In the classroom lessons on self-control I’ve written about here and in my book, I’ve cited and had students read research on the topic by Professor Roy F. Baumeister.

He’s now co-written a new book titled Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength, and an excerpt has been published in The New York Times called Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue?

Professor Baumeister’s co-author has also written a short accompanying columns to The Times excerpt called Why You Need To Sleep On It.

The underlying research of the article is grounded in the finding, which I’ve written about a lot here (check out “Self-Control As A Limited Energy Resource” In The Classroom and Giving Students “Reflection Cards”), that self-control is a resource that can be depleted, and that we need to be aware of ways to regularly replenish it.

I don’t really have time right now to discuss the Times’ excerpt right now, but will be writing a lengthy post about the book. In the meantime, I’d encourage you to read it, as well as the numerous comments left on the article. A number of them already relate to education, and John Tierney, the co-author, has specifically asked readers to respond to these two questions:

How good is your self-control and decision-making late in the day? Do you use any strategies you’d like to share for conserving willpower and avoiding decision fatigue?

What teacher wouldn’t want help figuring out how their students could learn and develop a few of those strategies? Or perhaps your students are completely focused at 2:00 and 3:00 in the afternoon? 🙂