On any given day, you have a limited amount of willpower, meaning that you do not constantly have a unlimited supply of willpower ready to be used at any moment.
Because of this, you then have to be able to manage it and make it work in your favor.
Researchers have actually found that willpower is finite and they studied this through parole board hearings.
Researchers analyzed 1,112 parole board hearings assigned to 8 judges over a 10 month period.
The judges would hear the parolees’ arguments and then take 6 minutes to come up with a decision on 14 to 35 parole requests a day.
Throughout the day, the judges were given only 2 breaks, a morning snack and a late lunch.
Throughout the day, the researchers found that in the mornings and after each break, the parolees’ chance of being released peak at 65%, and then plunges to near 0 by the end of each period.
This research shows that judges had maximum willpower in the beginning of the day to make well thought out decisions, but as the day progressed, it gradually dies out.
“Because you have a limited supply of willpower, each act of will creates a win-lose scenario where winning in an immediate situation through willpower makes you more likely to lose later because you have less of it.”
Willpower, therefore, is a timing issue.
If you have something important or difficult to do, don’t make it harder than it needs to be by waiting till the end of the day to do it.
Like the judges, the sooner you do something, the easier it’ll be to complete it.
If you wait till later in the day when your willpower is low, you’re either never going to do the thing you need to do or you’re not going to do it well.
In life, you should always do the hardest things first in the day because that’s when you have maximum willpower.