Bundling TemptationsIn her research paper, Milkman defines temptation bundling as something “which involves coupling instantly gratifying ‘want’ activities with engagement in a ‘should behaviour’ that provides long-term benefits but requires the exertion of willpower.” Milkman and her colleagues studied the exercise habits of 226 students, faculty, and staff at the University of Pennsylvania, divided into three groups. After teaching one group of the participants how to use temptation bundling, Milkman found that these people were 29 per cent to 51 per cent more likely to exercise when compared to the control group. The findings were quickly published in Management Science.
How You Can Use Temptation Bundling in Your LifeWant to try this out yourself? Start by creating two lists on a sheet of paper. In the first list, write down all the things you love to do. These could be anything from listening to rock ‘n’ roll to watching a particular TV show to going to eat at a favourite restaurant or getting a pedicure. Your second list should be about the things you know you need to do but never end up doing, such as going to the gym, studying, cleaning the house, or doing laundry. Once you’re done making your lists, link one behaviour from your first list with one from the second list. For example, you can link going to eat at McDonald’s with doing the laundry three times a week. Next, make sure that you only go to McDonald’s once you’ve done the laundry thrice a week.
How Temptation Bundling is Linked to SuccessOne way to judge a person’s success is by their ability to consistently accomplish tasks which are important, but not always urgent. For example, cleaning up your office space is not urgent but it’s important because it reduces chronic stress. Similarly, going to the gym every day is not urgent but is important as it will lead to a healthier, fuller life. With temptation bundling, you can ensure that you don’t skimp on these tasks (by linking them to other, immediately gratifying ones), thereby contributing to long-term success.
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