Make your bed for good self-care
It may seem pointless, especially if you live alone. I mean, who will know if you leave your bed unmade this morning? And you’re just going to crawl back in tonight anyway, right? From an efficiency standpoint, this may be one task you can let go of. But research shows that if you make your bed first thing in the morning, you’ll be more productive the rest of the day.
In the evening I (usually) come home to a neatly made-up bed ready for a fresh night of rest. How considerate of “morning me” to take the time to straighten the covers and plump the pillows! On the other hand, if morning me skipped making the bed in exchange for a little more time looking at social media, I come home to a disheveled bedroom. It’s a bit of a letdown and it means more work for tired “evening me.” Unless I’m sick, I’m going to straighten the covers and arrange the pillows before I get in regardless.
Why didn’t morning me think enough of evening me to do this?
When I wake up and head to the kitchen, I (usually) see an empty sink with dishes in the drainer, having dried overnight. It’s a morning habit for me to put them away while making coffee. It requires no concentration and very little time. But occasionally, there is a pile of dishes leftover from dinner and a dirty pan on the stove. Wow, dried-on kale is stubborn. And rice is the worst! This is going to take awhile.
Thanks a lot, evening me. Now I might not have time to make your bed. So there! (I see a little tit-for-tat going on here.)
When I make my bed in the morning I am practicing self-care. “Morning me” gets a little rush of adrenaline after checking that first chore off my morning to-do list, also known as my morning ritual.
I’m on a roll here! What’s next?
Next thing I know, I’m lining up my shoes in the closet, taking out the trash, and watering the plants.
What experts are saying
“If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.” This is what retired Admiral William H. McRaven, author of the book, Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World*, said at the 2014 University of Texas at Austin Commencement. It is just one example of many habits that shaped him in his career as a Navy Seal that he applies to everyday life and work.
In his book, The Power of Habit*, Charles Duhigg refers to making your bed in the morning as a keystone habit. Make your bed (keystone habit), and then put away some clothes. Brush your teeth (keystone habit) and then floss. One habit prompts the next habit.
Can making your bed make you rich? In a CNBC article, 7 Rich Habits of Highly Successful People, Socio-economist Randall Bell, Ph.D. is quoted as saying, “those who make their bed in the morning are up to 206.8 percent more likely to be millionaires.” Hmmm. There may be something to this bed-making thing.
Three reasons to make your bed in the morning:
- It’s an easy task – low-hanging fruit that gives you the feeling of accomplishment.
- It starts a chain of neatness habits.
- Evening you will thank you (and maybe even clean up the kitchen).
If you think making your bed takes too much precious time, set a stopwatch. You’ll probably find it takes a smaller amount of time than you expected. And if it takes more than a minute to make it, you may have waaaaay too many decorative pillows on your bed. Put the ones you don’t actually sleep with somewhere else until you have guests to impress.
So get up, make your bed, and get going, you fabulous morning you!
Need help getting organized and building good habits for a productive life? Call me at 904-500-SORT (7678) or message me here for your free consult for organizing or life coaching. I’d love to help you simplify and Zen Your Den® (and your life).
Barbara Trapp, CAPM
Professional Organizer, Productivity Consultant, and Life Coach
Zen Your Den®
Professional Member, NAPO (National Organization of Productivity and Organizing Professionals)
Residential Organizing Specialist, NAPO
Workplace Productivity Specialist, NAPO
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