Limited willpower is the most significant obstacle to getting things done. I only have so much available to make decisions. Every decision I have to make means it’s less likely I’ll take action. In his book Deep Work, Cal Newport states, “You have a finite amount of willpower that becomes depleted as you use it.”
A couple routines and rituals I’ve instituted in my life to ensure I reserve my willpower for actionable tasks are to have a wake-up routine and to choose my clothes I’ll wear for the day the night before. Choosing my clothes prevents me from having to use my fresh-from-sleep mind from an insignificant decision. My wake-up routine means I don’t have to think about what I’m going to do when I get up, I just do it.
For full transparency, my morning routine is to get up around 4:30 am, get dressed in the clothes I’ve set out, use the washroom, make Earl Grey tea, write, read my Bible and journal, do some work until 7 am, make breakfast, get my kids ready for the day, and finally, walk to my office.
I thrive on routine. Keeping this routine has saved my energy and willpower for what’s most important, the essentials.