How to decrease the willpower cost of your goals.
1. Create habits. By definition habits are actions that are easier to take than not to take. We have a set of good and bad habits. The key is to add more and more good habits so that you don’t need to use any willpower to achieve your goals.
2. Focus on one task at a time. Multitasking is a myth. It may feel productive but its not. A meta-analysis of studies by the American Psychological Association shows that switching tasks has a lasting toll on willpower. (http://www.apa.org/research/action/multitask.aspx) While another study shows that multitasking drains willpower. (http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/209563) If you’re multitasking you’re trading perceived current productivity for real productivity later in the day. Lose lose.
3. Batch decisions. To avoid task switching, line up all tasks of the same kind one after another. This will help you to reduce the time and willpower spent on them. This could mean doing all phone calls in a row, having 1 or two times a day to respond to email, or something as simple as planning all transit for the day in the morning.
4. Find the smallest version of your goal tasks. Figure out what the smallest first step that you can take is. Having that small step in mind will make getting started much easier. And once you get started its much easier to keep going.
5. Create accountability. Tell others what you plan to do. Have them hold you accountable. Tell the whole world, be even more accountable.
^Day 119/90 302 words