Does Making Your Bed Make You More Productive? Your Parents Were Onto Something
I don’t know about you, but I don’t initially wake up in the morning feeling like P-Diddy; that whole “up and at ‘em” mindset takes work on weekdays. I will say, however, that I am a morning person by nature, and fully believe in the benefits of sticking to an a.m. routine. Brushing my teeth, boiling tea water, and preparing a well-balanced breakfast like they advertise in all those health magazines are definitely on my list of to-dos, but first and foremost comes making the bed. Did you know that making your bed makes you more productive during the day? I'm not trying to take sides here, but maybe mom and dad did you a favor by pestering you to straighten up before school, after all.
In his commencement speech to the University of Texas graduates of 2014, United States Navy Admiral William H. McRaven said, “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.” Fixing your sheets and fluffing your pillow will, McRaven explained, “give you a small sense of pride” and “encourages you to do another task.” It’s the baby steps that lead to great strides, right?
To me, making my bed as soon as I wake up means that pressing snooze, or lazing around under the covers, mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, isn’t an option. It forces me to leave sleep behind, and focus on the day ahead. Clarissa Silva, behavioral scientist and creator of Your Happiness Hypothesis Method, tells Elite Daily this is because “our emotional state mimics our physical state, and vice versa.”
It hasn't exactly been proven that making your bed determines how productive you are (yet), but the de-cluttering and disciplinary aspects definitely count for something.
If you’ve ever stood dead-center in the middle of a messy room, then you’ve probably experienced the aggravation and, if you’re anything like me, sick-to-your-stomach feeling that can ensue when you’re surrounded by materialistic chaos. I can barely focus on my work assignments if there are too many pieces of irrelevant papers piling up on my desk, and when my bedroom is in disarray, it irks me to no end.
This isn’t me being irrational, either. According to motivational speaker and philanthropist Soulaima Gourani, founder of Tradeconductor.com, an unmade bed definitely falls under the clutter category.
“Not making your bed,” she tells Elite Daily, “will give you a feeling of having a loose end,” so by taking a few minutes to straighten out your sleep space, you’ll ultimately “eliminate stress” that, when you think about it, is 100 percent self-inflicted and unnecessary.
On top of relieving stress, routinely making your bed also shows that you are disciplined. Checking it off your to-do list can make you feel accomplished and motivated to keep going throughout the day.
Psychology Today reports that of the 68,000 participants of a 2015 survey distributed by Hunch.com, 71 percent of people who made their beds every day considered themselves happy, while 62 percent of those who neglected their bedroom tidying admitted to feeling unhappy. What’s more, bed-makers noted that they were satisfied in their work life, followed a regular exercise routine, and even felt more rested than non-bed-makers. Coincidence? I think not.
Circling back to Silva's argument that your physical state reflects your emotions, the bottom line seems to be that the whole point of making your bed in the morning is, yes, to clean up, but also to feel at ease mentally. "A habitual morning routine can increase happiness and productivity," she tells Elite Daily, and something like making your bed "releases [happy hormones] that enhance productivity throughout the day."
Making your bed should definitely be on your to-do list, but there are other ways to start the day off right, too.
While making your bed is certainly one of the best ways you can start your day off on the right foot, morning routines are personal, and you should create one that meets your needs and satisfies you. For Ariel Kaye, founder and CEO of home essentials brand Parachute, a typical morning consists of exercise, a good breakfast, and at least 15 to 30 minutes of meditation.
“Meditation enables clarity, reduces stress, and centers you,” she tells Elite Daily, “all of which makes me a more effective leader.”
If you want to be really fancy, you can even set yourself up for greatness in the morning the night before. Ashley Merrill, founder and CEO of Lunya Luxury Sleepwear, says that choosing the right clothes to wear to bed can impact how you sleep and, therefore, how you feel when you wake up.
“Just think about how disruptive it is to be woken up by a twisted spaghetti strap, pants that are riding up, or fabrics that don’t breathe,” Merrill tells Elite Daily. “Our goal [at Lunya] is to [manufacture sleepwear] with FDA-regulated technology that helps women improve their sleep and wake up feeling reinvigorated.”
Speaking of clothes, if you like to get your workout in early, Gourani suggests leaving your athletic wear out at night so it’s ready to throw on in the a.m. She also suggests setting the breakfast table before bed, too, so “mornings are lovely, and not stressful.” Isn't that the goal, like, always?
So, don't be lazy, my friend. Make your bed and see what happens! If nothing else, at the end of the day, your bed will be made, and you'll feel awesome snuggling into it.