Saturday, February 4, 2017

When Willpower Will Not Do It for You

“Success is a few simple disciplines practiced every day.” – Jim Rohn

I am a world-class procrastinator when I don’t want to do something I should be doing – just ask my wife! I have come to accept that at times my willpower sometimes just will not do it for me.

In looking for a way to help overcome my procrastination, I found a technique called “temptation bundling”. “Temptation bundling” is the idea of tying together two activities — one you should do but may avoid; and one you love to do but isn’t necessarily productive.

How to Create Your Temptation Bundle
There is an exercise you can use to figure out your own temptation bundling strategy. You’re going to create a two column list:

1.    In column one, write down the pleasures you enjoy and the temptations that you want to do.

2.    In column two, write down the tasks and behaviors you should be doing, but often procrastinate on.

Take your time and write down as many behaviors as possible. Then, browse your list and see if you can link one of your instantly gratifying “want” behaviors with something you “should” be doing.

Here are a few common examples of temptation bundling:
·         Only listen to audiobooks or podcasts you love while exercising.
·         Only get a pedicure while processing overdue work emails.
·         Only watch your favorite show while ironing or doing household chores.

Temptation bundling achieves two goals at once:
  1. First, it reduces the amount of time that you devote to temptations. After all, you’re limiting the situations in which you’ll allow yourself to engage in the temptation.
  2. Second, it increases the likelihood that you’ll engage in desired behavior. That is, it makes it easier for you to adopt positive habits.
By using your guilty pleasures to pull you in, you make it easier to follow through on more difficult habits that pay off in the long-run. Good luck!

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