THE KONMARI WAY OF LIVING: Reviewing “Joy at Work” by Marie Kondo and Scott Sonenshein

I was on cloud nine when I got the amazing chance to do a paid review by Pan Macmillan India. It had been more than three months since I received a book mail due to the lockdown. So, without any hesitation, I said yes!

I received the “Joy at Work” book by Marie Kondo and Scott Sonenshein within the few days of approval. The minute I unpacked the courier, I was taken by intrigue and interest. “This book may strike a chord with me”, I thought.

And it did!

This 200 pages book preaches the importance of tidying up. Well, who thought one could write volumes on a mere task as tidying up? Kondo and Sonenshein have done it perfectly. 

Are you stuck in the whims of productivity and building a career with no time to reflect on yourself? If yes, then this book is for you.

‘Joy at Work’ by Marie Kondo and Scott Sonenshein

Here are 7 insightful things I have learned from this book. 

The Konmari method for a joyful work-life: 

“Does this spark joy?”

Marie Kondo keeps asking the reader. The Konmari method is Kondo’s minimalism inspired tidying approach. She is a world-famous tidying consultant. She helps right from renowned leaders to simple home-makers achieve the joy of tidying.

How do you install the Konmari method? By choosing that items which spark joy within you. Kondo advises to gratefully let go of the rest. In simpler terms, declutter is the key component of this method.

Tidy work desk:

A perfectly organized physical workspace boosts our performance in our work. As simple as it sounds, tidying is tough. If you clean each drawer in your office work desk every day, you will never clean anything effectively. Kondo and Scott suggest arranging a block of time and cleaning the work desk in one go.

By knowing where exactly every item in your workspace belongs, you end up organizing your office space. 

work desk in office
a tidy work desk boosts performance

The downside of multitasking:

Ever thought about making breakfast, attending that zoom call, play fetch with your dog, and clean the dishes all at once? Well, forget doing so many things at once. Even thinking to achieve this superhuman power affects your brain.

A research conducted by Stanford University shows the sheer disadvantages of multitasking. Marie Kondo states that people who multitask save time. But, do they perform their best in the tasks? No.

The art of prioritizing:

Often, we proclaim the importance of prioritizing. But, how do we do that?

Speaking with regards to career, Kondo suggests having task piles. They include:                                                                                                                       

(a) Core tasks: Suppose you are a manager in an office. Your core tasks include those which are fundamental to your career. Preparing a budget, communicating with stakeholders, staff evaluation and motivation, etc.

(b) Project tasks: These are tasks that need to be planned effectively. it has a beginning and an end. In short, projects are several smaller tasks. 

(c) Developmental tasks: These are tasks that are accomplished over the longer term. It helps us grow and excel in our career with a distinguished skill set. 

One can prioritize by identifying to which pile a task belongs to. 

prioritize your tasks

Choose rewards which help you grow:

Profession and competition go hand in hand. No matter which career, knowingly or unknowingly, we become a part of an ongoing competition. Along with the race, several rewards accompany.

Who doesn’t like to receive rewards? Rewards help us move ahead with the motivation we require. 

But, does that mean you should pick up every reward that comes your way? No.

The rewards we wish to receive should match our goals. Kondo affirms that one should not pursue a reward that is not going to be valued. If a reward doesn’t spark joy in you, don’t pursue it.

Less is more:

Age-old advice, but it still resonates even today. The quote was first said by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, a minimalist connoisseur, and architect. Soon, it became the catchphrase of innumerable advertisements. Eventually, this concept started to become a part of living of many. 

Minimalism goes much beyond having less materialistic things in our home and office. It applies to our minds as well. The fewer, impactful thoughts/items we have, the better we live. 

minimalism at work desk positively impacts our lives
minimalism for better living

Fewer choices, better decisions:

Having too many options drains our ability to make decisions. When you have countless options, no matter which one you choose, later you end up regretting not have chosen the other. 

In addition to this, most people have a strong desire to make only perfect decisions. It further hampers your mind and delays the need to make a choice. The solution is to set a deadline for decision-making. Make it a point to not go beyond that time. 

Tidy decisions pave the way for easy delegation of tasks and better results. 

My ratings:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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