Making the bed. Your mom probably nagged you to do this growing up.
“You should make your bed.”
You probably didn’t listen to her. Well, maybe you should’ve…
Mom probably wanted you to do it just to keep that pig pen of your’s tidy (or at least livable), but there actually is a lot of science behind why this small habit is an important one to pick up.
I first learned about the research in Charles Duhigg’s book The Power of Habit. In it, he writes:
That seems too good to be true. How can something so small, so insignificant like making the bed lead to better productivity, improved sense of self, and better money management? I called BS on this when I first read it, but I figured I’d try it out coz it’s easy enough to do.
So, I told myself, “tomorrow, I’ll make the bed right when I wake up.” And I’ve been making the bed ever since.
4 REASONS WHY I MAKE THE BED
1) It makes me feel good.
It feels nice seeing the bed made. There’s something relaxing about seeing your pillows and blanket perfectly in their place. Feels like you’re in an IKEA showroom. The part that makes me feel good is knowing I did that.
2) Starts my day off on the right foot.
Your day is hectic. You have deadlines, fires to put out, kids to drop off. You may have more errands to run than there are minutes in the day.
The beauty of making the bed is that no matter how the rest of the day goes, you accomplished something that day.
Sure, you may think, “yeah, but that one stupid thing doesn’t help me finish my TPS report”.
And you’re right. Physically, it doesn’t help get any of your other sh!t done. But it does set you up mentally to succeed. By making your bed, you start off the day with a win, and that confidence affects the rest of your day.
3) It’s stress relieving
Ever walk into a hotel room, looked at the bed, and felt a sense of relief?
Yeah, I feel that every night when I go to bed. Why? Coz the bedroom is a calming space when you see a perfectly made bed.
Seeing that bed after a long, stressful day just makes you want to crawl into it. I also feel a sense of relief coz I’m reminded of the fact that I made the bed that morning. Not only do I feel a sense of pride immediately after I make the bed, I feel it all over again at the end of the day coz I see the results of committing to the habit.
4) Making the bed gives me confidence in creating other good habits
Out of the 4, this is probably the most important. It kinda relates to #2 where you gain a sense of self-confidence for the rest of the day. This is more about giving you confidence that you can form good habits. It’s all about getting over the fear of failure.
By creating this small habit, you gain the confidence that other habits you want to form like exercising regularly, cooking regularly, cutting out sugary drinks, etc. is possible and within your ability.
What happens if you forget to make your bed one day?
You face palm yourself, move on, and try again the next day.
You can see why we preach this habit now! All of this potential benefit from something that takes 30 seconds.
Good news, it’s easy to test!
Now here’s what I want you to do next…
Tomorrow, make mom happy and make your bed in the morning. It literally takes 30 seconds. You telling me you can’t spare that time?
To help make the habit stick, I recommend doing it as soon as you get out of bed. Associating the actions (getting out of bed + making the bed) makes it easier to remember. You can also try putting a post-it note on your bathroom mirror to remind you while you’re brushing your teeth (assuming you have good hygiene).
That’s it! Simple enough. Try it out, and let us know what you think.
Do you make the bed? Has it made a difference in your life? Any tips or tricks that got the habit to stick? Discuss below in the comment section.