Structure the Key to Productivity and Creativity

Updated: Sep 18

When you can be more creative in your day-to-day life, you will be more motivated and productive. The keys to productivity and creativity are having a disciplined approach and structure in your life.



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Motivational Monday: August 24, 2020

I was attending a webinar this past week with Matt McWilliams, where he taught the various steps he takes in compiling an email. I was taking copious notes during the webinar, where he shared over fifteen steps that help him stay on track and be organized.


At one point in the webinar, he said something that struck a chord with me. "Discipline leads to freedom," and "structure leads to creativity." Right there in just a few words, Matt summarized what I had been trying to figure out with all my productivity, organization, and goal research over the past month. To be more productive ,I need to have more structured and "disciplined approach," as David Allen puts it in his book, Ready for Anything.


Many would argue that discipline and structure can stifle creativity. Some believe that to be creative you need freedom to flow with the wind. And yes you can be creative this way. However, to have something consistently come of your creativity you need discipline and structure.



Motivational Monday Message

Structure is something composed of many different parts that when put together form a whole. An example, would be our bodies. They are formed of many different elements such as skin, bones, organs, and so forth. When they are put together they form a whole body that is amazing. However, if you leave something out of the structure then it will become unstable. Let's look at the body closer. If I was to leave out the bones of the body, then it would be a big blob of skin and organs. It would not be whole and could not achieve its fullest potential. The body's bones allow is to stretch out and move.


While I was working on my blog post, 8 of the Best Productivity Books on the Market Today, I took some of the practices Matt mentioned in his webinar and used them to create my own steps in writing a book list. During this process, I gathered all the information about the books, authors, affiliate links, and so forth into one place before I began writing. Then, I started writing. What is so awesome about this process is that I didn't need to stop what I was writing to go find information like different quotes about the books or the author's names. I could just focus on writing. Not only did this save me time, but it also helped me stay in my creative writing mode. I didn't have to disrupt my creative mode by switching to research mode, because that had previously been completed.


Think about how our brains are wired. We have the analytical left-side of our brain that handles the research and organization. Then we have the creative right-side to our brain that handles all of the ideas, imagination, and possibilities. Two totally different processes. When you are switching back and forth between these processes you lose momentum and time.


We can be more motivated when we have structure and discipline. Why? Because it helps us be more creative.


David Allen, author of Ready for Anything and Get Things Done, puts it this way,

"It's hard to be fully creative without structure and constraint. Try to paint without a canvas. Creativity and freedom are two sides of the same coin. I like the best of both worlds. Want freedom? Get organized. Want to get organized? Get creative." (David Allen (2011). “Ready For Anything: 52 productivity principles for work and life”, p.53)

Motivational Monday Pick

If you are ready to get motivated, be more organized, and less stressed with everyday life, then the book Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Work and Life by David Allen would be a great read.


In this book, you will learn how to clear your mind of clutter and distractions so that you can be more creative and focused. You will learn how to create a structure that works for you and most importantly how to take action so that you can be less stressed. I am all about action and being less stressed.


What will you gain from reading this book? You will gain the tips and strategies to help you access more of your creativity and intuition, but remember this will not happen just by reading this book. You will need to experiment with what Allen is teaching.


The great things about this book is that it is a collection of 52 short essays that David wrote over the past few years for his blog, magazine, and other areas. They can be read all at once or incrementally when time and desire permits. It isn't something that needs to be read from beginning to end. You can choose which principle you want to read and go from there.




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