Kathy Sierra tells us about the relationship between Willpower and Cognitive Processing. The implications are far reaching, from how you work to how you play.
Willpower and cognitive processing draw from the same pool of resources.
Spend hours at work on a tricky design problem? You’re more likely to stop at Burger King on the drive home. Hold back from saying what you really think during one of those long-ass, painful meetings? You’ll struggle with the code you write later that day.
Since both willpower/self-control and cognitive tasks drain the same tank, deplete it over here, pay the price over there. One pool. One pool of scarce, precious, easily-depleted resources. If you spend the day exercising self-control (angry customers, clueless co-workers), by the time you get home your cog resource tank is flashing E.
The crux of the article is, we should use these powers for good, not evil:
Because on their deathbed, our users won’t be thinking,”If only I’d spent more time engaging with brands.”