How structure gives you freedom

When I worked in a toxic corporate environment I couldn’t wait for the day I could leave and set my own agenda.

I would work in my ‘jarmies if I chose, saving all that commuting time, and never never have over-air conditioning ruin my sunny days. I would take out all the structure that felt so binding – the regular meetings, time wasting and fraught; the pro forma work gatherings, often so flat; the deadlines.

I would set completely free days where I could work or relax or think my creative thoughts whenever I chose. This would lead to such a sense of freedom that I would be extra productive and creative and fantastic.

Well some of that happened. Sometimes I am in the ‘jarmies at 10am pounding the computer. I certainly dispensed with a twice daily commute although sometimes I travel much further to events and to deliver training and mostly I love that. I don’t have air conditioning at home or in my home office and I regular take twenty to sit in my sunny yard or walk to the beach.

The trouble with freedom

A complete absence of structure hasn’t added up to total freedom or achievement. There’s heaps of choice. Sometimes there is too open a diary and too many hours a day to choose from. This can lead to lack of focus in getting things done and a manana approach to projects.  The deadlines I impose upon myself have a way of shifting. That’s letting myself and others down.

Instead of all this freedom of mind, I often have my inner nag going, “when it this going to happen?”

As my friend Kay said recently, after she obtained a regular gig every six weeks, “this structure will give me more freedom.” Dates are in her diary now, she knows what’s expected and she can plan and ponder her approach without rushing. It feels wonderful to her to have this skeleton to hang her year on. Income’s regular, too. Structure hasn’t fenced her in,  carefully curated structure has freed her up.

Like Kay, I’ve felt my ultra freedom has actually constrained me from the momentum I seek. I’m taking a leaf from her book. Instead of chucking every constraint, I’m going to put some selected structure back into my work year. Starting with: this newsletter will come out more regularly. What are you going to do?

Don’t get me wrong, you’ll still see my out in the sun, but sometimes I’ll be doing it to rejoice at just having penned my blog, course and emails.

Image moment: From the naturally gorgeous and messy Flannel flower above,  I added order and system to develop this flower and leaf design, left, for a fabric pattern. I hope you like the organised one!

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Keep going If you’re on a brave path to become the real you, keep learning about and experimenting with steps of courage.

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