Don’t exhaust yourself

We’re not as lazy as we might like to think we are. It’s more precise to say that we’re exhausted all the time. Why? Because we blindly choose to be.

Science has proven that: 1) Decisions requires energy 2) Self-control requires energy

Straigthforward, no?

Here’s the problem: in the information age, we put ourselves in situations that require us to make decisions and control our impulses more than ever before.

A hundred years ago

You might wake up, have breakfast, and then go to a factory and work there doing a monotonous job with prescribed routine. No decisions required, self-control outsourced to supervisors.

Now

You wake up and check your phone. There are new emails or new notifications. You have breakfast and get on your computer, compulsively check Facebook, Twitter, and email again. In addition, there are work tools like Slack, Trello, Asana,…

And all these tools present you with a multitude of choices which require decisions.

And moreover, your work is not monotonous — it doesn’t repeat and needs your utmost focus. Which is hard to come by, since you get more notifications and messages.

You get exhausted fast

Your mind is exhausted before you even begin your work. That’s the outcome. By lunch, you made hundreds of small and big decisions and exhausted your self-control, which leads you to eat a more unhealthy lunch (healthy would mean exercising more self-control).

In the afternoon, you aren’t lazy — your brain is exhausted. So you do the easiest thing available — go on social media, watch TV series or cat GIFs. No effort required.

Result: bad day

At the end of the day, you go to bed and don’t feel like you were your best. I know I do sometimes.

Don’t exhaust yourself by deciding whether to like someone’s post or read an email. Go outside for a walk, if you can, so that instead of having energy sucked out of you, you can move and let your mind rest.

Don’t put yourself in situations that require you to make meaningless choices. Don’t put yourself in situations where you need to use self-control needlessly.

That way, your mind will be less exhausted and your day better.

Coffee fuels my creative life. Buy me one, kind stranger?
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