Do you make your bed every morning? That is the question that Gretchen Rubin asked on her podcast Happier (click here) recently. As she and her sister discussed the fact that starting the day with just a touch of control by having accomplished something simple like making your bed could have lasting effects on your productivity for the day, I realized that the same kind of feeling can come from other seemingly unimportant things that I do every day.
Not doing some of these little things can wreak havoc with my mood and my motivations.
There is a sense of satisfaction in flipping the covers back over the pillows and straightening the bedspread up for the day. Just like even though I hate washing the dishes, it is better than the feeling of defeat when I come home to a sink full of dirty things. I just never realized how such seemingly insignificant things could affect my drive and mood for the day.
When I think about how my mornings go, I do leave with a sense of control when I’ve made the bed, washed the dishes, and straightened up my desk. It somehow carries over into my work day and I find myself more organized and productive there. The bonus is the great feeling I have when I come home to a neat apartment, and can settle in for my night amidst order instead of chaos.
At the office, the same sort of logic works as well. If I keep my desk neat, and take some time at the end of my day to write down the top few things that I need to accomplish the next day, I can come in and get busy right away. Those actions eliminate the flailing around trying to figure out what needs to be done and allows me to dive right into work. Plus, if I have a note with the few things I must get done, then when I am interrupted, it is easier to get back to what I was doing.
The days I don’t pay attention to the basics – I leave home without doing the dishes or straightening up, or have to come in to a messy desk – those days are not usually very productive. The morning seems to set the tone for the day and I don’t seem to be able to rebound easily unless I stop and clear my desk and make some lists.
For me, it’s worth the few extra minutes spent making my bed and doing the dishes to get the day off to a good start, and then I can carry it through the whole day. This doesn’t mean every day is productive, but it sure helps get me on the right track.
So do you make your bed in the morning?