"The One Thing:" Managing Your Willpower to Meet Your Goals

Real Estate Agent with Hillscape Properties, Inc. DRE#01452976


Effective Daily Willpower to Create Longterm Results

Perhaps it's my geeky corporate market research background, but I really appreciate how Gary Keller and Jay Papasan make their points in all their books by backing them with well respected, or independent research.  In chapter 7 of their latest book, "The One Thing," the point is about effectively managing your willpower during the day, and they make this point starting with what has become known as "the marshmallow test," now synonomous with measurement of impulse control and long term success.    

What really hit home for me was a reminder to recharge, refuel, and take breaks between high willpower activities.  The authors llustrate this perfectly with the study of judges determining parole requests, and include a chart of their decisions during the day which clearly shows the results after their rest and lunch breaks as more "judicious," degrading to a knee-jerk no as their focus/willpower faded over time.  As we exert our willpower throughout the day, it diminishes until we refuel our bodies with rest and food.  Here's a few willpower zappers:

  • Implementing new behaviors
  • Filtering distractions
  • Surpressing impulses
  • Taking tests
  • Coping with fear
  • Resisting temptations
  • Trying to impress others

I'm sure you can think of a few others, like doing things you don't really like doing, please add them in the comments!


Take a Break

Osha states that we should stand, stretch, or move every 20 minutes when you sit at your computer or desk for any extended time.  Most diet gurus suggest having something to eat at least every two hours.  Gary and Jay recommend focusing your willpower at the beginning of the day, and being aware that you'll have ebbs and flows of willpower strength throughout the day.  The "Big Idea" takeaways for this chapter:    

  1. Don't spread your willpower too thin.
  2. Monitor your fuel guage.
  3. Time your task.

Good luck on your "One Big Thing" this week!  


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Comments (6)

Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

This is an excellent post.  Too many real estate professionals fail to schedule the personal quality time that is also needed for a successful life.  Time spent with those that we love will never be regretted.

Apr 18, 2013 11:05 PM
Melanie Narducci
Hillscape Properties, Inc. - San Francisco, CA
Your San FranciscoBay Area Real Estate Expert
That's so true, Roy. In the training I had while at Keller Williams a few years ago, the first thing you were coached to schedule for your upcoming year was vacation: Family time is number 1.
Apr 19, 2013 12:25 AM
Lloyd Binen
Certified Realty Services - Saratoga, CA
Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411

Melanie, I agree with Roy, this is an excellent post and I believe it's the reason more people don't achieve their goals in real estate.  They don't exercise the willpower and discipline needed to do tasks they dislike doing which would result in more business  True in life, also.  I now have the "taking breaks" part down pat.

Apr 20, 2013 05:41 AM
Melanie Narducci
Hillscape Properties, Inc. - San Francisco, CA
Your San FranciscoBay Area Real Estate Expert
You're spot on, Lloyd. I find if I give myself a "reward" after I complete the tasks I dislike it helps my motivation.
Apr 20, 2013 10:19 PM
Peggy Hughes/pha logistix, inc.
pha logistix inc - San Francisco, CA

Great post Melanie... and welcome to AR!!  I also want to thank you for subscribing to my blog.  I haven't been blogging too much lately, but plan to get back on the program :)

May 03, 2013 03:52 AM
Melanie Narducci
Hillscape Properties, Inc. - San Francisco, CA
Your San FranciscoBay Area Real Estate Expert
Thanks for stopping by, Peggy! I'm working to get my blogging up to speed.
May 03, 2013 04:11 AM