Marie Kondo, one of the most famous lifestyle gurus in the world, reached her on-screen success thanks to the Netflix series “Tidying up with Marie Kondo”, where she offered to be a consultant for families (one per episode), giving them a hand renewing their living space. Rigorously in compliance with the techniques that can be found in her bestseller “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”.
Despite the show being focused on houses, Kondo’s renewed advices, namely the KonMari Method, can be employed in many different situations, even to enhance one own’s performances, because studies have demonstrated that tidy workers tend to be more productive.
Let’s see how Marie’s approach can be actually implemented in offices, cubicles and other workspaces.
The KonMari method in brief
One of the most important takeaways of this method is that once you succeed at organizing the space, you are all set. You are never going to do it again!
Most people proceed one room at a time; here, instead, the secret is creating target categories, such as books, clothes, papers, miscellanea.
In fact, it’s easier to mess up a single room that had been cleaned, whereas is much more complex to do so if you have organized your belongings.
You will learn that only some objects are valuable and are worth keeping, while you shall get rid of those that are not this meaningful to you.
Looking up at Marie Kondo’s website, six rules are fundamental:
- Stick to your commitment of organizing your space
- Picture the results you ideally want to achieve
- Start by throwing away what you do not need
- You must proceed by category, not by location
- Follow the right order
- Determine if objects are valuable (if they “spark joy”)
Coming to your workspace
The KonMari method is not simply a way to tidy up a space, it’s more like an inner analysis you must conduct on yourself and that you can theoretically apply to every situation you face. You probably spend a significant amount of time at office. It is hence important to organize it. By doing so, you will feel more at ease and this will have positive effects on your performance.
Stick to your commitment of organizing your space
According to Marie, you can tidy up once and for all, but of course this only means that you are not revolutionizing your life continuously. Hence, keeping yourself organized implies constancy and commitment. Dedicate some time to examine your workspace and to decide what items are worth keeping. Let yourself be guided by questions like “What is on my desk that I would not mind not having? What is essential for me to be efficient?”
Picture the results you ideally want to achieve
If you feel comfortable with the way you designed your home, you should replicate the same atmosphere and apply the same criteria to your office. Once you have pictured what you would like to see, then you can put your hands on.
Start by throwing away what you do not need
Throwing stuff away is not the same as store it in boxes. The first step before even thinking of organizing your space is to get rid of what you decide you do not need.
Papers, old notes… These are the things that typically clutter an office. Furthermore, nowadays, most works are saved on computers, so you don’t need to have a paper copy, or you can always scan documents to free up space. If you are accustomed to take notes during meetings, try digitalizing them as soon as it finishes. Once you have thrown away everything you have a digital format of, clearly label what is left and store it.
You must proceed by category, not by location
After assigning all items to their respective category and storing them in a dedicated place, you will realize how much you have and if something is unnecessary.
Follow the right order
As previously mentioned, the method uses as categories books, papers, clothes, miscellanea and sentimental items. This is because you need to understand what you tend to cumulate and redefine your tidying skills before coming to sentimental items, which can be a distraction or to which you are affectionate.
For what concerns books and periodicals, you should only keep those you reference to regularly. Miscellanea are all little things you might have collected over time, for example a souvenir your co-worker brought you or a badge reminding you of an important conference. Family pictures are among sentimental items and you should only keep the most meaningful ones.
Determine if objects are valuable (if they “spark joy”)
To achieve this goal, you have to think of a different concept of “joy” than the one you apply when at home. Here, you must ask yourself whether an object contributes to generate a good mood or to your efficiency.
Similarly, Marie suggests to apply these criteria to your career, to understand what would be the best for you and how to attain it.