Experts suggest making the bed each day could make you more successful. So could there be more to making the bed than just a tidy room?
It's a memorable part of any one's childhood – your mum yelling at you to make the bed before leaving for school.
While you probably saw it as an unnecessary chore (after all, it's only going to get slept in again), perhaps your mum actually had a point.
See, it turns out making your bed gives you more than just a tidy bedroom. It could actually make you happier and more successful.
In Charles Duhigg's ‘The Power of Habit', he suggests “making your bed each morning is correlated with better productivity, a greater sense of wellbeing, and stronger skills at sticking with a budget.” Sounds pretty good, right?
Duhigg explains that bed making is a keystone habit. Keystone habits, he writes, can spark “chain reactions that help other good habits take hold.” For example, exercising every day can lead people to eat better as well. Or sitting down for dinner as a family leads to better grades for children.
It’s not so much that making the bed causes success. Rather doing something positive first thing in the morning sets you up to make better decisions throughout the rest of your day.
Making your bed isn't something you just do because it could make you more productive or leave you with a bit of extra cash in your wallet each week.
It's a stepping stone to greatness. To bigger, more important actions that you need to take to reach your goals.
US Navy admiral William H. McRaven – a former commander of the US Special Operations Command who organised the raid that killed Osama bin Laden – told a commencement class that if you want to change the world, you must start off by making your bed.
Once you've done that, he says, you will have accomplished the first task of the day, which encourages you to another task, and another.
Making your bed also reinforces the fact that it's the little things in life that matter. If you can't do the little things, then you won't be able to do the big things, says McRaven.
“And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made — that you made — and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.”
If you don't currently make your bed, try doing it for just a month.
Every morning, after you get up but before you leave the house, pull back the sheets and doona, straighten the bottom sheet, readjust your pillows, then fold the top sheet and doona back.
It should take you less than a minute to do, but will leave you with a sense of accomplishment that lasts all day.
Currently a bed maker? That's great. Try to add another simple task to your morning routine – whether that's tidying up your bedside table or putting away your clothes morning and night.
Are you a bed maker? Or prefer the rumpled look? Let us know in the comments below.