The Independent's journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission. 

The small morning ritual that will make you more productive at work

This task ‘gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better’, says a former US navy general

Rachael Revesz
Thursday 27 July 2017 16:51 BST
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A retired US navy admiral has revealed a top tip for being productive at work and maintaining a sense of discipline throughout the day.

William McRaven, a four-star commander, said that completing one basic task in the morning was enough to help keep your entire day on track.

The 61-year-old former commander is the author of Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life... And Maybe the World, the best-selling book that gives readers ten tips to change their lives.

The clue is in the title of the book - make your bed every morning - although he also writes about how to move on from failure, stand up to bullies and give others hope.

Mr McRaven, now chancellor of the University of Texas System, believes that making your bed might be tedious and repetitive to some people but can provide a boost for the day.

“It was my first task of the day, and doing it right was important. It demonstrated my discipline,” he wrote.

“It showed my attention to detail and at the end of the day it would be a reminder that I had done something well, something to be proud of, no matter how small the task….

“Making my bed was the one constant that I could count on every day.”

The idea of the book sprang from his commencement address at the University of Texas System, which was viewed more than 25 million times.

“And if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made,” he told students in 2014.

“That you made. And a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.”

The retired naval officer has had an impressive military career over 37 years.

He worked as the commander of the United States Special Operations Command.

His time in the military included several operations between 2011 and 2014, such as Operation Neptune Spear, which was widely credited for the plan that led to the death of Osama bin Laden.

Mr McRaven was nominated for Time Person of the Year following the successful operation.

His other lessons, as listed in the book, include the importance of team work, a positive attitude and to never quit.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in