It’s not so surprising that Marie Kondo’s (say: Marh-ri-ay Kon-do) method of tidying (the Konmari method) – shared with the world through her best selling book and Netflix series – has pierced the minds of many. I believe it’s an intrinsic need for humans to try and create order in our surroundings. Creating order can bring clarity and peace. Not only in the home, but in our day-to-day processes, our minds… and maybe even in the workplace.
After an inspirational sweep of my home belongings, I decided to embark on a declutter of my workday via the Marie Kondo method. Unsure of how this process will go, my head started spinning with the thought of the overwhelming task ahead, but lined with hope that a new perspective and fresh feeling will come. Open mind!
The Konmari method has just 6 rules to follow:
- Commit yourself to tidying up
- Imagine your ideal lifestyle
- Finish discarding first
- Tidy by category, not location
- Follow the right order
- Ask yourself if it sparks joy
Marie Kondo always starts with gratitude. I took a moment to be thankful for the space I work in, the people I am surrounded by, and the powerful digital devices which support me in solving client’s problems every day! It’s easy to take things for granted. Like not having a bad back….I quickly noticed my horrible posture in this moment of silence.
First things first, time to empty out each category. I dumped the following categories into a ‘pile’:
This is the part where participants usually gawk at how many clothes are piled on their bed and wonder how it got this way. Let’s say, I experienced the digital equivalent.
The next stage took time. It required patience, commitment and perseverance. One category at a time I sorted through the items and asked myself ‘does this serve a purpose?’. One would also hope it ‘sparks joy’, but the objectives here are for a practical, clean and inspiring digital workspace. It was overly tempting to Command+A > Delete but shortcuts don’t always get you to a destination faster.
After sorting each category into keep, move/file somewhere and delete I was able to simplify the amount of ‘stuff’ I had lying around, and make practical use of the items I kept. My email inbox was finally organised and automated, I had 1 miscellaneous to-do list instead of 5, and screenshots no longer filled my desktop. There were feelings of relief, clarity and achievement, but mostly the desire to keep it up. To take on my learnings and not let things get out of hand again.
Here are a few things I learnt along the way:
Commitment to a project comes from being aligned with its purpose
The reason so many people have raved about how they “Marie Kondo-ed” their life is because something in her method aligned with their purpose and desire to live life a certain way. Their mentality may have been challenged by it, but they approached the process with a purpose. The same goes for creatively solving problems – take a moment to consider your ‘why’. Is it your will to make things easier for people, the feeling of freedom when you play with the unsolved, or your passion for creating something useful and beautiful?
Taking time to create a place or system for everything saves a lot of time, in the long run
Digging to the back of the cupboard to find where the laundry powder landed every time you need to wash your clothes is a pain. Digging around your desktop to find locate design assets you urgently need is also a pain. Are they still in the downloads folder? In the cloud? Did they actually get downloaded, or just bookmarked? Having a process and a place for things will eliminate hours of searching over the month.
Find a system which works for you, so that you will want to stick to it
Here at BlueMelon our teams use a combination of tools to align, track and move through our tasks and goals. Asana has been great in combination with a set filing system and file naming process. Such a time saver! Remember that change is okay too – over time you might need to adjust these processes to match how your business evolves.
Sharing really is caring
When we learn something from an experience, it’s so important to share the findings. Why help only yourself when it could lead to positive change in your workplace or other’s lives? Learnings are also a great conversation point – by opening up you never know who will open up to you, who you’ll meet or what you’ll find out. You may be surprised by how much joy sharing will bring you.
Clean desktop = clean mindset
Studies show a clean physical environment allows us to focus better, feel calmer and have a happier day. I would say the same mental clarity can come from a clean digital room. Your desktop is just an extension of your office. Let it reflect how you really want to be and you are one step closer to becoming that person. And yes, switch up that desktop background!
It’s been an experience, and we would love to see how you go about Konmari’ing your digital or work life. It could be the day to change them all! Share your before & afters to #bmdkonmari