Willpower by Roy Baumeister – How to Have More Self Control

In one experiment, the researchers went to the mall and they interviewed shoppers about their experiences in the store and asked them to solve some simple math problems. The researchers asked them to do as many problems as possible, but told them they could quit at any time. What turned out is that shoppers who did more shopping that day gave up quicker on math
problems than shoppers who did less of it. Why is that? It’s because they used up more of their willpower. Shoppers who did more shopping had to make more choices on which piece of clothing they should buy and with every decision you make throughout the day, the more you deplete your willpower and you end up having less of it for other tasks. In another experiment the subjects were given a hand-grip exerciser and been told to squeeze
it for as long as they could. Both groups were able to hold out for about 2 minutes.
Afterwards they went on to watch a sad movie. One group was told to suppress their feelings and show no emotions.
Others were given no instructions and were to watch the movie normally. they all took a stamina test with the hand exerciser again and researchers compared the results. the movie had no effect on the stamina of subjects who were asked to watch the movie
normally. but the other group, the group that was asked to suppress their emotions quit much soonerthan before.
this shows us that suppressing your emotions depletes your willpower and faking them doesn’t come free.
also willpower is like a battery that gets empty the more you use it. and since you have a finite amount of willpower, at the end of the day you won’t have any left. you also need to note that you use the same kind of willpower for all tasks. for example:
when you get home from working all day and there is a chocolate cake waiting for you on the table, could you resist it? probably not, because you used up most of your willpower during the day, making decisions, not getting angry with your clients and not calling your boss an idiot. you were making decisions and controlling your temper all day, and since
you don’t have a separate “willpower to diet” and “work willpower”, but just one willpower, it will be much harder to resist that delicious looking cake. so.. what can you do to preserve willpower in order for you to make better choices?
well roy baumeister says the best way to use your willpower is to go to bed earlier and get a good nights sleep. that will allow you to have a full battery of willpower in the morning. i bet you know at least 1 person in your life that gets like 5 hours of sleep and afterwards they feel groggy for the entire day and end up doing nothing productive?
well..they didn’t fully recharge their willpower during the night. so make sure YOU do! another important thing is to make sure you’re not constantly hungry. i’m pretty sure you’ve seen that snickers commercial, with the samurai and one of them is not focused, but when he eats snickers he turns back to normal.
now, i’m not encouraging you to eat unhealthy, because you shouldn’t. but the point here is that having low glucose levels (or your blood sugar) means your willpower will also be low.
that’s why it’s probably not a good idea to have an empty stomach and go in an argument with your wife about the dishes nobody that day. it will turn out badly if you want to strengthen or increase your willpower here is what you can do: you could change your routine and break your habits. for example use your left hand instead of your right hand for simple tasks like opening a door. or you could try to stop using swear words and instead of “yeah” use yes, and instead of “nah” use no.
making a conscious effort to use your self control builds more of willpower- which isessentially self control also highly productive people don’t necessarily have more willpower, but they are using it smarter – and that is by preserving it. with HABITS.
it all comes down to having a routine you can always fall back to, so that you don’t have to make a decision for everything. for example if you spend each day deciding what you want to eat, or if you should go
the the gym you will deplete your willpower. but if you have a habit of eating eggs on Mondays, cereal on Tuesdays that’s great!
you’re saving willpower by not having to make that decision. Enclosing you WILL need to use your willpower to gain more willpower. sounds counterintuitive, but that’s how it works. but at the end of the day, you will be better than yesterday!

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