A good way to build a habit is to give yourself a specific reward when you stick to your habits. A better way is to have someone else control those rewards. Because, let’s face it, you can’t be trusted with them.
Photo by Roland Tanglao.
As tips blog Barking Up the Wrong Tree points out, it’s good idea to set up a reward system to build new habits. The problem is, it’s easy to cheat when you’re in control of your own rewards. You say “I can only have a burger if I’ve exercised three times this week,” but then you forget to exercise and give yourself a burger anyway. So, what was the point? If you have that struggle, try entrusting the rewards to someone else:
So you’re gonna find that thing you love and only give it to yourself when you do that activity that makes you procrastinate, right? Heck, no. You’re gonna cheat. (That’s why you’re reading articles with “lazy” and “stop procrastinating” in the title.)
…No problem. There’s a whole body of research on this subject called “commitment devices.” And they offer an easy solution: Have a trusted friend dole out the rewards. That makes it a lot harder to cheat. Still think you’ll have trouble following the plan? OK, tell the friend to delete that audiobook or toss that candy in the trash if you don’t do what you’re supposed to.
That last part makes it even better. If you know that a trusted friend controls rewards and punishments, you’ll be even more motivated to make sure you stay on task.
This Is The Lazy Way To Stop Procrastinating, Backed By Research [Barking Up the Wrong Tree]