Expendable Will Power or Ego Depletion

HA! Tricked you! This is an article about productivity. Not that this won’t be beneficial for you, we all have our productivity ebbs and peaks. There are a few reasons for this.

I literally just can’t

Will power is actually an exhaustible source, which its exhaustion is called Ego Depletion. So, you can’t always will yourself to work harder and longer; well, you can, but only for a finite amount of time. “How do I start working, then, almighty and wise Author?” you ask.

Just start

You kind of stepped into that cow pie, but yeah, one of the biggest obstacles to completing a task is actually starting it. You can thank me with the conclusion of the article.

Much like a 90s hip hop artist, BREAK IT DOWN!!!

Stop, hammer time. Ah, speaking of hammers, say you have a board with a line of nails on it. Do you think you’ll be able to nail down those nails quicker if you hit them one by one or if you were to turn the hammer on its side and hit four nails at once? If you think hitting the four nails at once is the answer, please save yourself the cognitive burden of this conversation and go frolic outside until we’re done. For the rest, less unstable, you’re right: hitting one nail with the concentrated force of the entire hammer on one point will get you done a lot quicker. So, break down your bigger tasks into smaller ones and focus all your energy towards the completion of that task, then move on to the next. By spreading yourself out, you are also spreading out your cognitive and physical resources.

Stop hammer time; stop again – OK, hammer time

The most elite violinist in the world follows a cycle of intense work and breaks. They’ll work intensively for one and a half hours and then take a 20-minute break, and then repeat. Which has shown to be much more effective than multitasking or working long extended periods of time.

Do have trouble being productive? Or did you have trouble being productive and then managed to overcome it? I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.