# Workflow trumps willpower

Self-control is a good indicator for academic success, therefore the ability for us to stay in control is important. While willpower is an answer to self-discipline or self-control, willpower is a resource that depletes quickly hence is not a sustainable way to perform the tasks at hand (Ahrens 2).

Instead of thinking about how we can have better willpower, we need to think about how we can do something without willpower (Ahrens 16), and this can be done by changing our environments. Fortunately, self-control also has much more to do with our environments than ourselves (Ahrens 3). You can't eat chocolates when none are around.

When it comes to creative works, workflow is a way for us to define our environment. Effective workflow forms positive feedback loop, hence, not only having a good workflow will help us perform our tasks, but it will also provide a motivational loop for us to continue the tasks.

# References

Ahrens, How to Take Smart Notes (pp. 2-3).

Willpower is, as far as we know today, a limited resource that depletes quickly and is also not that much up for improvement over the long term (Bausmeister, Bratslavsky, Muraven, and Tice, 1998; Muraven, Tice, and Baumeister, 1998; Schmeichel, Vohs, and Baumeister, 2003; Moller, 2006).

Ahrens, How to Take Smart Notes (pp. 3).

Luckily, this is not the whole story. We know today that self-control and self-discipline have much more to do with our environment than with ourselves (cf. Thaler, 2015, ch. 2) - and the environment can be changed.

Ahrens, How to Take Smart Notes (pp. 16).

Studies on highly successful people have proven again and again that success it not the result of strong willpower and the ability to overcome resistance, but rather the result of smart working environments that avoid resistance in the first place (cf. Neal et al. 202; Painter et al. 2002; Hearn et al. 1998).