Today I read the article Life is a game. This is your strategy guide by Oliver Emberton. I like it a lot, especially since The Sims have often been my model for life.
The only part that I couldn’t relate to is the part on willpower. So I procrastinated at work and drew this explanation.
Update: A friend pointed out an interesting error that I made, suggesting my graph is actually more about productivity than willpower.
The article claims willpower works like the first (top) graph, so that’s where I started as a definition. It didn’t really represent how my life feels like so I thought there’s something wrong with it.
Rereading the article, willpower is the ability to execute what you choose to do. So if your willpower level is low, you are not able to attempt hard tasks that claim a lot of willpower (=you don’t really want to do them). Now it actually starts making sense. In the original image, the above graph is willpower, below graph is productivity of a person for whom having a day job is “like the worst thing ever”. So even though the willpower level is high, the difficulty of actually doing work is still higher, until the urgency of it (around 6pm) makes it easy enough to choose and execute. After the work is done, working on your own projects doesn’t actually require that much willpower.