Why You Should Consider Saving Your Mental Energy
Today we live in a complex world that forces us to make hundreds of decision every day. Some are important, while others are so small that we are not fully aware that we made a decision. Every time we make a choice we are making a decision. And every time we make a decision, we use our mental energy.
Studies have found that we have limited mental energy. This energy is exhausted just like a tired muscle after heavy work. This same pool of energy is used while we solve a puzzle, choose a brand of sausage in supermarket or make an important business decision.
Our willpower also depends on the same pool of mental energy. So relaying heavily on willpower will exhaust our mental energy and soon we will find that our willpower is not strong enough to get the job done.
Fighting against an impulse will draw your mental energy. Deflating this resource to much means that, at some point you will try to avoid making decision or you have less self-control. This is why supermarkets gather their candy, hair clip, mint, gum, various 1 or 2 dollar item displayed at the checkout. After making many decision about buying, customers have less self-control when they pick-up one or two inexpensive item.
Dr. Baumeister, a social psychologist at Florida State University, in his research finds that average person spend 3 to 4 hours a day resisting desires. UK clothes giant Matalan in a study, find that average female between 16 to 60 spend 287 days of their life deciding on what to wear.
In his research, Dr. Baumeister was surprised to find that mental energy from same pool is used for both self-control and decision making. It seems counterintuitive so he experimented it repeatedly and confirm that we use same resource whether we make decision or restrain ourselves from an urge.
Dr. Baumeister found that individual who have low self-control spend more time on fighting with their impulses while individual who have higher self-control avoid those situation. Because if one situation absorb too much self-control by depriving some urge then it may be difficult for anyone to resist the next impulse.
People show lack of self-control after making decision or alternatively after self-control they tend to make poorer decision or even avoid decision if possible. It is very clear that conserving mental energy can help making better decision, also more self-control can help leading goal-directed activities.
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