Willpower is Highest in the Morning, so Start Strong

When’s the best time to get things done?

I’m a morning person so was delighted to read that science says that our willpower is strongest in the morning, and that this is the best time to get things done. The FastCompany story – The Work Routines of Successful People – added that by starting in the morning one “starts strong”.


The goooooood good morning meme. Thanks, interwebs. 🙂

“You’ve maybe heard the advice that your first work of the day should be something meaningful and significant, a task that might take a lot of focus, will, and determination to accomplish. The reason: We’re limited with our self-control.

That’s the idea purported by the strength model. Self-control draws from a common resource that gets depleted over time. You can think of self-control as a muscle–fatigue sets in after exertion.

Researchers at the University of Nottingham and the National Institute of Education in Singapore reviewed 83 studies on self-control to come to the following conclusion:

Results revealed a significant effect of ego depletion on self-control task performance. Significant effect sizes were found for ego depletion on effort, perceived difficulty, negative affect, subjective fatigue, and blood glucose levels.

For those scoring at home, that’s both a psychological and physiological effect on your ability to get work done.

The longer the day goes on, the more fatigue your self-control experiences, the more important it is to make those early morning hours count.”

Read the full story at FastCompany.