Willpower is not a depletable resource if you know how to use it wisely.

Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

It’s common to hear people complain about feeling “burned out” or “spent” these days. However, these terms conjure a completely incorrect view of willpower.

As I discussed at length in my book, Indistractable, and in previous articles, willpower is not a depletable resource.

Plenty of new research has found that willpower is not “used up” like gas in a gas tank or charge in a battery.

This raises the question, “If willpower is not a finite resource, then what is it?”

More practically speaking, “How do we motivate ourselves to do things when we feel we lack willpower?”

Michael Inzlicht


In my work as a behavioral designer, I come across important stories on how psychology influences our behavior. Every week, I share my round-up of the most important stories at the intersection of psychology, technology and business. I hope you enjoy them!

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Here’s how to create a winning one

Photo: Watcharin Panyawutso/EyeEm/Getty Images

You’ve surely heard the protest chant:

“What do we want? [Insert social change here.] When do we want it? NOW!”

But imagine walking by a protest and hearing this:

“What do we want? We’re not really sure!”

“When do we want it? Whenever you get around to it is fine! Thank you!”

Doesn’t have the same ring to it.

And yet that’s closer to how we talk to ourselves when we’re trying to make a change to our habits or routines. We say to others, “Do it or else!” But we say to ourselves, “Give it a try sometime, or…


In my work as a behavioral designer, I come across important stories on how psychology influences our behavior. Every week, I share my round-up of the most important stories at the intersection of psychology, technology and business. I hope you enjoy them!

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Don’t let one distraction keep you from what you intended to spend your time on

Photo by Terrillo Walls on Unsplash

To-do lists are supposed to keep us on task. It turns out they do the opposite. I’ve written about the many reasons why.

To regain focus and be more productive, it’s far better to create a timeboxed schedule. You can’t say you got distracted unless you know what you got distracted from. That is, without knowing how you want to spend your time, there’s no way you’ll spend it intentionally.

However, there’s a common question I get about timeboxing that seems to trip people up: “What should I do if I get off track?”

Everyone gets distracted from time to…


In my work as a behavioral designer, I come across important stories on how psychology influences our behavior. Every week, I share my round-up of the most important stories at the intersection of psychology, technology and business. I hope you enjoy them!

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Those nagging feelings of self-doubt are keeping you from doing your best work

Photo: Westend61/Getty Images

Just as I was getting into the swing of my writing career, with one popular book under my belt, I hit a mental wall.

I kept avoiding writing and was willing to do anything — home repairs, workouts, errands, “research” that never led anywhere — to put off putting pen to paper.

After several months, this became a real problem. My prolonged avoidance of writing created a nagging feeling of self-doubt: “If I were a real writer, I wouldn’t have this problem. If I were passionate about writing, I’d be eager to write, not desperate to avoid it. Have I…


In my work as a behavioral designer, I come across important stories on how psychology influences our behavior. Every week, I share my round-up of the most important stories at the intersection of psychology, technology and business. I hope you enjoy them!

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Recently, I had the pleasure of chatting with Jackie Bavaro about her latest, Cracking the PM Career — a complete guide to the skills, frameworks, and practices you need to become a great product manager.

To discover Jackie’s tips for becoming a great product manager, click here.

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Nir’s Note: Recently, I had the pleasure of chatting with Jackie Bavaro about her latest book, Cracking the PM Career — a complete guide to the skills, frameworks, and practices you need to become a great product manager. Jackie serves as the Head of Product Management at Asana and has held senior product manager jobs at Microsoft and Google, where she launched Google Place Search and Geo-IP Based Local Search. Based on her experiences hiring other product managers, she wrote her first best-selling book, Cracking the PM Interview, with co-author Gayle McDowell.

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Posts may contain affiliate links to my two books, “Hooked” and “Indistractable.” Get my free 80-page guide to being Indistractable at: NirAndFar.com

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