Today host John Laurito tells us of an experiment that was done about the concept of timing, and people’s forgetfulness – how long does it take for people to forget about a piece of advice that was given to them? He also shares how to set small reminders or triggers to help us do things with the intention to change our behaviors to make our daily lives better.
[0:25] The concept of timing
[1:17] The seatbelt experiment
[3:55] Today’s takeaway
184 – Setting up triggers to change behaviors
John Over the last two decades, I’ve been on a quest to learn everything I can about leadership obsessed with what makes the best leaders so good after running companies small and large for the last 20 years. Today, I speak on stages all across the world to audiences who are interested in that same question. My name’s John Laurito and I’m your host. I invite you to join me on this journey as we explore this topic. What makes the best leaders so good? Welcome to tomorrow’s leader. All right, welcome to today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader, where we dove deep on all things related to leaving yourself and leading others. I’m John Laurito, your host today, tomorrow, every day.
John So I was reading about a study that was really cool and it had to do with the concept of timing or forgetfulness really was the subject of this. And what they wanted to figure out was how long of a period of time did it take for people to forget some sort of piece of advice, in other words, to the average person, retain it if it was something that was a short term, hey, don’t forget to do this. How long on average before people totally forgot it? Now I’m listening or I’m reading the study and I’m like, OK, boy, I’m horrible with my short-term memory. Like, if somebody says don’t, you know, before you leave to do this, I’m like, you know, I have great long-term memory. But that short-term aspect, I think, like a lot of people just you get so many things racing around your brain. So what was kind of funny about this?
John They did this experiment with people who were getting their cars from valet’s. So you come out, you give the valet your ticket, he or she goes to get the car, comes back to the car because your keys and he opens the door and blah, blah, blah. So they were reminding the people they did a bunch of people in this experiment and they group them into three different groups of people. They were trying to figure out their ability to influence decisions when it came to putting on their seatbelt. So one group the valet didn’t say anything to and they just looked at the proportion of people and on average, about 54 percent of people in this study put on their seatbelt. I would think it would be higher, but I guess 54 percent.
John Then they had another group where the person would hand them their voucher. The valet would take it and say, I’ll be right back with your car. I want to make sure, by the way, you have a safe drive. Don’t forget to buckle up. Goes to get the car, takes about on average four and a half minutes to get the car and come back, gives the keys whatever opens the door person gets in. What they found with that group is there was virtually no difference, literally. Fifty-four percent of the people put their seatbelt on. So there was literally no difference as to whether somebody reminded them or not. With that four and a half minute time frame with the third group, what they did is they waited till they got back with the car. They opened the door as the person was getting into the car. They said, make sure you have a safe drive, be sure to buckle up. And then they closed the door. What they found is that 80 percent of those people put their seatbelt on 80 percent.
John And think about it at that time, they could take action on that advice. It was right then timely. They didn’t have to wait. They didn’t have to do a thing. So it was kind of fascinating is what that timing had to do with the overall result. So think about this. Can you set up triggers in your life that are designed to get you to do that key activity now? So, for example, if I want to brush my teeth, I mean, I’m sorry, hopefully, I’d brush my teeth if I want to start brushing my teeth more than once a week. Now, I’m kidding. So if I want to start flossing, OK, maybe I time it so that I floss right after I brush my teeth. So my floss stuff is right there, right after I brush my teeth, put my toothbrush down, put it away bank grab the floss and I floss if I did it before. Studies show this, if I said hey I’m going to floss and brush, I don’t have a trigger there to remind me to do it. Kind of a cool, fascinating thing.
John Again, this is just one of those things where I say, OK, how can you kind of manipulate your life in a positive way so that you do more of the things that you want to do. And part of this is this trigger concept. So and a big part of this is the timing of the trigger. So if I’m reminded in the morning that I’ve got to do something in the evening, chances are I’m not going to do it. If the reminder comes right when I’m supposed to do it and then my likelihood of doing it goes up dramatically, not a little bit dramatically like it had twice the level of impact as before. Kind of fascinating stuff.
John So I thought that was worth sharing. Again, real short episode here, because I don’t believe in wasting time. I just want to get an idea out there, let you do whatever you want, let it marinate, let the wheels turn, take some action on it again. I think there’s a lot of possibilities with this concept. Really cool study. I heard it, figured I’d share it, do something with it. All right. Take some action. Do one thing in your life that you’re struggling with and say, OK, how can I create this new habit and tie some sort of a trigger to it and make it timely right then is when I’m going to do it. All right. Let me know how it goes.
John In the meantime, like, share, subscribe, all the kind of good stuff, go down below, give five-star reviews and I will see you soon. Take care. Thanks for joining us on today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader. For Suggestions or inquiries about having me at your next event or personal coaching reached me at John@johnlaurito.com. Once again, that’s John@johnlaurito.com. Thanks, lead on!