Willpower links to self-control.
It is the ability to resist distraction, stay focused and delay gratification.
A study conducted by psychologist Roy Baumeister shows that willpower goes hand in hand with energy levels, which helps us explain why it is “consumed” as we go.
At a glance, people who are trying to lose weight often find that they can follow a diet until twilight but then surrender to some ice cream before going to sleep.
This describes the effort related to the decisional process or the fact that, when we are forced to resolve a series of complex problems, the quality of our answers declines over time.
Suppose you talk to the prominent performers of the show business. Most agree that willpower will decrease over the day: it is something directly related to what Baumeister defines as a sort of “ego depletion.”
Then, the correct strategy is to start the day by tackling the most challenging task first, then moving on to the simpler ones.
Put the task at the top of your to-do list that, once completed, will produce the most important outcome of the day.
Since willpower decreases with time, the second and third objectives will seem more difficult, but you will have accomplished the most important activity with maximum effort.
Although the argument is sound, there are a few aspects that deserve further exploration.
When we are tired, the activity of the prefrontal cortex decreases. This leads to severe performance deficits. Attention wavers, cognition slows, and processing errors happen with greater frequency (mainly affecting creativity).
When we’re tired, we don’t worry about making connections between ideas: we tend to take the most accessible choice available without considering the consequences.
So how can we strengthen our willpower in these moments?
If you can increase your energy levels through your diet, it can be helpful. However, some “state changes” are still necessary: the already-mentioned performers suggest activities such as breaks, meditation, and exercise.
These interventions not only reset our physiology but also change our state and activate our neurobiology, which seems to be an integral part of this puzzle.
Knowing all of this, then, let us confront every morning with enthusiasm, ready to dedicate ourselves, for the first thing, to the most challenging activities