Structure for Freedom

Structure is freedom.  Sounds wrong, but I’m pretty sure it’s right.  Craig Ballentyne made this statement on The Jason Ferruggia podcast last week and it stuck with me.  Structure truly does provide freedom.

It may sound backwards, but don’t confuse structure with being boxed.  The proper structure in business or life provides freedom for creativity and exploration.  Setting limits and following a schedule can free up time and energy needed for other worthwhile tasks.  I’ll use two examples in this post; a daily ritual and a household budget.

Daily Ritual

Every day you are presented with a set of tasks that you need to acheive.  Without a roadmap of how to get everything completed, you’re leading yourself to failure.  Each day, you should wake up with a plan and work your plan.  This is the structure that will not only get your tasks finished, but provide free time to create, relax and enjoy.

My daily routine:

From 6:15am – 7:00am, I complete the following in order:

  • Get out of bed.
  • Pick out my clothes.
  • Brush my teeth.
  • Shower.
  • Dress.
  • Brew my coffee, drink my greens, take my supplements.
  • Leave for work.

From 8:00am – 9:00am

  • Sit down in my office.
  • Complete purchasing.
  • Check scheduling and schedule for the following days.

9:00am – 11:00am

  • Open time to handle meetings and help in other areas.
  • Complete 1-2 tasks I have assigned myself for the day.

11:00am – 12:00pm

  • Eat breakfast.
  • Work on personal development (learning Spanish, etc.)

12:00pm – 2:00pm

  • Open time to handle meetings and help in other areas.
  • Complete 1-2 tasks I have assigned myself for the day.

2:00pm – 4:00pm

  • Set-up second shift production.
  • Evaluate production for the day and adjust scheduling as needed.
  • Help where needed.

4:00pm – 4:45pm

  • Make a task list for the following day.
  • Straighten up office.
  • Depart work.

5:45pm – 7:00pm

  • Decompress.
  • Kids homework.
  • Cook and eat dinner.

7:00pm – 8:00pm

  • Workout or catch-up with my wife.
  • Play with the kids.

8:00pm – 9:30pm

  • Put the kids to bed.
  • Spend time with my wife.
  • Watch a show or read some articles.

9:30pm – 10:00pm

  • Brush my teeth.
  • Floss.
  • Gratitude Journal.
  • Meditate.
  • Go to bed.

You can see by this structured schedule I have four hours at work of open time to create.  Some days this is filled with a meeting and task or problem solving on the shop floor.  On days when I’m free, this time is a great time to be proactive and creative.  I know from 9:00-11:00 and from 12:00-2:00 I’ll have a block of time to do whatever I want.

You can see the same at home.  I don’t work out every night, so on nights that I do not work out, I can spend time on this blog, learning or being with my family.

This structure has provided a clear six and a half hours of freedom.  Now it’s up to me to make the most of it.  If used properly, it can lead to another hour or two of freedom during the week.


My wife and I never had a budget.  We would just spend and I would watch the bank accounts.  Now that was total freedom.  Or was it?

If you asked my wife, she would tell you she lived with a money dictator.  She was always having to beg for money for clothing for her and the kids.  She had zero freedom.  She has complete access to all bank accounts, but she has zero interest in dealing with them.

By providing a household budget that we mutually agreed upon, suddenly she didn’t have to ask for money.  She knew that each month she had an allotment for items she wanted.  She only needed to stay within the structure of the budget.

Without the budget, I had no financial freedom.  I was always worried about what we could afford and do.  Now I know if we stay within the structure of our budget, that we have plenty for all bills and groceries and extras.  We can freely plan monthly weekend trips with the kids or friends.  There are no worries about the finances because we have built a structure that allows us that freedom.

These are two major examples of how structure is freedom.  Adapt some daily routines to your life.  Make sure you stick to them for a few weeks and then adjust as needed.  By following a structured schedule in your life, the freedom it provides will become transparent.