5 Things I Do to Increase Willpower and Make Smart Choices

You’re sitting at work when the phone rings. You’ve been waiting for this call. You don’t know what the person on the other side will say, but you know there’s a big opportunity on the line—one that could change your life, skyrocket your career, improve your family.

But there’s also a risk involved. If you say yes, it could go wrong, even if the odds are slim.

Now, a question: What’s the best time of day to make this decision?

Funny question, right? Why would it matter? There’s a great opportunity. Just a slight risk. Won’t you make the right choice regardless when you’re asked? Most research says no.

In reality, you’re faced with all kinds of decisions daily:

  • What time should I get out of bed?
  • How much should I save for retirement?
  • When should I feed the cat?
  • Do my toes look funny?
  • Should I get married?
  • So on and so forth…

Individually, these questions aren’t hard to answer—even the deeper, more involved ones can be simple to decide. But, together, the sum is greater than the parts. If you ask yourself all these questions at the same time, you’ll melt down. It’ll be a terrible, draining day.

You’d experience, as the experts call it, decision fatigue—the inability to make a smart, rational choice after having to make others before it. [1]

But you’re a leader, aren’t you? You want to be, at least. You have lots of decisions to make each day, and how you decide them will have a big impact not just on your life, but the lives around you. People are counting on you to make good choices. Are you making the best ones possible on the decisions that matter?

The bad news is you probably aren’t—at least not all the time. But the good news is you can do something about it—and quickly—to fix the problem.

By the time you finish reading this, you’ll have already fundamentally improved your ability to make smart decisions about life’s biggest choices.

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