That first cup of coffee can be crucial to get yourself going in the morning, but the secret to launching a productive day starts well before — when you're first getting out of bed. And if you're one of those people who leaves the sheets in a ball on top of the bed after exiting, you may want to reconsider.
That's because people who spend a couple extra minutes smoothing the comforter back and rearranging pillows actually led more productive lives, according to a new survey from Best Mattress Brand, of 1,000 people, half regular bed-makers, half regular avoiders of the chore.
It may sound silly that such a small task would influence the rest of your day, but the survey found that completing this chore actually gives people an early sense of accomplishment that then helps them feel more productive throughout the rest of the day. More than eight in 10 bed-makers felt this way.
Of those who dressed the bed each morning, 34 percent reported being very productive at work and 58 percent said they were productive. For non bed-makers, far fewer described themselves as very productive, only about a fifth, while 63 percent said they were productive.
Additionally, three-fourths of those who made their beds still felt accomplished at the end of the day vs. half of non bed-makers.
Of course, it could be that people who prefer a made-up bed tend to also be more focused or driven individuals to begin with. For instance, the survey found that 63 percent of bed makers start their work straight away, whereas non bed-makers prefer to take their time before getting down to work. And 76 percent of bed makers said their work quality is always to the best of their ability, compared to 68 percent of non bed-makers.
Another survey, released last year, found that you can actually tell a lot about a person's personality as well just from knowing whether they perform this daily chore or not. That research found that bedmakers tended to be adventurous, confident, sociable and high-maintenance, while people who don't make their beds were typically shy, moody, curious and sarcastic. Non-bedmakers were also more likely to be night owls who hit the snooze button, while bed-makers tended to be morning people who woke without an alarm.
But should all these night owl non-bed makers really give up their ways?
Well, bed-makers think they should; 92 percent of those who regularly complete this chore feel so strongly about its positive effects that they'd recommend everyone else develop the habit too, according to the Best Mattress Brand.
One such notable example is retired U.S. Navy Admiral SEAL William H. McCraven, who wrote New York Times bestseller "Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...and Maybe the World." He calls the habit of making the bed one of the most important lessons he learned as a Navy SEAL.
"If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day,'' he said in a commencement speech at the University of Texas in 2014. "It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed."
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