Marie Kondo Your Workplace

If it doesn’t spark joy, get rid of it. That’s the essence of Marie Kondo’s lifechanging magic. How can we use it at work?

Well, I’m not talking about clearing out your cubicle, although if you do want to declutter it, go right ahead. Getting rid of that old packet of … something from Starbucks can only improve your personal space. But I’m thinking of Marie Kondo-ing your workplace – the whole thing. (No, you can’t throw out Paulie from Accounts. Don’t ask me again.)

You spend most of your waking time at work. You should find some joy in it. How can you do that?

Start with you – your mindset. Joy, I hear you asking. Joy, at work? Okay, get off the floor, laugh is over. Yes, joy at work.

That change starts with you. Your attitude is key to determining whether or not you can find joy (or pleasure, or engagement, or whatever you want to call it) at work. Do you come in grudgingly, resenting every moment you’re there? Feeling miserable will make it harder to find anything pleasant in your day.

Try resetting your perspective. Think about what good things happen at work. They may not even be work-related. You may see a cardinal on the way there. A colleague may tell you a joke that really tickles you. There may be leftover cake in the break room – red velvet, your favorite. You may have a great pair of socks on. Seriously, take anything that you find positive, and focus on that. Make that where your energy goes, instead of the negative.

When something negative occurs, or comes to your mind, think instead of the cardinal, the joke, your socks. Each day, find something new to add to your list of positives. Start trying to find positives in your actual work. Do you enjoy a specific task? Pay acute attention while you’re’ doing that task, and figure out what about it like. Indulge yourself while doing it, and let yourself luxuriate in it. (Seriously! You may feel crazy “luxuriating” in creating color coded filing systems, but if that’s what you enjoy, then get into it!)

Keep retraining your brain to focus on the positive – the “joys” in your daily worklife – and you’ll soon feel more positive about your work environment (even with Paulie still there). It may not be as Instagrammable as the perfectly curated drawer of socks, but in the long-term, the time you spend on this will pay off with dividends. Some could call it life-changing.

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