Problem summary

Engaging in hard tasks is more likely when coupled with something tempting


  • Use to get users engage in behavior or chores that they “should” do, but that they don’t “want” to do

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  • Bundle with instantly gratifying wants. Bundle a “want” activity (e.g. watching the next episode of a habit-forming television show, checking Facebook, receiving a pedicure, eating an indulgent meal) with engagement in a “should” behavior that provides long-term benefits but requires the exertion of willpower (e.g., exercising at the gym, completing a paper review, spending time with a difficult relative) to promote target behavior.
  • Geo-fence features to boost attendance. Restricting access to something desirable (for instance a desirable audiobook) only within the compound of a physical event or gym boosts attendance. Unlock the wanted activity by being on the right location.
  • Make chores more bearable. Assess what unique, sustainable and meaningful benefits you can use to make complying with work-place practices more attractive. For example, letting the person manning the shared support phone receive a free coffee card for the week.


Bundle something users enjoy with something they dread to push to take action. When struggling to find enough internal motivation to tackle something you hate, an extrinsic reward can be the needed push to stop avoiding the task. Let users do the right thing and reward them for it.


Although the research body is large in regards to understanding situational factors that motivate people to pursue their aspirations, few studies have investigated naturally arising points in time when people feel particularly motivated to tackle their goals. Besides Dai, Milkman, and Riis, who coined the Fresh Start Effect, BJ Fogg addresses the concept of motivational waves.

1 Milkman, K. L., et. al. (2014). Holding the Hunger Games Hostage at the Gym: An Evaluation of Temptation Bundling, Management Science

2 Use “Temptation Bundling” to Achieve Your Goals by Taylor Martin

3 How to Stop Procrastinating and Boost Your Willpower by Using “Temptation Bundling” by James Clear

4 Kirgios, et. al. (2020). Teaching temptation bundling to boost exercise: A field experiment. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Volume 161, p20-35

5 Temptation Bundling at Learning Loop

User Interface Design Patterns