I’ve been reading two very different books, and something similar caught my eye in both of them.

In “I’m OK, You’re OK” Thomas Harris writes:

Very busy people with many external demands do not have time on their hands. The next hour is well programmed. This programming, or structure, is what people try to achieve, and when they are unable to do it themselves, they look to others to structure time for them. “Tell me what to do.” “What shall I do next?” “What we need is leadership.”

And in “True Professionalism” David Maister points out:

Do you have a structured, well-thought-out program for some portion of your non-billable time to work on improving these areas? Or do you, like most professionals, assume (and hope) that these things will happen as a result of the normal course of affairs? They won’t. You have to work at it.

So we have this natural craving for structure. The most successful people put this impulse to good use, creating their own structure to manage time and get things done. Unsuccessful people cannot (or will not) set their own structure, and live inhope that things will get done. Hope doesn’t get things done, so in the end, they usually have to submit to someone else’s structure.

Here’s what I draw from these two passages:

Freedom and structure go hand in hand. Either you create your own structure, or someone will create one for you. It pays a lot more if you create your own.