For starters, most weekdays I leave my bedroom when I get up in the morning and I don’t see it again until I go to bed at night. At that point, having it unmade just makes it that much easier to get back in it. Also, one of my favorite things about the weekend is taking a nap, and it just seems much more likely to happen if I don’t have to mess up a nicely made bed. Do people who take a nap make the bed again? Is there a rule that says a nap that ends within X hours of bedtime negates the need to remake the bed?
The key reason I don’t make my bed, though, is the inefficiency of it all. Let’s say it takes me 5 minutes to make the bed on an average day. Multiply that by 6 days a week (because I do make the bed when I change the sheets) and then multiply that by 52 weeks a year. That’s 1,560 minutes or 26 hours a year spent on what seems like a futile task!
Try this instead
So what can you do with all of that extra time? You could add 5 minutes to your morning exercise, or spend 5 minutes in prayer or meditation. Maybe you could use that time to leave the house 5 minutes earlier so you don’t start the day so frustrated by traffic. Imagine how much better a marriage might be if couples spent 5 minutes every morning connecting in a meaningful way, such as sharing a cup of coffee and talking about what you have going on that day.
What if we thought on an even larger scale? Imagine the smiles you could bring if you sent a quick email or text just to encourage someone who needs it. Or sent a card a day to folks serving overseas. What if you spent 5 minutes a day writing to your elected officials about a cause that is important to you? What big goal could you work towards 5 minutes at a time?
So I respectfully disagree with Admiral McRaven. I say, “If you want to change the world, leave your bed unmade and use your extra 5 minutes for something meaningful.”