Hack Into Your Habits With Temptation Bundling

Ronan Byrne, an electrical engineering student in Dublin, Ireland loved watching Netflix, but also felt guilty about the need to exercise more. Being the engineer that he was, Ronan was able to hack into his habits by hacking into his stationary bike he used to exercise on and hooked it up to his television and laptop. He created a program that would allow himself to watch Netflix only if he was cycling at a certain speed. If Ronan was cycling too slow, the show he was watching would pause and won’t start again until he was peddling at the limit he set for himself.

Ronan was employing temptation bundling to make his habit of cycling more attractive, which was something he procrastinated on. Temptation bundling works when you link two actions together. The action you want to do, and the action you need to do. Ronan wanted to watch Netflix, but needed to exercise. So he found a way to do both simultaneously.


Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash


Get More Things Done With Temptation Bundling


If you want to spend more time with friends or family. Include the person in a specific activity you enjoy. If it’s going out for dinner, choose a restaurant that you will regularly go to just with that person.


If you want to eat healthier. Watch your favourite TV show while you’re preparing, eating or cooking healthy food


If you want to spend less money. Every time you buy clothes or indulging items, price match the amount you spend into your savings account. Knowing how much you spend may cause you to spend less and save more than you would have.


Create Your Temptation Bundles


The best way to create your temptation bundle is to draw two columns. In the first column, write down the activities you know you should be doing, but often procrastinate on. Those activities could be in line with your goals, or your day to day tasks (Eg, writing, exercise, household chores, reading). The second column is for your guilty pleasures (watching your favourite TV show, browsing social media, eating favourite foods, having a couple of drinks etc.)

Once both columns are created, you can link the activities that you should be doing with those that you enjoy in the second column. For example, you need to read, so enjoy a drink while reading. Perhaps even pay your bills while watching your favourite TV show.


What Is Offered


Temptation bundling offers a simple and effective way to complete tasks that are always important, but never feel urgent in your mind. Using activities that we often like doing, where we sometimes feel guilty, will make it easier to action difficult habits that pay off in the long run.

Anticipation of instant gratification from the things you enjoy doing and the change in environment are strong motivators to get the dreaded tasks done and kick-start better habits to be more productive. It’s also important to remember that temptation bundling is a type of planned multitasking, which helps you achieve consistency in your goals.


Related: The Seinfeld Strategy: Stopping Procrastination With An X


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