Life Lab: Making my Bed; The Saga Continues

smartphone-564155_1920What’s the Situation?

I am not a morning person. I tend to get my best work done in the very late evening and well into the night. For me, the quiet of the late night is preferable to the quiet of the early morning. Unfortunately, most days I still have to get up far earlier than I’d like in order to get my day started (it turns out clients don’t really want to work the 10am to 7pm schedule…)

So in an effort to increase my morning productivity and start my day off right, I decided to make my bed each morning as the first thing I did when I got up. This was a strategy I had read about and wanted to validate one way or another in my own life.

I expected that it would increase my Emotional Mana through the inputs of Self-Management and Self-Valuation. Setting and completing a task – albeit a simple one – is Self-Management in action. And doing something we set out to do generally makes us feel better about ourselves overall, a nice added boost to Self-Valuation.

What Happened?

Last week, I noted a very specific (and positive) change to my day, but not the one I expected. Rather than seeing a change in my Emotional Mana, I saw a change in my Mental Fortitude.

Prior to this little experiment, I would start off each morning (after hitting snooze a couple of times) by picking up my phone and browsing through emails and Facebook until I felt awake enough to actually get out of bed. On good days, this took just a few minutes. On bad days, it took ten, fifteen, or even twenty minutes. As a result, the rest of my morning ended up being rushed. More than once I was almost late to work.

Given this previous behavior, it makes sense that applying a deliberate Structure to my morning would have a tangible impact on my Mental Fortitude. By doing something productive instead of something relatively mindless, I started my day off with a clear head and increased focus.

Clearly, making my bed worked for me!

But was it the bed making or the non-social media/email activity that made the difference?

What’s Next?

I want to dig a bit deeper. I’m not the kind of guy who will stop at the easy answer. I want to know what works for me and why. So next week, I’m going to continue this particular test with the following changes:

  • I will NOT make my bed each morning before leaving for work
  • I will instead REFRAIN from all social media and/or email until after breakfast

As a result of this, I expect to see:

  • The SAME boost in Mental Fortitude and Structure that I experienced last week

And so, the adventure continues! Let’s see what happens!

See you at the finish line!

-The Jack of Spades


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