Tips from a new book by Marie Kondo, author of the bestselling Magic Cleaning.
The KonMari Method is an approach to tidying up and organizing space that Mari Kondo invented and described in her bestselling Magical Cleaning . In April 2020, she, along with professor of management Scott Sonenschein, released a new book , Magical Cleaning at Work. It tells you how to tidy up your workplace and schedule so you can enjoy your work. The book has not yet been translated into Russian. Here are some basic guidelines from it.
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1. Start your day with a ritual
A simple sequence of actions will set you up for a productive day and help cut off distracting thoughts. Marie Kondo herself uses an aroma diffuser with essential oils, whose scent she associates with work and helps to concentrate. You can think of another simple ritual for yourself: drink coffee, make an entry in a diary , do meditation or a short exercise, listen to cheerful music.
Rituals are especially important for those who work from home to separate their personal and professional lives. But in the office, you can use them if there is such a need.
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2. Keep your desktop in order
Marie Kondo believes that this is the cornerstone of organizing the working day. A clean table with no unnecessary items can help you be more productive, calmer, and happier. She is echoed andresults Research: Cleanliness in the workplace reduces stress, increases concentration and productivity.
- On the table there should be only those items that you need for work today. If you mostly work at the computer and receive calls from time to time, then leave only the computer and the phone. No stationery organizers with markers and bent paper clips, no notepads and pieces of paper.
- All things that you may need, but are not required right now, divide by categories and keep in drawers or on shelves in identical boxes with signatures.
- You can (and should!) Put one object on the table that causes you “sparks of joy”. This is an important concept in KonMari philosophy, which means that a thing should carry pleasant feelings, memories and associations . Marie Kondo herselfputsa crystal or a vase with fresh flowers on the table. More ideas: a photo of a loved one or family, an antistress toy, a flower in a pot, a memento.
- It is better to get rid of papers, and store important information in digital form. Documents with seals and signatures, which are absolutely necessary in the original, should be divided into categories and folded into folders or special vertical supports.
- Many things for work, let’s be honest, do not cause “sparks of joy”, but they cannot be thrown away. Marie Kondo then recommends buying the boxes and containers that you like. Brightly colored stationery bins and colorful wire pouches will help keep items tidy and a little more fun and enjoyable to use.
- If you work from home, keep all tools and papers in boxes or containers. First, at the end of the day, the box is easy to close and put away to draw the line between work and personal life. Secondly, in this form it is convenient to transfer objects from room to room (for example, if you first worked in the bedroom or in the kitchen, and then decided to move to the living room ).
- Set aside one day a month to clean up your workplace. Get rid of everything that does not bring joy and that you have not used for a long time.
3. Throw digital trash too
It takes up space in the memory of devices, prevents you from finding the information you need and spoils your mood. Hundreds of unopened emails in your inbox and hundreds of unread articles in Pocket don’t make you want to go there.
The principles that are already familiar to fans of the KonMari method apply to the de-cluttering of the digital space. It is necessary to divide objects into categories and throw away what does not cause a “spark of joy”. You should act quickly, declutter files and folders in one go, without hesitation and without leaving yourself a chance to cling to unnecessary junk.
All our digital property can be conditionally divided into several categories: files (documents, photos), letters and messages, subscriptions, applications and services. To get rid of the excess, you have to deal with each category.
- Create two folders. Place what brings joy into one, and important and useful documents and photographs into the other. The important ones are the ones you actually use and don’t keep for years. Everything that did not fall into either one or the other must be deleted. After you get rid of the excess, divide the files in the two folders into categories as you like.
- Letters and messages. First, empty the Trash and Spam folder . Unsubscribe from mailings that you do not read. The rest of the letters, like the files, conditionally divide into joyful and important ones, and then assign them the necessary labels. Remove excess.
- Delayed reading. If you postponed the publication a couple of months ago and still haven’t read it, delete it. If you have read it, but the information was not useful and you do not want to return to it – the same thing.
- Subscriptions and Apps. Leave only what pleases or is very, very necessary. For example, if you check 20 different news resources for work, you can’t go anywhere, but in ordinary life you hardly need such a lot of news – feel free to unsubscribe. It’s the same with apps: you obviously don’t need five different habit trackers or diaries.
4. Prioritize tasks
By opinionMarie Kondo, we spend a huge part of our time on various distractions and urgent tasks that are really not like that. Therefore, try not to fall into the trap of urgency and do not rush to immediately respond to every message or perform unexpected tasks. First, ask yourself if these things really need attention right now, or if they can be postponed. If they still can wait, first of all it is worthwhile to deal with tasks and projects that are important in the long term.
When you are working on personal projects and choosing tasks yourself, listen to the “sparks of joy” within yourself. From cases that do not cause them, according to Mari Kondo, it is worth giving up.
5. Get some rest
You need to plan your breaks in advance: what time you will rest and what your rest will be like. It is important to choose something that relaxes and pleases you, helps to reboot: a walk, reading, music, chatting with colleagues, a nap, handicrafts – whatever. Thanks to the breaks, wefeel better ourselves and work more productively.