Another of society’s prevailing myths is that the willpower to do anything is always on call and can be summoned whenever and wherever it is required. This basic approach of “Where there’s a will there’s a way” suggests to achieve something great, you’ve just got to want it more fervently than you desire any alternative.
Unfortunately, the reality is willpower ebbs and flows in individuals all the time. Sometimealife. It’s a limited but renewable resource.
So what’s the smart approach for putting willpower to productive work? A few suggestions:
- Respect your level of willpower at any time – and have the mindset you will most certainly harness it whenever and wherever it is available. Don’t take willpower for granted.
- Set your highest priority tasks for when you expect your willpower to be the strongest – which for most people is first thing in the morning or right after breaks. Do your most important stuff first each day while your willpower is at its highest level.
- Fuel your brain with the right food – so your brain has enough energy to impose some meaningful willpower. Although your brain makes up only 2 percent of your body mass, it will consume 20 percent of the calories you burn for energy. If you need to make an important decision, eat some high quality food first so your brain has high energy levels.
“When it comes to willpower, timing is everything. You will need your willpower at full strength to ensure that when you’re doing the right thing, you won’t let anything distract you or steer you away from it. Then you need enough willpower the rest of the day to either support or avoid sabotaging what you’ve done. That’s all the willpower you need to be successful.”
– Gary Keller and Jay Papasan