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6 months ago by Meg Fenner - Jamieson

What We Can Learn From Marie Kondo

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Marie Kondo has hit Netflix with a bang, premiering her new show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.

Not only has her show received huge praise since it’s launch, but Marie has also developed her own method of tidying and built a brand around the idea.

Whenever Marie begins de-cluttering a space, she takes a meditative moment to say thanks to the space and objects within it for their good work. It seems odd at first, but then you get to thinking; Her message about “sparking joy” may mean more than you first think.

Our possessions deserve appreciation, even respect

Watching Kondo helping these people makes you think of your relationships with your own things; your laptop, iPhone, even your car and all the other things you use at work and home. The everyday objects you never notice or appreciate when they’re doing exactly what they’re supposed to. But when they don’t, most people will notice immediately.

Yet, research shows that by missing the opportunity to feel thankful when they work and going straight to irritation and blame when they don’t, you can hinder your own performance at work. Gratefulness creates happier and more productive people whereas annoyance drains your energy and can restrain cognitive performance. So much of our work and output relies upon non-living objects.

Try to be more conscious this week of being present to my technology; have a gentler touch on your keyboard, hold your iPhone and AirPods a bit lighter. Be mindful of making sure your items are charged and put away as they should be when not using them. It makes a difference – you may not need breaks so frequently when writing and working on e-mail and spend less time trying to find your phone (and becoming annoyed when you realise it is low on charge)

Three management basics that support Kondo’s message

As well as Marie’s core message about valuing objects more meaningfully, she reminds us:

Reduce clutter. Whether that’s physically, virtually or mentally. It can be distracting and energy-draining. If there are too many piles of paper on your desk, too many apps on your phone, or too many distractions wandering around your brain the principle is the same. Less clutter makes life at work and home more controllable and enjoyable.

Focus on the task-at-hand. Whether that’s folding a shirt, reading an order sheet, or discussing a problem with a customer. Top performance comes not from constantly thinking about the next goal to be completed, but from focusing on the present task in the present moment.

Make a home for the things you value. Kondo says if you don’t have a specific place that something is meant to go to when you’re not using it, it will simply become clutter. The same could be said for work. Every product needs a customer, every performance goal needs an owner, every management report needs a source and target.  Once we lose track of these connections, performance falters.