How To Apply Marie Kondo's Methods At Work

If you ask bestselling author and Netflix star, Marie Kondo, there's great joy in decluttering. While the tidying guru rose to fame by applying her principles at home, they also work in the office. Writer Alyse Kalish, a former editor for The Muse, contacted a certified KonMari Consultant to learn how to apply Kondo's KonMari Method at work.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share what Kalish learned and offer tips on how you can apply Marie Kondo's methods in your workplace.

Express gratitude. One of Kondo's signature moves is greeting a house and thanking it for its service before leaping into cleaning and organizing its contents. Before you roll your eyes, Kalish says to think about what your desk has done for you. It's where you nailed down that great sales pitch, wrote that perfect copy, upsold that big client, earned a promotion or launched your business. By thanking those items, you reflect on everything you've done in this one small spot.

Have a vision. Consider what you want to get out of this exercise. Do you want a cleaner space to focus on important projects? If that's the case, Kalish says that your intention should be to keep only the items you believe will help you achieve this goal.

Try to spark joy. Sparking joy is simple when you're holding your favorite sweater or a picture of your family, says Kalish. It's not as easy when you're looking down at a stapler or expense report—so how do you reconcile this? Take a step back and think about how you feel when you're using that particular item and how it helps you get the job done better. In this case, Kalish says you might think twice before tossing away a pen you like using or a pair of scissors you always seem to need.

Tackle your email, desktop and files (but don't overthink it). Look at your messages and files with the following three filters: what you need now, what's pending and what you need to keep forever. Kalish says that for everything that doesn't fall into those three "to keep" categories, it's up to you to toss them or not.

Capitalize on your power spots. Whether it's a drawing one of your kids gave you, a nice card you got from a client or a prize you won at your company's latest outing, display those items that bring you the most happiness front and center. They're the things that'll keep you going on those (hopefully rare) bad days.

Store things in a pleasing way. Kalish notes that you might not be able to get rid of things that don't spark joy but are necessary to do your job. But what you can do is store them in a pleasing way—whether that's using fun file folders, cute boxes or funky containers. Follow the Marie Kondo rule of pairing like things with like things. Pens should go with pencils and other writing utensils, cough drops and tissues should go with other first-aid items, books should go with other books.

Focus on what works for you. There's no right or wrong way to store something and no perfect formula for the number of things to trash or books to keep. Kalish says the real question to ask is, simply, "What is manageable for you?"

Be intentional going forward. With whatever you choose to keep, Kalish learned that you should have some kind of intention behind it. Maybe that's an action, like finishing a report or sending an email. Or maybe it's more sentimental and about sparking joy, in the case of a framed picture or motivational Post-it.

Don't let clutter overwhelm your workplace. By following the steps above, you can gain more clarity and get into a mindset of sparking joy at work.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Alyse Kalish is a former editor for The Muse. She has written almost 500 articles for The Muse and her work has appeared in Fast Company, Forbes, Inc., CNBC's Make It, Lifehacker, Mashable and more.

filed under February 2020
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