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How to Balance Freedom and Structure

By: Samy Felice.

Structure is something many of us absolutely love.

Whether it’s a calendar, mobile app, fitness tracker – you most likely use different tools to plan, track, and organize your life.

These tools enable you to live more intentionally. But when overused, despite all their incredible benefits, they can also stifle you. Here’s how:

  • You get overwhelmed by the huge number of Apps you have to open each day

  • You Stress out when your Smartwatch/Phone Battery dies

  • You Feel burdened by the responsibility of keeping your Calendar up to date

For every tool you use, there’s a cognitive cost that you have to factor in.

Why you should Lower your Expectations of Perfection

However much I think I’m in control, life has a funny way of taking charge on its accord. I’ve noticed that when I’m too attached to my plans and tools when something wrong happens, I experience a higher level of stress than needed.

There are have been various instances in my life where i didn’t fill out my Calendar for the Week; I failed to accomplish my work by the end of the day; and I forgot to track my habits.

Every time those situations would come up I would beat myself up for not being perfect. There was so much structure in my life (and not enough freedom) that when things deviated from the way I expected them to go, whether in my life or through relationships, I fell into a hole of disappointment. In that sense, the structures and tools in my life were imprisoning me rather than freeing me.

Life never goes 100% according to plan.

So I decided to change my tune and eliminate some of the tools I used and changed my philosophy. I started regularly thinking about how I’m managing both the freedom and structure in my life. Slowly, I learned to dance with the unexpected news, small failures, and “Happy” surprises. I came to realize that not having things not go to plan all the time, would help me grow as a human being.

Life never turns out exactly the way you want it to. Holding that truth in advance makes you less likely to act emotionally or irrationally when imperfections arise.

The value in this story is that you must learn to dance with not having control all the time, choosing instead to co-create with life – as opposed to doing things all on your accord. We need a balance between structure and freedom, uncertainty and productivity. That’s why when we use our tools, we want to use them with a slight leeway for imperfection. We also need to eliminate the tools that don’t serve us.

What happens to the man who is too attached to his tools? He becomes just as rigid as his pieces of software, lacking in the soft touch and light-heartedness that’s inbuilt into his nature.

“Life is partly about not knowing, having to change, taking a moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity” – Gilda Radner

Get the Perfect Balance

We do need some degree of control in our lives, but we also can benefit from more freedom. Maybe we do this by not wearing our watch one day per week, taking a day of the computer once per week, or visiting a new town one day per week.

We need to produce a system within our systems that enables us to break away from our mindset of control and productivity.

Balance the freedom and structure in your life, and you’ll experience more peace, calm, and emotional stability.

My Last Words

If you’re a creative and interested in learning how to upgrade the way you live your week, read my free guide on Spiritual Productivity.

You’ll learn about how to split up your day into four chunks, so you worry less about external influences.

You’ll discover the small hacks that will take your creative work on your PC to the next level. And much more…


How to Balance Freedom and Structure originally appeared on Pick The Brain

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