Energy and willpower

There are a few learnings that get repeated here. One of my all-time favorites/most repeated is the one where I remind myself to end low energy days early. This works very well – so much so that I do this nowadays on auto pilot.

I was wondering about the “why” behind this learning (beyond knowing it works great). And, I think the reason is that the amount of energy we feel is proportional to the amount of willpower we have. So, if we’re feeling very low on energy, it is likely our willpower is depleted. The way to recharge our willpower is to either do something that helps in the short term (eat or drink stuff that gives us energy) or go to the best long term solution – sleep.

The temptation, in a low energy period, is to either indulge in eating, watching TV or, in the worst case, attempting to be productive. Willpower depletion begins a negative cycle that leads to tiredness, bad decisions, irritation and more bad decisions.

Learning to manage energy is critical. And, being able to muster enough willpower to switch off all internet access, get an early dinner and sleep during low energy days is still among the most important things I’ve learnt.

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