subjected to without breaking. It depends on material used to build the structure, and the shape of the structure.What are the three types of structures? ›
There are three basic types of structures: shell structures, frame structures and solid structures. But some structures are a combination.What are some examples of human made structures? ›
- The Eiffel Tower PARIS. ...
- The Great Wall of China CHINA. ...
- Musée du Louvre PARIS. ...
- Times Square NEW YORK. ...
- The Statue of Liberty NEW YORK. ...
- The Pyramids at Giza EGYPT. ...
- Machu Picchu PERU. ...
- The Taj Mahal INDIA.
Natural structures are structures built by animals (ex. bird nest, beaver dam, termite mound) and/or geological structures (ex. mountain, iceberg).What is an example of a simple structure? ›
If the firm is a sole proprietorship, one person performs all the tasks the organization needs to accomplish. For example, on the TV series The Simpsons, both bar owner Moe Szyslak and the Comic Book Guy are shown handling all aspects of their respective businesses.
Form is the style in which a a piece of text is written in, for example: novel, short story, play, dramatic monologue and sonnet.What are examples of word structure? ›
For example, "schoolyard" is made of "school" + "yard", "makes" is made of "make" + a grammatical suffix "-s", and "unhappiness" is made of "happy" with a prefix "un-" and a suffix "-ness".What is the best definition of structure? ›
noun. mode of building, construction, or organization; arrangement of parts, elements, or constituents: a pyramidal structure.What are the main elements of a structure? ›
The basic components of a building structure are the foundation, floors, walls, beams, columns, roof, stair, etc. These elements serve the purpose of supporting, enclosing and protecting the building structure.What is a real life example of a functional organizational structure? ›
Examples of organizations with a functional structure include: Amazon, Starbucks. A functional structure groups employees into different departments by work specialization. Each department has a designated leader highly experienced in the job functions of each employee supervised by them.How does a structure work? ›
Structures (also called structs) are a way to group several related variables into one place. Each variable in the structure is known as a member of the structure. Unlike an array, a structure can contain many different data types (int, float, char, etc.).Why is it important for a structure to be strong? ›
Its primary purpose is to support the load of the entire building. A well-designed and strong foundation keeps the building standing while the forces of nature wreak havoc. Well-built foundations keep the occupants of the building safe during calamities such as an earthquake, floods, strong winds etc.What are the most powerful habits? ›
- They don't wait for a title to lead. ...
- They're graciously disruptive. ...
- They think for themselves. ...
- They focus only on what really matters. ...
- They master conflict. ...
- They inspire conversation.
- Identify the time of day when you're most productive. ...
- Set priorities for the next day. ...
- Work on difficult tasks first. ...
- Group similar tasks together. ...
- Schedule breaks. ...
- Allocate extra time for challenging tasks. ...
- Review progress throughout the day.
- Use to-do lists. If you don't keep a to-do list, now's the time to start. ...
- Plan your day the night before. ...
- Break big tasks down. ...
- Start with the hardest task. ...
- Reduce decision fatigue. ...
- Plan your meals. ...
- Know your energy levels. ...
- Keep your space free of clutter.
Leaders help shape the organizational structure by using their influence to make decisions and create an environment where employees feel motivated and empowered to do their best work. With the right leadership, organizations develop and implement effective strategies for success quickly.What does it mean to have structure at work? ›
An organizational structure defines how job titles, roles, and responsibilities are assigned within a company. It helps determine who reports to whom, and who makes decisions about what.What does it mean to be a structured person? ›
/ˈstrəktʃəd/ If you're happiest when your day is planned out, with lists of things to do, and a tightly-packed schedule, then you like living a structured life. When something is structured, it's arranged according to a specific plan.Why is creating structure important? ›
Structure helps parents and their kids. Kids feel safe and secure because they know what to expect. Parents feel confident because they know how to respond, and they respond the same way each time. Routines and rules help structure the home and make life more predictable.Why do I resist structure? ›
Why can't I stick to a routine? Among the main reasons you fail to follow a well structured daily schedule are: choosing immediate gratification over long-term improvement. being stuck in a “default mode” – not having confidence for action, and choosing to keep a passive status quo.What does it mean to be well structured? ›
organized so that the parts relate well to each other; having a clear structure: In today's competitive climate, success is most likely to come to those who understand the need for a structured approach to job hunting.What does it mean when someone has no structure? ›
Lack of structure can make us feel unmotivated and distracted and often leads to you doing everything at the last minute. Of course, flexibility is important, but structure is necessary for creating a sense of stability and balance in your life.What does lack of structure mean? ›
A lack of organizational structure means that project and administrative responsibilities are often neglected. In a strong organization, responsibility is not used as a vehicle for pointing fingers.What does creating structure mean? ›
Creating structure in your child's day is about establishing a regular routine. That may mean keeping wake up time, meals, snacks, and naps at the same time every day. Enacting rules and following a routine might get you labeled the “strict” parent by friends and family.What is the main purpose of a structure? ›
The purpose of structure is to optimise for (brevity, readability, traceability, isolation and encapsulation, maintainability, extensibility, performance and efficiency), examples being: language choice, code, functions, libraries, builds, system evolution, or diagrams for flow logic and design.
Social structure provides the framework within which we interact with others. This framework is an orderly fixed arrangement of parts that together make up the whole group or society. Society is defined as a population of people which shares the same geographic territory and culture.Does structure help anxiety? ›
When people don't have a routine or structure to their day it can cause increased stress and anxiety, as well as overwhelming feelings, lack of concentration, and focus. A lack of structure and routine can actually exacerbate feelings of distress and make you pay more attention to the source of your problems.Do people with ADHD need structure? ›
Structure is beneficial for several reasons: Provides external control: The symptoms of ADHD lead to problems with self-control. As a result, children with ADHD need more external controls (i.e., structure) to help them manage symptoms.How do I start scheduling my life? ›
- List to-do items. ...
- Prioritize tasks. ...
- Note deadlines. ...
- Identify recurring events. ...
- Order items by time, priority, or deadline. ...
- Stay flexible.