And they look at me, bemused.
The next question is inevitably “Why?”
Are you a procrastinator?
Well, I’m the world’s biggest procrastinator. If I can put off doing something, I will. In fact, rather than write this blog post, I started to make a cup of tea and answer emails — until I gave myself a proverbial slap and started writing.
Even then, I answered a phone call from my friend Phylip Morgan. I’m not making this up. I actually discussed this article I was writing, rather than actually, you know… write the article!
If you’re a procrastinator too, then making your bed each day may just set you on the road to productivity.
Reasons to make your bed every day
I first became aware of the idea of habit stacking from a commencement speech. It was delivered by Navy Seal Admiral William McRaven.
During this speech, Adm. McRaven shared the ten lessons he learned during Seal training.
One of these lessons was making his bed every day.
“It seemed a bit ridiculous” he shares, “but the wisdom of this simple act has been proven many times over”.
If you make your bed every day, you’ve accomplished a task.
Once you’ve accomplished one task, it gives you the momentum to accompany another task.
And if you have a rubbish day, then you will still come home to a bed that is made.
You’ll have accomplished at least one thing that day!
This idea of building momentum is powerful.
While on the aforementioned procrastination telephone call to Phylip Morgan, discussing writing this article (rather than writing it), Phyl shared with me that he also subscribes to this bed-making theory.
“It’s all about habit stacking” he went on.
Habit stacking is an idea to overcome procrastination.
I’ve written before on 3 ways to build better habits immediately.
Habit stacking is the act of building a number of small habits.
Often, we procrastinate because getting started is difficult.
So, if we can make getting started very simple, then we build momentum to do more.
For instance, when he’s travelling (which as the head of Continuum EMEA, he does often) Phylip tells me that he’ll do anything to avoid getting some exercise and going for a run each morning when he wakes up.
So, before he goes to bed, Phyl sets out his running shoes. When he wakes up, it’s very simple to put them on.
And if he’s got his running shoes on, then he may as well walk to the hotel reception (habit number two).
And if he’s in reception, well, he may as well go for his run (habit number three).
By breaking the big task of going for a run into smaller, bite-sized tasks, Phyl has overcome his procrastinating when trying to decide to go for a run.
If you want to have a more productive day, make your bed.
Not when you feel like it, but every day.
If you start to make your bed every day, you’ll build a habit – and then make your day every day whether you feel like it or not.
The act of making your bed will give you the momentum to complete other small tasks that day.
All of those small tasks add up to a day where you’ve achieved things.
And even if you have a rubbish day, when you get home you’ll have a nicely made bed to go to sleep in!
What small habits have you built that enable you to get more done? Leave a comment below or get in touch.