Marie Kondo: Do these 4 things every day to boost joy and productivity when working from home

Marie Kondo
KonMari Media, Inc.

For many of us, working from home will continue through 2021, so it's never been more important to tidy up your space in a way that will get you motivated and excited every morning.

Tidying up is a powerful tool. It can help you get in touch with what you really want, show you what you need to change, and bring happiness into your work environment.

When you determine which objects and tasks spark joy, your values and goals become more focused. Here are my top four rules for tidying up:

1. Create a 'zen zone'

No matter where you work — the dining room table or a dedicated home office — it's essential to create an environment that helps you focus.

Clutter overwhelms the brain and compromises the ability to take initiative; a calm and clean area will enhance both productivity and joy. To get there, identify the items that are crucial to getting your work done, and designate a spot for them.

If you don't have an office, a box or portable carrier will do. Move all unrelated items off of your workspace and add one thing that sparks joy when you look at it. For me, it's a crystal and small vase of fresh flowers on my desk. 

2. Signal the start of your workday

Before you begin working, take a moment to center yourself. I strike a tuning fork at the start of each workday. I also diffuse a stimulating essential oil to signal to my body that I'm switching gears.

This moment doesn't have to be elaborate. In fact, the simpler the better, because you'll be more likely to do it every day. 

Similarly, mark the end of your end of your workday with a simple ritual, like turning on music or turn off notifications — whatever will let you move into the next part of your day with ease. 

3. Give every item a home

Clutter has nothing to do with what or how much you own — it's the failure to put things back where they belong.

Simply return your items to their homes when they're not in use. If you work in a multi-use space, be sure to stow your work essentials out of sight at the end of the day so they don't distract during dinner or downtime.

The more stuff we have around us, the more overloaded our brains become. This makes it harder for us to recognize and savor the things that bring us joy.

4. Set boundaries and take breaks

On average, we spend less than half of our workday on our most important responsibilities. The rest of the time is taken up by interruptions, administrative tasks, emails and meetings.

Resist the trap of draining all your time and energy on non-essential tasks. Recognize the difference between what is urgent, and what isn't.

Another way to manage your time effectively is to schedule downtime. Block out windows on your calendar each week to turn off notifications, take a walk or simply let your mind wander. Your creativity will be replenished and your brain will be sharper. 

Marie Kondo is a tidying expert, bestselling author and star of the Netflix show "Tidying Up With Marie Kondo." In her 10-lesson course, "KonMari Method™: Fundamentals of Tidying," Marie guides through her famous method on how to organize your home and bring joy to your life. Follow her on Twitter @MarieKondo.

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