Haha, no! I don’t mean actual broken windows. Its more like a metaphor you can apply to your life. Let me explain:
A couple of months I read The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell. It talks about how small cosmetic damages in a neighborhood can lead to large negative social problems. So broken windows, graffiti and trash on the streets lead to increased crime, anti-social behavior and violence.
So instead of focusing on big things in life, focus on the little things. The big things can often leave us feeling anxious, overwhelmed and stressed. By fixing small, trivial things in your life you will feel more control in your life. These small changes can lead to a more positive mindset and can set the stage for a great day.
Some of the smallest things can stress you out and things can easily spiral out of control.
Think about when you devote a day to cleaning the house. 3 days later the beds are unmade, the dishes have piled up and laundry needs to be done. It can make you feel like you wasted a day cleaning and leave you unmotivated to clean the house again. Its not just cleaning the house, this can be applied to work, relationships and even your health. By using the Broken Window Theory, you can change all this!
We all have broken windows. Mine could be different from yours, and that’s okay. We are all different and live different lives.
My broken Windows include
- Unmade beds.
- Dishes on the counter
- Laundry not folded
- Garbage not taken out
- Not drinking enough water
- Unpaid Bills
- Emails/voicemails I haven’t dealt with
If all of these things are left undone, I would feel anxious, stressed and probably want to crawl back into bed for the day. And these are just the little things! They don’t include whats currently going on in my life, they are just the little things that nag my brain.
So every morning when I wake up, i try to pick up the broken glass. I make my bed without hesitating. (Your room will always look cleaner when your bed is made. You won’t feel embarrassed later if someone happens to see your bed) I pick up any trash left out from the day before and try to put everything back in its place. After I have my morning coffee, I sit at my computer and handle anything else I might have left from the day before. None of this takes very long, especially if you do it every day.
When all the glass is picked up, the sun shines brighter through the window. I feel more positive. I am ready to tackle life.
I have been utilizing this theory for a couple months and its amazing. It also has me starting to deal with things before they break the window.
Dealing with the pebbles can often lead to those big rocks falling into place!