“There are small indicators of disorder that unleash in us a feeling that things are out of control. Even if the trigger is just a stack of unsorted mail, that feeling begets other, bigger feelings — namely guilt and defeat. Maybe your broken window is dirty laundry, a sink full of dishes, clutter on your counter. Whatever it is, it undermines your goals because it gives you a sense of chaos.”
Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project
There’s a controversial but widely accepted law enforcement concept known as the “broken window” theory. It’s based on the idea that we take cues from our environment — if a neighborhood has broken windows, for example, and seems neglected, it can fall prey to bigger, more serious problems.
By the same token, fixing broken windows can be liberating — even tackling something small can energize you and make you feel equipped to take on bigger challenges.
Author Gretchen Rubin believes that this theory applies to many aspects of our life as well. What about writing, I wonder? Do all the unfinished projects I have languishing in my files or that story idea I came up with but haven’t gotten around to writing yet — does all this unfinished business contribute to my sense that I’m not making progress toward my goals and drifting toward chaos? Mmmm. I’d love to know what you think! Write on.