How Structure Actually Increases Your Productivity As an Entrepreneur
Structure is not your enemy, and I’m going to explain why. In fact, I’m going to tell you how Structure can actually increase your productivity as a creative entrepreneur. Rather than holding you back, Structure can launch you into creating more, and more efficiently, than you ever thought possible.
That’s because I believe progress happens at the intersection of structure and creativity. You need both. It’s not a this-or-that conversation; it’s an intimate weaving of both-and.
Structure gets a bad rap - and for good reason. It can feel limiting and rigid.
But in this article, I’d like to have the opportunity to reimagine what Structure is, in hopes that it is positive and motivating for you.
And, I’m going to share how Structure is necessary for a creative lifestyle and how you can use Structure to benefit your process.
Why Structure Feels Restrictive
If you have a distaste for Structure, there’s probably good reason for it. People with a natural bent toward creativity often view Structure as this rigid, limiting force, because growing up, it was.
Think back to your childhood. How often did your parents berate you to do your homework and keep your room clean? How often did your teachers tell you to stick to the formula and stop “drawing outside the lines”?
How did those orders make your inner creative feel?
When our relationship with Structure begins like this, it’s easy to think that Structure exists to squash our creativity. It breaks our natural “flow” and destroys any sense of individuality. Back then, Structure probably did. (or at least, it did for me)
But my question is, is that all structure can be?
I'd like to suggest that Structure can also become a positive reinforcement in your creative process.
I’ll explain how this works by looking at an example in nature.
How Structure Helps Your Creative Flow
What’s the most flowing thing in nature?
I think of a river.
A river can be beautiful and calming as it glides over stones and welcomes wildlife. Creatures congregate at the river and tree roots reach into the steam for nourishment. The river is what keeps the forest alive.
At the same time, we can’t ignore the river’s power; nothing stops a river’s current. As a river flows, it cuts through mountains to make deep, cavernous ravines.
But what is a river without its riverbed?
We call that a flood, which can destroy entire civilizations.
If we apply this imagery to your creativity, the river is your natural flow state. Structure then acts as the riverbed. It's the vehicle for the creative energy. It provides the guardrails you need to keep your creative juices flowing with greater intention toward the goal you want to achieve.
Without Structure in place, your creative flow can actually be aimless and it can feel like your wheels are spinning–on your output, psyche, or relationships. Healthy Structure is what optimizes your creativity and empowers it to flow, and that’s why Structure is essential for increasing your productivity.
But, it doesn't happen over night and it starts with a desire to understand how structure best serves YOU. As an intrinsic genuine interest. Because if I am certain about one thing, it's that it's not a one size fits all.
Benefits of Structure In Your Creative Process
If you’re still not convinced, consider that Structure will give you:
✅ More time.
✅ Healthier boundaries.
✅ Clearer vision.
✅ Greater self-confidence.
✅ Bigger sense of accomplishments.
Caveats To Applying Structure
As I mentioned, Structure is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, Structure is meant to be a living process, one that you get to experiment with and continually improve upon. That means how Structure manifests in your creative flow is entirely up to you.
Be willing to experiment. Be willing to try things that are out of your comfortzone.
BUT/AND life happens. I am often hard on myself when I don't follow my structure. Remember, it's a learning process and you're not going to get it perfect right away. The value is in the pursuit. And it's important to recognize our humanity. We need grace for ourselves. And we need to give ourselves permission to bend Structure, as needed, to fit the moments or seasons when “life happens.”
Nothing is absolute.
Summary of Structure For Creatives
Let’s recap: Structure can be your friend. It can help channel your creative flow, like a river, so that you can stay on course and achieve your goals more consistently.
For Structure to serve you in the best way possible, it needs to be a living process. So, give yourself permission to experiment with Structure. Discover how it can increase your productivity as a creative entrepreneur.