Have you heard of Marie Kondo? If not, you must be living under a rock. LOL. She is a Japanese tidying expert and author of the bestselling book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up“. She has a Netflix show called “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo” where she helps people clear the clutter from their homes—and their brains.
How about applying her approach of to your business? So, instead of organizing what you have, you focus on getting rid of what you don’t like and don’t need. Then you are left being surrounded by only the things you love and use. This system is all about getting your house in order, BUT is will also reduce stress, increase focus and give you more time to focus on what really matters. Doesn’t this sound like a GREAT idea to get your home office in shape?
There are six basic principles in the KonMari method. Let’s see how we can apply them to our business.
1. Be committed.
In order for this to work, you need to be fully dedicated to doing this. Ideally, the whole process is done over a series of days and although this may be difficult for businesses – you still need to commit to finishing what you start and working through each category completely before you stop. If you don’t, you will lose momentum. Set aside time to focus on files and documents so you can get it all done in one fell swoop.
2. Imagine your ideal life before you start.
Before you start the decluttering process, take some time to think about what you want your business and life to look like when you’re done. What do you want to achieve by decluttering? Do you want your business to be more efficient, more successful, more enjoyable, more appealing for employees? Her method places LOTS of importance on being mindful, introspective and forward-looking. You need to know why you want to start this project before you start, and it will help you stay focused when you are decluttering.
3. Tidy by category, not location.
This is a though one for me. I even had a hard time when I was tying to do the house. Instead of starting with your desk or a file drawer, Marie Kondo wants you to declutter each category all at once. In the home, this means taking out all your clothing (from the closet, the dressers, the hall closet, the under-bed storage) and going through it all at once. For your business, it might mean going through all your equipment first, then all your paper documents, etc. It doesn’t matter where they are located – files, desk, shelves – just pick one thing first!
4. Discard before you re-organize.
If you are like me, once you clear stuff out – you want to get organized, right? Don’t! With this system, you are supposed to finish the decluttering process THEN you organize what’s left.
5. Do the easiest things first.
What’s the easiest thing for you to let do of? Start decluttering there – a category easy to let go of. In the home, the clothes are usually the first thing with sentimental items last, since these are the hardest to let go of. Figure out what’s easiest for you to start with (like paper documents) before moving onto more difficult areas such as business processes. This helps you get used to the method and avoid getting sidetracked. You know how easy it is to squirrel!
6. Keep what sparks joy.
This method of decluttering involves holding each item in your hands and asking yourself, “Does this spark joy?” Don’t overthink it: go with your first instinct. YUP, not easy for me since I tend to overthink EVERYTHING. Realistically, everything in your office will not spark joy (I’m looking at you, ream of printer paper). For those items, ask yourself if it’s necessary to help you accomplish a task. Don’t keep more than you need: if you have a whole drawer full of (necessary) file folders, keep the ones which spark joy, like the colorful, crisp ones and get rid of those that don’t spark joy, like the old, ratty Manila ones.
Now, there will be some things which will spark negative feelings. If so, you need to figure out what’s really going on. Does it remind you of a task you hate doing in your business, maybe it is a a client/customer who drives you nuts, or a concern you don’t want to face. Is it a necessary item which doesn’t spark joy? Is it hard to use or it really doesn’t do exactly what you want it to do? Get rid of it and find a replacement which is more joyful to use.
This is kind of where I am in my business right now…… Ask yourself these questions:The
What sparks joy in your business? Customers value authenticity, and when you’re passionate about something in your business, they’ll know it. If you are in direct sales, find your passion product or set of products and share them like crazy! Focus in your business on what brings you the most joy, and put more energy there.
What if there’s a component of your business which doesn’t spark joy? Maybe you added a new product, a new service, or maybe you are doing things “like everyone else” but your heart really isn’t in it. If this is the case, it may be time to do some soul-searching.
Before tossing anything, Marie Kondo says, you need to thank it for its service to you. (Yes—even if you’re getting rid of an old stapler.) It is part of “letting go,”. Why not thank the things you’re keeping as you clean out your business. Take some time to appreciate all the things which help your business thrive. Once your business was just a dream—and now it’s reality. So let’s celebrate it.
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!