Here are four ways to apply this method for a more fruitful, happy life.
– KEYS SOULCARE
A quick Google search on “how to be productive” would bring up thousands of articles on efficient ways to work through your to-do list. Getting things done is both admirable and obligatory in a world full of dreams and distractions. But how do we cope when our ambitions go toe-to-toe with honoring our need for rest and spontaneity? Austin-based creative and executive coach Lauren Dearing Russo has a theory: structured freedom.
After training under the teachings of world-renowned sociologist, speaker, and best-selling author Martha Beck, Lauren went on to create the Structured Freedom program. Her focus? Guiding creative rebels to their highest potential with her expertise in positive psychology, thought work, personal development, and mind-body approaches. Through the Structured Freedom framework, Lauren believes you can design a routine that will have you feeling accomplished, not restricted. Ready to see it in action? Here are four ways to add structured freedom to your life.
1. Align with your circadian rhythm.
As far as we’re concerned, the early bird doesn’t always get the worm. While it’s tempting — and for some, life-changing — to start your day bright and early, it’s not for everyone. Early risers are worthy of praise, but night owls are also worth celebrating. The trick to being more productive isn’t the time of day, it’s the time that works for you. Your body’s natural energy boosts are unique. Seizing the moments where you feel most alert and creative— rather than forcing yourself into a new wake-up routine — keeps stress low and motivation high.
2. Make a list.
Research shows that jotting down tasks boasts many benefits, including decluttering your mind. It can be overwhelming to try to remember everything we need to do over time, so do your brain a favor and get it on paper. Having a visual reminder of what to do offers a lot more than a reference point: You can plan your days better, set boundaries on your capacity, and keep yourself driven by crossing things off. An added perk? You can use list-making to stay focused on what’s in front of you. If you’re working on a project and suddenly remember you need to call a friend back, write it down instead of picking up the phone to stay on track.
3. Ask for help.
One great thing about structured freedom? It doesn’t require you to go at it alone. One of the best ways to flex your freedom muscles is to lean into your community. Professionals like Lauren, therapists, and other trusted community leaders can help you learn new ways to achieve your goals. Your freedom to choose who supports you on your journey can look like niche or affinity groups. It can also look like hiring an assistant to delineate tasks in order to make room in your mind and your schedule.
4. Prioritize pleasure.
No path to liberation would be complete without soulcare. Structured freedom eliminates restrictions to let you create your own path towards success. Pencil in joy to restore your energy. Start your day with rituals that awaken your senses and end each day with rituals that you wind down. Making time for what you love keeps you inspired and gives you time to reflect on your “why” with intention. (FYI, it’s normal to lose sight of the bigger picture along the way, so practice self-forgiveness.)How will you incorporate structured freedom into your routine? Share your favorite step in the comments!