The alarm wakes you up at 6 am. You’re Corporal Smith, ready to get up and crush the day. Corporal Smith doesn’t half-ass mornings. He jumps out of bed, ready take on ANYTHING…
Yeah…that’s not happening. The best part of sleep is over. It’s time to kick the warm blanket off with the right leg and think about getting up. I’ll be up in 2 minutes (worst lie you keep telling yourself).
Remember how unrelenting the brain is at snapping out of bed in the wee-hours of the morning?
Although it’s silly that tucking in sheets, and making the bed in the morning is a crucial step for sustained productivity during the day, but how do you argue with a Navy Seal soldier?
John is a retired friend of mine who was anything by an office worker. He was part of an elite military branch, The Navy Seals. Somewhere between running around restricted zones and hilarious prank stories between soldiers in run-down bars, he dropped an unexpected bombshell on why the military is religious about making beds.
“Crucial victories start with making your bed,” John said.
I should have known that Mom was apparently teaching me highly specialized military skills when I was a young buck.
Back to John: “We’re trained to accomplish specific duties with a start and a finish. We’d bust our ass during the day, but it seemed normal because it was series of events with a beginning and an end.” he continued.
Remember how self-help book #58 tirelessly taught a goal must have a beginning and an end?
That’s John’s world. When enemy bullets ricochet off a typical beaten up white Toyota truck with homemade gun-mounts a couple of yards away from your feet, you can’t afford to have open-ended goals cluttering your mind while you’re thinking of how to make it out with your limbs intact.
With several goals on your daily plate, you have to single-task them one at a time.
What he meant was that you build up a working capacity by getting things done during the day. Productivity doesn’t simply show up because you’re feeling good at the moment. It takes momentum to build productivity.
“After 5 hours of sleep, I’d get up and make my bed,” said John. “It seems trivial but it’s the first start-to-finish accomplishment of the day.
It’s a small victory and builds momentum for the greater mayhem to come.”
Stacking towards Momentum
Build up smaller victories in the morning. A habit of making the bed is a critical one. Build routines not because they will save time, although they will; build them because they stack up POSITIVE MOMENTUM. Through momentum, work assignments and goals will seem less difficult because you’ve built up and completed several tasks beforehand.
It’s not shooting guns we’re worried about here.
It’s sending a laborious email to a group of execs explaining something that’ll require your brainpower to write down. Even if that email utterly fails, you’ll perceive the failure easier because you’ve accomplished other small feats in the day, yes, even making that bed.
Get up, make the bed, build momentum, and get crackin’, son.