We vacuum our home every weekend and see a predictable trend unfold post vacuum day.
Day 1: Every speck of dust or dirt spotted is immediately vacuumed away with a hand vacuum.
Day 2: Same as above.
Day 3: Most of what is spotted is vacuumed away.
Day 4: Some of what is spotted is pushed to the corner.
Day 5: More of what is spotted is pushed to the corner.
Day 6: Never mind, just let it be. We’ll vacuum it tomorrow anyway.
Day 7: It is a mess. We need to vacuum our home immediately.
It is fascinating to see our attitudes change so predictably toward the end of the week.
Seeing it unfold this week made me think about the power of an idea I first encountered in Clay Christensen’s book – you either commit to a value 100% of the time or don’t commit to it at all.
He made the point that making excuses for extenuating circumstances leads us to a slippery slope – one marginal decision after another.
In this case, the culprit is the first marginal decision we make on day 3 when we decide it is okay to push a bit of dirt to the corner. Once that happens, the slope becomes very slippery indeed.