I’ve never really been one to make my bed in the mornings.
Up until a few weeks ago, I had never thought anything of it. But then a friend of mine mentioned he’d heard making your bed can increase your productivity.
It turns out that making your bed each morning is considered a “keystone habit.” As Charles Duhigg describes in his book “The Power of Habit,” these habits can spark “chain reactions that help other good habits take hold.”
Along with increased productivity, bed makers have a greater sense of well-being and are better at sticking to a budget, Duhigg writes. Plus, they are happier and “more likely to like their jobs, own a home, and exercise regularly,” Psychology Today reports.
So I decided to give it a shot. I made my bed every morning for a week and monitored my productivity and general well-being. Here’s what I discovered.
The aesthetic aspects were a plus.
Right now, I’m living in a tiny room in New York’s Manhattan; it’s basically a dorm. In such a small space, it’s easy for clutter to build up and overtake the room. Having a neat bed doesn’t necessarily make the room feel any bigger, but it does add a nice visual element to an otherwise plain and unexciting bedroom.
From an aesthetic standpoint, I definitely understand why my mum wanted me to make my bed as a kid.
It was nice getting in to a neatly made bed each night.
There is no question that it feels great getting into a made bed. But still, the initial comfort at night doesn’t feel worth the time in the morning.
It actually did help get me moving in the morning.
I’ve always considered myself a night person. Even during a workweek, I’m lucky if get to sleep by 12:30. And my mornings mostly consist of snoozing my alarm clock and laying in bed reading things on Twitter until I have to get up.
During the week of making my bed, that was all the same. But once I actually sat up, got out of bed, and sleepily remade my bed, my mornings got a little bit of a jump start. All it takes is a little bit of movement to start waking up mentally.
But I didn’t experience any major productivity benefits.
Maybe the experiment needs more time, but for me, it just isn’t worth it. There didn’t seem to be any significant changes to my day. Yeah, it only takes a minute or two in the mornings, but I’m usually half asleep and in a hurry every morning, so I’d rather keep things simple.
I also didn’t notice an increase in my productivity throughout the day. But because of the organizational benefits and the early jump start in the morning, I can see how making your bed every day could lead to increased happiness.
Ultimately, at least for the near future, I’ll be resorting back to my old, messier ways.
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