Whether you’re working from home or reflecting on what’s next in your career, “Joy at Work” can help. Here’s what the bestselling author has to say about making space for the work that really matters to you.
Marie Kondo, bestselling author and founder of KonMari Media, Inc.
In “Joy at Work,” my co-author – Rice University business professor, Scott Sonenshein — and I combine the life-changing KonMari Method™ with cutting-edge research on workplace productivity, success and happiness. The book offers tips, tools and strategies to help you enjoy the ease, efficiency and joy that comes with a tidy desk and mind.
Tidying can help your career
Since the publication of my first book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” one question has come up again and again: How can I tidy my workspace and have a career that sparks joy?
Clutter overwhelms the brain and compromises our ability to take initiative. Tidying the workspace — as well as our tasks, meetings and emails — can help us to become more organized, achieve better results and find joy on the job.
A joyful career is essential to our wellbeing. When we ask ourselves what sparks joy, we reconnect with our inner self and discover what’s really important to us. Seeing your job through this lens makes it easy to eliminate unnecessary mess — from extraneous meetings to an avalanche of papers — so you can make space for work that really matters.
How to work from home, with joy
Many of us are now working from home, which has its benefits and its challenges. Creating a calm and uncluttered environment is key — it will enhance both productivity and joy. To get there, identify the items that are crucial to getting your work done, and designate a spot for them. If you don’t have an office, a box or portable carrier will do. Move all unrelated items off of your workspace and add one thing that sparks joy when you look at it — I keep a crystal or small vase of fresh flowers on my desk. If you work in a multi-use space, be sure to stow your work essentials out of sight at the end of the day so they don’t distract during dinner or downtime.
I start and end my work day with a ritual to signal to my body that I’m switching gears. A tuning fork’s sonic vibrations help me to focus, so I strike one before starting work to get in the zone.
Tidying digital clutter
Digital clutter can feel overwhelming, but it too can be tidied!
My advice for digital documents and emails is to delete those that aren’t required to get your job done — and that won’t provide you with guidance or inspiration in the future. It might feel safer to file everything away, but a complex digital filing system will only require time and energy to sort through and find what you need. Keep folders to a minimum — create a small set of intuitive, primary folders that house current projects, important records and saved work you’ll need to access in the future.
Working from home can mean an influx of emails. Schedule one or two blocks of time during the day to go through them — this will minimize distractions and allow you to focus on the work that matters most.
Why joy at work matters
Tidying can have a powerful ripple effect in our organizations — and other areas of our life. It attunes us to the objects, experiences and people who are vital to our success and wellbeing, and reminds us to be thankful for them. Working from a place of gratitude makes it easier to radiate joyful energy, which has a positive influence on everyone around us. With “Joy at Work” on the New York Times bestsellers list, I’m glad to see so many people resonating with this message during a challenging time.
Last year, Rakuten, Marie Kondo and KonMari Media announced a partnership at Rakuten Optimism in Yokohama, Japan, where Ms. Kondo was appointed as Rakuten’s first ever “Joy Ambassador.” The partners plan to collaborate on entertainment content and other branded initiatives that will expand Ms. Kondo’s reach and celebrate her philosophy to spark joy in people’s lives.