Lazy by day's end? Here's the study why!

Last Update: Apr 21, 2014


Hum, last week I wrote about procrastination and today about laziness!? I'm sensing a theme here, I swear I am not making excuses for anything or anybody. ;)

I'll make this short, because I don't want to procrastinate on other work I have to do this long weekend. :)

It's not so much laziness I want to address as much as willpower. You see, about 2 years ago, I came upon a health's product blog that presented a study that had been done about the theory of willpower depletion.

This particular research (similar ones have been made since/before) was quite simple, yet revealing, here goes:

2 Groups of young children were studied. Group 1 spent the day at the theme park (yeah!) and Group 2 spent the day studying their least favorite subject in school (boo!).

After the activities were done, both groups were asked to wait in separate study rooms, but where both had a jar of freshly baked cookies. The instructions were simple: ''Wait for us here, but DON'T open the jar and eat the cookies''.

The people conducting this study were watching from behind the tinted glass and witnessed the following:

-Group 1, who had a wonderful day, were seated quietly and did not touch or taste the cookies.

-Group 2, who had a horrible day, had a few agitated participants. It took one kid that had the guts to open the jar and then all hell broke loose and the cookies were all eaten.

Why? Well, although it has also been proven that we all have different levels of willpower, it now was also clear that willpower can deplete depending on a subject's daily activities or occurrences.

This little ''story'' of a study left it's mark on me. At that time, I was less than happy with my job (the owner :0) and so was my colleague. Both of us had noticed radical changes in our behavior. We found it hard to be motivated, to stick to plans we made (even fun ones!), we had a hard time with daily chores, etc...At the end of the work day, we just wanted to unwind and treat ourselves to something that made us happy (respectively, wine and desert!).

No surprises there! We had to use so much of our willpower ''storage'' during the day at work, dealing with less than easy customers and don't get me started on the owner. There was nothing left for our personal daily lives. We had become the crazy kids in group 2 fighting for the cookies, lol! We've all had this story.

I believe that, although not the reason for our entrepreneurship, it is a motivator to know that we are building work/working environment that we actually enjoy, no matter the hours and where willpower is actually used positively to push us forward.

We have the WILL and the POWER!

Important update: We both don't work at this job anymore! My friend's position was abolished 1 year ago and I quit in late August of 2013. We are now working on our own offline business project we had been unknowingly planning all along. Hahahaha (evil laugh ;p)

Recent Comments


Great blog and good points. I think it rings true. When I have a productive day at work (yuck but productive), I tend to be productive at home, do the laundry, pick up the house, make a big dinner. If my day at work totally sucks then I come home and just eat a lot of cookies and try to say I deserve them cause I had such a bad day. No case study needed here just more homemade chocolate chip cookies!

Thank you! I totally understand the ''I deserve them or this...'', I rely on that thought too to make it ok. :)

hi Genevieve, great point of view of yours! But I got mine too:

Group1 : already having so much fun, so chocolate cookies in less fun ---> but give them more time, they probably will end-up the same as group2 --- Why? They getting bored sit down and doing nothing, so their willpower could have change, not as fast as the other group, but at the end, I think they'll do exactly the same!

Group2 : already having crap day, so those cookies are the first fun they will get. We knew what's gonna happen : the cookies left the jar as fast as we blink our eyes! ---> but try put some more cookies in front of them, they probably would less and less interesting --- Why? They getting bored, because the cookies are already not fun anymore so they barely have willpower to touch them!

Aren't we all designed that way, Genevieve? At some point, no matter how much we passionate about something or anything, we will reach the the peak where things turn less passionate.
Now, this is where one MUST turn the POWER to make everything in line with the WILL accordingly.

(I speak no sense, huh? right! just ignore it Genevieve, since I'm having a crap day today! he.he.he.he..)

No, I love it, you speak perfect sense! :) I like your point of view and also agree, yet I don't see myself being bored with online work for a very, very long time. At least it is the kind of work that can be different from day to day, interacting with different readers, building new sites, etc...and if we ''fall out'' of passion, the great folks at WA can give us a little boost!

Makes a lot of sense.

Yep, pure human nature.

So happy you got out of the situation that demanded "cookies" at the end of your day. I hope your are working happily here at WA and may continue to do so, for a long time!

Thank you so much! The world was lifted from our shoulders when we left. Now, I found something I really love and I get to share it with wonderful people too. :)

and the moral of the story is..."don't buy cookies in" seroiusly, we all need rewards of many kinds to get things done, and it goes to show that all stick and no carrot is a bad way to go...especially if the carrot is in cake stuff, Andy

Haha, absolutely right! Come to think of it, my dog works this way daily. She'll sit through grooming time, but that's because she knows she gets her apple in the end. ;)

Very interesting. And since I am inclined to agree with this study, I will try even harder to enjoy every day :-)

Have a great day everyone! At least enjoy working on your website(s) and doing the lessons here... I know I get a lot of pleasure and satisfaction and energy from making progress.

Well said, thanks for your comment! We have to focus on the good moments when we are working online and not let anyone, anything, any job, drain our willpower supply. :)

Interesting subject and thanks for sharing.

Thanks for the read! I have now exhausted the studies that make us feel like we are not doing so bad after all, considering the research. ;p

Hey Genevieve, another good one. But those cookies are really tempting, aren't they?

I think the study holds true even for me. I tend to search the house for things to nibble on when I'm bored but I have a sense of satisfaction from the inside when I complete a task.


Thanks! That's the sense of satisfaction we should concentrate on instead of the one we get from ''not'' doing something we hate and replacing it with something we do.

Ah! I guess this explains why I have so much chocolate in my office!

Aha, you are one of those with a secret chocolate drawer! Something has to get us through the 9 to 5. :)

Lol! Yes I call it the "I cant get dealt with drawer". Hahaha.

LOL< But they tasted great............ :P

Lol, I know! Just posting the picture was real hard on my sweet tooth's willpower. ;)

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