The Productivity Paradox: Structure Creates Freedom


"The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities." – Stephen Covey

When people think of freedom, they will often think of a spacious green pasture, a sailboat on a vast ocean, or someone at the peak of a mountain over an enormous expanse. In fact, go to any stock photo website, type in “freedom,” and that is pretty much what you’ll see.

But there’s a paradox here because while those images may represent freedom, it’s not what gets you there. In many ways, if you are someone with a big mission in the world, having a lot of spaciousness can kill your freedom.

I call it the Productivity Paradox because when you create boundaries and guardrails around what you are focusing on, it’s like putting yourself on train tracks to get you from where you are to where you want to be. The paradox is that it seems constraining, yet without those self-imposed restrictions, we will just react to whatever shows up on our desk, in our inbox, or what's happening at the moment and never end up traveling a significant distance in our work.

Instead, we’ll look more like a bug scurrying around in all different directions. And how frustrating does that feel when you know that you could be so much further along?

For those who see its value, there’s the autobahn superhighway where you can be traveling huge distances, accomplishing massive milestones, and building something that leaves a legacy of your life.

Structure Creates Freedom, and if you are ready for the custom-designed structure that gets you there, we should talk.


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