The Power of Habit

The Power of Habit

Why We Do What We do in Life and Business

Charles Duhigg

Willpower isn’t just a skill. It’s a muscle, like the muscles in your arms or legs, and it gets tired as it works harder, so there’s less power left over for other things.” Researchers have built on this finding to explain all sorts of phenomena. Some have suggested it helps clarify why otherwise successful people succumb to extramarital affairs (which are most likely to start late at night after a long day of using willpower at work) or why good physicians make dumb mistakes (which most often occur after a doctor has finished a long, complicated task that requires intense focus). 5.5 “If you want to do something that requires willpower—like going for a run after work—you have to conserve your willpower muscle during the day,” Muraven told me. “If you use it up too early on tedious tasks like writing emails or filling out complicated and boring expense forms, all the strength will be gone by the time you get home.”

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