1 minute read


“Don’t go to bed with the sink full of dishes” is one of those axioms that floats around. It seems like common wisdom along with other phrases like “don’t go to be angry with your spouse” and other advice. The real question is, “Are they really that important to do or are they really just a good idea?”

I wish I knew the answer.

On one hand I think to myself, “Who cares if the dishes are done or not before going to bed?” And the truth is that my family goes to be quite often with the dishes undone. They pile up in the sink usually when the dishwasher has not yet been emptied. Eventually we either nag the person who’s chore it is, or we get tired of the dishes in the skink and just empty the dishwasher ourselves and then fill up the dishwasher anyway.

But, there is a good reason to have the sink clean, and it goes more towards the cognitive load and overall energy you are getting in your life. By going to bed with the dishes undone, you have procrastinated yet one more thing in a growing list of things you have left undone. The eventual load of all these little things which have not been done can increase the stress in your life and eventually drag you down. You may not know it consciously but that little annoyance is like the grain of sand in your shoe. One does not make a difference, but throw a couple hundred or even a thousand and suddenly it is noticeable.

What to do then?

True or not, just do the dishes. Empty the dishwasher and then make sure all the dishes in the sink are loaded. Your tomorrow self will thank you for helping reduce their stress.

Besides it is just a good way to serve the rest of the family.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash