Every January, we are bombarded with diet and fitness experts invading our televisions, computers and phones. They're all touting their latest and greatest fitness craze in hopes all those people who made fitness-related New Year's resolutions will partake in their program. There's one thing all these diet and fitness exerts can agree on — you have to make healthy eating and exercise a habit. But it's not only true for healthy eating and fitness. And as we enter spring-cleaning season, that one fundamental tip is going to become our best decluttering tool.
You've heard it before — getting into the habit of making your bed as soon as you wake up will make you more productive during the rest of the day. Productivity expert Charles Duhigg writes in his book, The Power of Habit, "[M]aking your bed every morning is correlated with better productivity, a greater sense of well-being, and stronger skills at sticking with a budget." This got me thinking — if making your bed puts you on the path to daylong productivity, what other small habits will help you achieve the same effect?
If you are a firm believer in the power of making your bed, here are four ways to carry that productivity habit into other areas of your home.
Coffee tables: the classic home repository for all manner of keys, phones, wallets, earbuds, newspapers, junk mail and beyond. Making sure your coffee tables are neat and orderly, with all the things that live on it neatly arranged, will take two to three minutes maximum, and the payoff will be huge. If you're interested in incorporating the make-your-bed method into your life but don't know where to begin, start with the coffee table.
It's easy to forget just how germy and gross our countertops can get, but when you come in from a workday and plop down your purse, groceries, gym bag or anything you happen to be carrying, a lot of unwanted things can get left behind. Starting the day with a clean counter means you'll eliminate the transfer of germs and bacteria and have a cleaner kitchen in minutes.
This is a great habit to get into at the end of your day. No one likes waking up to a chore, so by emptying your dishwasher at night, it will be all ready to load up with tomorrow’s breakfast dishes.
Dollars to doughnuts, there's at least one thing in your bathroom that needs to be restocked or, at minimum, checked on. For example, you can always make sure you have enough toilet paper at the ready because getting caught without at least one backup roll you can reach is never fun. But you should also make sure you're stocked up on tissues, toothpaste and even make sure your hand soap dispenser is filled up. This is an easy two-minute check that will make all the difference throughout your day and, by extension, the rest of your week.
Like all good habits, adapting the making-the-bed method into your daily routine will be tough at first, but it could truly pay dividends in the long run. Less stress and more productivity? Yeah, that's definitely worth taking a few extra minutes every morning or evening to do these tasks.
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