Taking One Task at a Time: Make Your Bed by William H. McRaven

In Make Your bed by Admiral William H. McRaven, he outlines straight and simple rules to change your world. One of those? Making your bed. If you wake up and make your bed, then you have accomplished one task, the first task of the day. You feel accomplished — and your bed is in order.

If you only make your bed today, at least you accomplished that one thing.

Maybe you’ve heard this saying before: if your room is in disarray, then so is your life. Funny, isn’t it? The idea is that our rooms or the spaces we occupy have a direct influence on how our daily lives operate. It also suggests that the small things we do in our daily life can have a direct influence on the bigger picture, for better or worse.

As you go through the day, you’ll receive more motivation to complete more tasks, simply because you woke up and found the strength and capability to do just one. If by nightfall, you realize your day hasn’t gone quite the way you’d imagined it to, you will come home to a made bed and the promise that tomorrow there is an opportunity to newness and difference.

Start with small changes.

One small good action can change the outlook of your entire day. Have you ever heard of the secret to immediately boosting your mood? Do one nice thing for another person. Just one. You can pay one compliment, you can buy one coffee, you can offer one smile — just the one action is enough to make someone’s day. It’s enough to boost your mood and theirs and set a course of more positive changes.

As you go through the day, you’ll receive more motivation to complete more tasks, simply because you woke up and found the strength and capability to do just one.

But what happens when you don’t make your bed? When you don’t start your day with an achievement? At first, nothing. You will not notice the difference. If your day is hard, then you will come home sore and tired from what’s been thrown at you, and find a disheveled living space that surely will do little for your mood. But if your day is easy and your bed is unmade, you might not notice.

However, you might have not accomplished much because you didn’t start the day with a culture of accomplishment; you did not complete your first task of the day. By starting the day with an accomplishment, by starting small with your achievements, you can create this culture and set the tone for your entire day.

The Takeaway?

Make your bed. Your cat will thank you.

The notion of taking it one step at a time isn’t new. We’ve seen this countless times in popular media and we experience this daily in our lives. But sometimes it’s hard to keep that mentality. Sometimes we look only at the big picture — at our large, unorganized room — and decide it is too hard, too stressful, to go forward. We only see the essay; we don’t see the individual words. But an essay is typed one word at a time like a room can be cleaned one item at a time. There are steps; there is a process. If you ever feel overwhelmed, scale it back and make your bed. One thing at a time.

Fabulous’s Unexpected Journey is based on the idea that we achieve our goals not all at once but in small, easy steps. Download the app and try the Journey today.

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