Growing Your Willpower Bit by Bit

It’s a struggle for all who work in human resources or anywhere else for that matter. Having willpower is more than just resisting the temptation to do the things we shouldn’t, it’s also about establishing good habits and getting a handle on our behavior so that we can be more effective at work and in life as a whole. It’s something that can separate the best performers from the worst.

The bad news is that many of us don’t really believe we have much willpower. A recent survey of more than one million people revealed that willpower is the trait that most said they lack. And what we are confronted with today in our daily life only makes self-control more difficult. We surf the Web, jumping from one site to the next, checking out Facebook or Twitter, or checking our smartphones.

But willpower is something we cannot do without if we want to maintain our effectiveness at work and reach our lifestyle goals as well. Here are a few things you can do to increase your willpower, taken from the book Willpower by John Tierney and Roy Baumeister.

One way is to practice your willpower on small things. For example, by making yourself sit up straight at your desk, you are exercising the same willpower force you use to discipline yourself to lose weight or stop smoking. So, even keeping after yourself to sit straight can gradually also increase your self-discipline in other areas. A daily exercise routine works the same way to improve self-control.

Another piece of advice is to focus on just one thing at a time. For example, focus at first only on reducing the number of times you check your Facebook and Twitter feeds. Then, once you have that bad habit under control, move onto your next item, such as a new diet. You only have a certain amount of willpower and attempting to do too much all at once actually will exhaust it, impairing your ability to get anything done at all.

Another important thing to do to improve self-discipline is to keep track of what you do. If, for example, you want to reduce the number of times you look at Facebook, keep track in writing of the number of times you look at it each day.

Also, give yourself time to recover. Take some downtime, and make sure you are eating enough and sleeping enough. And finally, stay organized. If you work in a messy atmosphere, that may infect your self-discipline as well.

It takes no willpower at all to contact the Opti Staffing Group about available positions or for help with your staffing needs. If you live or staff a company in the Anchorage, Portland, Lake Oswego, Seattle, Tacoma or Chicago areas, contact us today!

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