7 Ways You Can Easily Increase Your Willpower - Barking Up The Wrong Tree
Willpower is limited. It is highest early in the day but decreases as we make more decisions. Most self-control failures happen at night.
Do the most important things first. As the day goes on it will only get harder to face big challenges.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
Building willpower is similar to building muscle. Continually exercising without giving yourself a break is not the best way to increase your strength or performance.
Don't allow yourself to be in a position where you constantly have to exercise self-control. It will eventually deplete your resolve. Allow yourself some recovery time away from temptation.
Imagination can blunt the cravings that erode your self-control.
If you imagine lying on a peaceful beach, your body will respond by relaxing. If you imagine being late for an important meeting, your body will tense in response. Use this to your advantage in building willpower.
You can even use your imagination to keep unwanted thoughts away.
Every time that unwanted thought occupies your mind, consciously think about something pleasant instead.
At the top of your to-do list, put a couple of daunting, if not impossible, tasks that are vaguely important-sounding (but really aren’t) and seem to have deadlines (but really don’t).
Then, farther down the list, include some doable tasks that really matter.
A dash is simply a short burst of focused activity during which you force yourself to do nothing but work on the procrastinated item for a very short period of time—perhaps as little as just one minute.
The first thing is to take one minute and just write down the steps you need to do to finish the task - just a rough draft, at first, and that’s it.
Now there is nothing else to think about, and there is no way to screw this task up. Everything is laid out and you can just start working on it.
First, give your friend $100. If you get the task done by 5 PM, you get your $100 back. If it doesn’t, you lose the $100.
Or make it $200 that the friend doesn’t keep — they donate it to some weird organizations, in your name.
Get the picture? That’s a commitment device.
The willpower response is a reaction to an internal conflict. You want to do one thing, but know you shouldn’t. Or you know you should do something, but you’d rather do nothing.
The prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that helps us with things like decision-making and regulating our behavior, needs to be looked after.
Feed your brain with good-quality food so it has enough energy to do its job and get enough sleep.
Willpower is like a muscle—it can get exhausted by overuse, but we might be able to strengthen our willpower by training it.