Why Structure is Important
I”ve been re-posting the top 10 posts from the last 2 years. I know that everyone else does this as a beginning-of-the-year thing in January, but…..
I was surprised to see which posts received the most hits. Here is NUMBER 1……………… (first posted on November 11, 2011)
When I propose the idea of structure, I’m talking about giving shape to your day. I do not think about creating structure as making rules. Structure is not the same thing. Structure is a framework, like your home or your body. If you want to make rules or guidelines about how to act in your home or body, of course you can, but it is not the same thing. I’ve never liked rules and often find myself wanting to break or bend them. Show me a rule and I can show you a display of bad attitude on my part (even if I’m the one who made the rule). Rules bring out the un-cooperative side of my nature.
I have an entirely different reaction to the concept of structure. Structure encourages me to actively think about what I want to do (or what I have to do) and then set aside time to get on with it. Without some structure, everything seems to shapelessly dribble and ooze. I like to know when I will be writing and set aside time so that I can concentrate on doing just that. Even on vacation, I like to think about what portions are about imitating a sloth and when I will play tourist. Somehow, creating structure, I feel like I am in control of time and showing some respect for the hours in my day. When I create a structure for my day, week, or year, it works to free me rather than box me in.
If you are an early career clinician, a professor who teaches interviewing skills, or a clinical supervisor, you will find my newest book, “What Do I Say? The Therapist’s Guide To Answering Client’s Questions” (with C. Waehler, published by John Wiley, 2011) a practical, useful addition to your library.
Want something lighter? How about my mystery, Object of Obsession