To make or not to make your bed? They say there are two kinds of people - the ones who make their bed in the morning and those who simply don't. Which one are you?
Making the bed is pretty simple, but so is creating an excuse! We have this tendency to think of something as too easy, and we end up not doing it at all. Some people are too busy that a 10-minute routine makes it impossible to do, while some developed this habit because they are not just "into it" (if this even exists!). But do you know that one of the single most decisions that can change the course of your day is the choice to fix the bed?
This may sound a bit of exaggeration for some, but as simple as your bed-making habits, which consume probably 1% of your day says a lot about you. Habits are formed from repeated actions - some you do with intentions. Holding yourself responsible for assessing the habits you have made and the patterns you fall into is hard, but it is an act of self-awareness. One step you can take is to look closely at how you spend the morning, starting from when you make the bed or not.
Beyond the happiness that you can feel with a tidy bedroom and your organized bed, here are some reasons why you should make your bed every morning:
It helps start the day right
Accomplishing the first task of the day feels good, regardless of how simple it may seem, especially as it comes with the reward of seeing your room neat.
It increases productivity
When you feel good, you do better. Not only does it come from taking pride in accomplishing a task, but being in clean surroundings helps you have the right state of mind to do more. Your internal space and your external surroundings matter just the same!
It reduces stress and improves focus
A neat space is calming, and it makes you feel organized. Working or simply being in an environment that does not disturb your mind by thinking of how messy it is, makes you focus on more important things. One article mentioned that studies show that living in a tidy environment improves or retains brain function and enhances the general quality of life, particularly for older people.
It helps accumulate good habits
Have you ever been in a situation where you did something good that you have this desire to do so much more? One of the best things about developing a good habit over time, especially those with visible rewards afterward, is it creates another craving to feel good because you are familiar with how accomplishing another task would give, and you want that.
We, humans, love the feeling of being rewarded. A book by James Clear, Atomic Habits, which talks about habits and explains the science of it, says that it is the anticipation of the reward and not the fulfillment of it that gets us to take action. Moreover, it teaches us actions worth remembering, which are usually the same actions we are doomed to repeat.
It leads to good sleeping habits
Making the bed in the morning reduces the urge to go back for more sleep, which gives your brain the signal that it is time to tackle the day. It makes it easier to have a normal sleep-wake cycle, as compared to when the sheets and pillows lay unorganized. It would also be easier to sleep at night with a comfy made bed!
Once you have associated bed-habit making with the time to start your day, it will condition your brain to have your body act afterward.
It is easy to ignore the smallest habits we have in a day as we do not often acknowledge how they directly impact us. For some, making the bed still does not make sense when you will crawl back to it during the night. For others, a tiny change in their morning routine would make so much difference. In the end, it is important to note that it is not always about the action itself, but the intentions of doing and the principle that it implies that matters most.