How to use temptation bundling (from Atomic Habits) at home

In his book Atomic Habits (affiliate link), James Clear says “temptation bundling works by linking an action you want to do with an action you need to do.”

I love that idea 😃

For many of us, motivation is one of the biggest hurdles when it comes to taking care of our home. Not many people really enjoy cooking, cleaning, or running errands - yes sometimes we feel a sense of satisfaction after doing them, but I don’t personally know anyone who wakes up in the morning and can’t wait to start cleaning.

Pairing a to-do with something you enjoy can make you much more likely to jump in and get that task done!

I’ve been thinking of ways we can use temptation bundling at home to make running our households more enjoyable. Here are a few that I have come up with:

Play music you love while you wash dishes. I like easy-listening music because it makes the job feel calming and soothing.

Pick up a special treat for yourself when you do the grocery shopping. A bar of chocolate, a magazine, the good shampoo instead of the cheapest one.. something you really enjoy.

Sip a small glass of wine while you cook dinner. You can also start dinner early so you don’t have to rush, play some music, and enjoy pottering about in the kitchen.

Put on a pretty apron when you clean. Nice things make things feel nice!

Have a bubble bath after you clean the bathroom. You feel great about getting the job done, and your beautiful bathroom feels more like a day spa.

Tidy the lounge room right before you sit down with your afternoon cup of tea with a magazine. Relax and enjoy a well-deserved break in a room that feels lovely to be in.

Listen to your favourite podcasts while you drive or go for your daily walk. The time goes by so much faster and you’ll end up walking further than you planned.

Add more fun to your Christmas prep. Watch a Hallmark Christmas movie while wrapping Christmas gifts. Play Christmas music while you put the tree up. When Christmas shopping, take a break in a beautiful cafe for a cup of tea and afternoon treat to make the afternoon a more enjoyable experience than just rushing from one shop to another.

Watch your favourite show while you fold clean washing or iron your clothes for the week. You’ll be surprised at how easy it feels and how quickly it gets done when you’re focused on what you’re watching.

A couple of important notes:

Use this concept as an incentive, not a punishment. Don’t tell yourself you can’t watch TV unless you’re on the treadmill. Instead, choose a favourite show and make a daily episode of that your treadmill time.

Try temptation bundling one step at a time so it doesn’t feel overwhelming. You don’t have to cram everything in at once, you want time and space to really enjoy it!

I hope you found these ideas helpful! If you're ready for next steps in organising and simplifying your life, you might like to sign up for my free resources:

Beautifully Organised freebie library >>

Let me know if you think of other temptation bundling ideas for us at home!

x Marissa