You demand a lot from yourself every single day: Wear the red shirt or blue shirt, figure out how to ace your presentation, or ask someone out for coffee. Whichever you do, you're trading mental energy to complete the task. Here's how learning from magic systems in video games can help you better use your daily mental energy.
A quick lesson in geekery: Role-playing games especially are well-known for their various implementations of magic systems, in which characters must have sufficient magic points to be able to carry out certain spells and abilities. The more advanced the spell, the more magic points it calls for. Savvy players will know to avoid casting spells and abilities willy-nilly to avoid running out of magic points for those more butt-clenching situations.
When translated into real life, your day's worth of mental energy is akin to the number of magic points a video game character has — limited. Research has looked at the closely related will power as a finite resource, but study results have been mixed.
Either way, it is still helpful to think about conserving mental energy in the same way you conserve magic points in a video game — for the things that matter more, such as working out, cooking a homemade meal, or making meaningful progress on a pet project. Keep in mind that the more advanced the task or the more you are emotionally invested, the more mental energy it may require.
Here are some common everyday tasks you can consider streamlining to conserve your mental energy (it all adds up!):
- Plan all your meals in advance: Ideally, plan ahead a few days or even a week. You shouldn't need to spend any energy on deciding what to eat for most of your meals. Save that for the weekend.
- Choose outfits in advance. There's a reason that Mark Zuckerberg wears the same things: He needs to conserve every bit of mental energy to make billion-dollar decisions. If you want to go as far as Zuck, you can wear the same shirt everyday, too.
- Follow a workout plan. Go into the gym every time knowing exactly what you will do. You can find any number of workout plans online.
- Schedule your email and social media times. Not only are these huge time sinks but also don't really help you focus if you obsessively check these things every 5 minutes.
- Try batching. When you decide to do something, such as cleaning or even checking email, set aside dedicated time for the task and complete it in one fell swoop, rather than bit-by-bit slowly throughout the day.
The video above is over at FitnGeeky, which, full disclosure, is also my site and my video. Hit the link below to check it out!
Treat Mental Energy Like Magic Points [FitnGeeky]