“Willpower: Rediscovering the greatest human strength”
from Sustainable Life Blog 07 Sept 11 enhanced by Peter/CXP Wiz4biz 3/14
Is Willpower more than a metaphor?
In this chapter, the authors start by talking about a woman who decided to be a human statue at Harvard Univ. As you can guess, as she stood still, many people messed with her, but she said after a few years, she only broke character a couple times. Despite making ~$50/hour (!!!) she was only able to do this for about 90 minutes a time, about 2 times per day. Many researchers have determined that people have a limited amount of Willpower that comes from one pool. Once you start to deplete whats in that pool, you cave easier to bad choices (like eating cookies when you’re on a diet). “The best advice to here is to work on one thing at a time”.
Where does the “power” in Willpower come from?
Researchers have figured out that you can regain some of your Willpower if you have a bit of sugar. Citing multiple studies where participants are giving sugary drinks or nothing at all, those who got the sugar preformed better on the next task and had more Willpower available to them. Glucose seemingly increased reserves of Willpower. Unfortunately though, that’s not a sustainable strategy for people in the long term. Instead, they suggest you should eat something, if it has been a long time since you last ate – and not to make any important decisions or get into arguments right before you eat. Making sure to eat low Glycemic foods (those that take the body a while to break down & provide lasting energy) will also help restore Willpower. These foods include peanuts, cashews, meats, blueberries, apples, cheese & fish – the slower breakdown process will provide lasting energy, restoring your decision making capacity. Also – Sleep helps.
A brief History of the To-Do List
Like everyone, I’ve got a lot of projects in the air and quite a few things on my To-Do List at once. Studies have shown that if you’ve got a lot of tasks on your To-Do List, you probably wont finish many of them, mainly because of the way you write them on the list. Something like “contact Deb” could mean an email or a phone call, and you’ll put it off until you decide which you’d rather. Putting “Email Deb” on there will make it much easier. The best part is, you dont even need to do the task in question – just getting it written down, will clear it from your mind and allow you to move on. Once it’s down, you’ll stop questioning if you’re going to remember it in time, to get it done or not.
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