Conventional wisdom will tell you that willpower is a finite resource that gets slowly used up throughout the day. Maybe you can train yourself to increase your willpower over time, but it will still slowly decline throughout the day.
There are many studies to back this idea up, and I've personally experienced it, but I don't think it tells the whole story.
When I go to the gym, I exert a certain amount of willpower, but I find that I'm actually more likely to eat healthy and stay focused for the rest of the day.
Tim Ferriss has popularized the saying, "If you win the morning, you win the day". I think there's a lot of truth to this, and I believe the reason is momentum.
Starting is hard, but once we start, it often becomes easier and more enjoyable to keep going.
Often times after I finish my school work, I just want to watch YouTube and go to bed. Conventional wisdom would say that I've reached my maximum output for the day and that it would be unhealthy to work on anything else.
So why is it that other times I can't help but finish my work and immediately dive into a side project that I'm excited about. The more you work, the more your energy and excitement increase.
Again, I think the reason is momentum. You're not too tired to go to the gym or start a fun side project. The hardest day is the 1st one. Today is a great day to start.