The Bed-Making Experiment

If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed… If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day.

Admiral William H. McRaven

Can making your bed actually make you happier, motivated, and organized? Gretchen Rubin of the Happiness Project writes and talks about its potential. Jordan Peterson refers to cleaning your room as a critical starting point for having a larger impact on the world. Randall Bell brought research to bear on the subject. His team studied over 5000 high-achievers and found that making their bed was a common trait among many of them. Others claim that bed-makers tend to like their jobs, are homeowners, and stay physically fit. Yet another study claims a connection between making your bed and being more sociable and more adventurous.

With all of these potential benefits, and if you are one of those people who does not make your bed, maybe it is time for a personal experiment to see if it produces any positive benefits for you. This is an experiment that doesn’t require many guidances, but here are a few steps to get you started.

  1. Select a 10-day period when you are willing to commit to making your bed each day.
  2. Just to make it easier, start your experiment with a fresh set of sheets.
  3. If you use an alarm, set it 5 minutes early, just to make sure that the few extra minutes making your bed do not disrupt your regular schedule.
  4. Establish a time in your morning ritual when you will make your bed. You might want to do it immediately upon waking up, after your morning shower, etc. The sooner you do it after waking up, the better your chances of keeping the habit.
  5. Repeat for 10 days.
  6. During days 5 and 10, take a few minutes in the morning or evening to record what you are thinking, feeling, and experiencing. Do you notice any changes to your mood our outlook? Will you continue to habit?

Tips:

  • Just because you don’t notice an obvious or immediate change doesn’t mean that this new practice is not making a difference. Some habits work on us slowly, over time.
  • If you miss a day, no worries. Pick up the next day and continue until you do it at least 10 days.
  • You might want to experiment with where it best fits in your morning ritual. For example, if you share the bed with another person and you are the first to get up in the morning, you might run into some logistical issues.
  • Don’t know how to make your bed? No judgment and no worries. Head over to YouTube or consider this short guide.
  • Do you work from your bed in the morning? Consider changing that up as well. Or, simply make your bed before starting your work.

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