Do you go to work every morning and sit in front of a cluttered desk? Does your email inbox want to make you run and hide? Are there colleagues who just annoy you every single day? Then maybe it is time to get rid of excess and got more joy out of your job.
Everywhere we turn, it’s all about Marie Kondo these days. Thanks to her Netflix special Tidying Up with Marie Kondo (plus, she’s super cute and you can’t help but love her), the queen of tidy has been popping up on memes, gifs, Facebook status updates and more. There’s a reason why she’s super trending – her “tidying” up philosophy (also known as the KonMari method) has really gotten more people to think about their possession.
According to Kondo, you need to get rid of the things that don’t make you happy, and simplify your life whenever possible. Easy, right? All you have to do is ask yourself this question: Does it spark joy in your life? No – then into the bin it goes!
What if you applied the same “spark joy” method to your career? Chances are you’ll be happier if you got rid of the things that are bringing you down or causing you unnecessary stress. Here’s how to do it.
The first thing you need to do, says the tidy queen, is visualise how you want your home to look like. You can apply the same to your career – consider how you want your career to look like. How do you want to feel when you walk into your office – capable, ready to go, positive? Keep that visual in mind and every decision that you make from now on should help you stick to that visual.
#2 Pay attention to your feelings
The most important lesson behind the KonMari method is to connect with your feelings and see how that relates with your house or your belongings.
When applied to your career, think of how the job makes you feel. If you’re struggling, try to understand why it is that you are feeling that way – perhaps it is having too many things on your plate that’s making you feeling like you’re drowning? Or if you feel like you’re not going anywhere with your career, then it’s time to figure out whether you need a more challenging role or even a career change to help you reach your career aspirations. Relating to your feelings about work will help you determine what it is that’s troubling you and what you need to do to overcome the issue.
#3 Streamline and get organised
If you’ve been watching the Netflix special, you’ll notice that Marie Kondo always talks about putting things that belong together in one spot. Streamline your belongings and put them in places where they belong.
This is super handy if you’re dealing with a cluttered desktop. Get rid of the stuff you don’t need for your job, clip the papers and files together according to project or tasks, and organise your desktop with proper boxes and storage spaces. After all, having a clean desktop is the first step to productivity at work!
Bonus: You can do the same for your email inbox. Archive the important emails you need to keep as reference, delete the junk or emails concerning things that have already past, and make it a habit to empty trash frequently.
#4 Only keep what sparks joy
The most single most important advice that really drives the entire KonMarie method – only keep the items that sparks joy in your life. In other words, declutter.
In your workplace, think of whether you really need all those magazines, books, papers, files and stationery surrounding your table? No – then start getting rid of them. Keep your workplace neat and uncluttered; best if you just have a space with nothing much but your laptop and maybe a notebook to jot down notes. Having all that extra space will really do amazing things to your frame of mind – it keeps you calm and focused on the task.
To take this philosophy further at work, think of the things that don’t spark joy when you’re at work. A colleague makes you stress out with her unnecessary gossip and drama? Keep your distance. Don’t like how some of your colleagues drag you out for super long lunches, making you look bad? Politely decline the next time they ask you out for lunch, saying you have a lot to get done. The main point is to surround yourself with things – and people – that bring joy to your working life.
#5 Be grateful!
In every episode of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, she makes the people she works with give thanks to their home so that they can associate a feel-good factor with the entire process. “Cherish everything that you have,” she says often.
Do the same at work. Think of all the important things you’ve learnt at. You may not like some of the things you do but realise that they are there to make you a better person at your job or even to learn more about yourself. Be grateful for each day that you’re learning and doing something exciting at work, and you’ll soon find that your 9-to-5 is pretty fab.
Photo by redtri from redtri.com