A friend recently told me about a previous company trying to lure him back to his old position. In a moment of crisp clarity, he said he could never go back no matter how enticing the offer.
The reason? One toxic leader up in the ivory tower making life miserable for others below, that’s what. I agreed that my friend chose to take the higher road.
I, too, left a company once due to a toxic CEO with low emotional intelligence. His Grand Canyon-sized ego manifested in bullying and controlling behaviors that sent some of his best people packing. In exit interview data of the top-five reasons people quit, he was “reason No.5.” (I say this with accuracy because I collected the data)
I don’t know anyone who couldn’t use a little boost in their energy, productivity, and self-control.
Researchers at the University of Nottingham recently published findings from their exploration of 83 separate studies on energy and self-control. What they found will change the way you start your day.
The researchers found that self-control and energy are not only intricately linked but also finite, daily resources that tire much like a muscle. Even though we don’t always realize it, as the day goes on, we have increased difficulty exerting self-control and focusing on our work. As self-control wears out, we feel tired and find tasks to be more difficult and our mood sours.
This exhaustion of self-control kills your productivity, and it makes the morning hours, when self-control is highest, the most important hours of the day.
But the trick isn’t just to spend your morning hours working; it’s to do the right things in the morning that will make your energy and self-control last as long as possible.
You’re not born with pre-determined willpower settings. Roy Baumeister and John Tierney explain that there are things you can do to build it – just remember to have a rest day now and then.
Don’t think that some people are born with more willpower than others. Like good, solid quads, how strong your willpower is actually depends much more on your training regime.
As Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney explain in Willpower, you can work out your willpower just by changing your behavior even slightly and then sticking to it. For example, you might try saying “yes” and “no” instead of “yeah” and “nope” for two weeks. Even sticking to such a small change can improve self-control in other areas of your life. Here’s why:
Should you check your email just once more or keep on working? Jam that marshmallow in your mouth, or resist it? No matter how good instant gratification might feel, here’s a scientific case for delaying your rewards to double them.
If you’re one of the lucky ones endowed with strong willpower, you’re probably the envy of all your friends – and with good reason. Having strong willpower is a great predictor of success.
Self control depends on two systems: the hot system, which instantly reacts to the environment, and the cool system, which is responsible for controlled, rational behavior. It’s the hot system that gets us to give in to the temptation of eating that chocolate we shouldn’t or checking Facebook when we have a report due. By contrast, the cool system focuses our attention away from our impulses to instead engage in wholesome and productive behavior.