Willpower that drains

I read something about willpower, but I don’t remember where. I told my friend Sam about it. This author that I cannot recall said that you have a finite amount of it at the start of the day, and any small amount of expenditure will diminish it. That includes the willpower spent not checking your phone, or not checking Facebook. Sam countered that his willpower is bolstered when he accomplishes something as in “I went for a run this morning and now I have the willpower later on not to eat like shit.” I’ve felt similarly.
So we made the distinction between active and passive expenditures. Successfully finishing something is of a different character than the endless small obstacle of not doing something. There’s no triumph, no boost of confidence. It’s draining. The suggestion made by that thing I read was to remove those drains on willpower–go without your phone, block Facebook, make the expenditure of willpower only available to the task at hand. Remove yourself from distractions when you have to do the things you don’t want to do. Now all I have to do is find that link, but first I have to check my email again.

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