Use Bright Lines to Unleash Your Willpower

Most of us, myself included, could benefit from setting brighter lines in our personal and professional lives.

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A bright-line rule refers to a clearly defined rule or standard. It is a rule with clear interpretation and very little wiggle room. It establishes a bright line for what the rule is saying and what it is not saying.

Imagine that you decide to "check email less frequently."

What does it mean to check email less frequently?

  • Are you going to “try to be better about it” and hope that works?

  • Will you set specific days or certain times when you will be unavailable?

  • Will you check email on weekends?

  • Will you process email only on your computer?

You need a bright-line rule.

In this case, it could be "I only process email between 11 AM and 6 PM."

You can use bright-line rules in many areas, from starting to drink moderately, to save more for retirement or eat healthier.