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:
- Don't spread your willpower too thin.
- Monitor your fuel guage.
- Time your task.
Good luck on your "One Big Thing" this week!