The KonMari Method has transformed thousands of homes and lives, so it’s little surprise that it can also do incredible things for one’s career. Still, not every workday task can or will spark joy — or can it? We spoke with several certified KonMari Consultants about applying the Method to your professional life — and finding more joy in every working hour.
01. Use the KonMari Method to Prioritize
While not all work will spark joy, you can still use the method to help you determine what is most important to you. KonMari Consultant Hester Van Hien of Tidylicious recommends thinking of work tasks like the method suggests you think about practical items.
“With practical items in the home, you might not always feel the joy straight away when looking at an item, and in those cases, it’s good to look for the joy in the item’s purpose,” says Van Hien. “For example, your bread knife might not spark joy, but you might be really happy with how it cuts perfect slices of your favorite bread. So it’s about shifting your focus. Some tasks on your to-do list might not spark joy. But once they’re done, you’ll hopefully experience the satisfaction of a job done — which is joyful feeling.”
“Understanding what is important to me helps me prioritize tasks and let go of the ones that is not important to me,” says KonMari Consultant Helen Youn. “I designate different days for different tasks. I have office admin days and client tidying days, and I regularly block time to tackle my to-do lists.”
“Particularly during stressful times [at work], I use the Method to re-center myself and identify what is taking away my joy — and work to clear that barrier.”
02. And to Motivate You Through the Worst Tasks
You can also use the Method to motivate you to get through the worst work to-dos to end your day on the most joy-sparking tasks.
“I usually try to do the things that spark the least joy first so that I am rid of them (like the “eat the frog” productivity method),” says KonMari Consultant Kati Carrapa of Heartfully Done. “But I [also] try to have glimpses of joy in between — like a special lunch or reading an email that I’m looking forward to. I plan moments of joy as either a break or a reward for all my ‘frog-eating.’”
03. Bring More Energy to Your Work
“We become more energetic when we lean into the activities that bring us the most joy,” says KonMari Consultant Carolina Ledergerber of Simply Tidy. “At work, that can mean knowing what you love to do and becoming your own advocate to ensure you get assigned that type of work.”
And self-advocating is critical. Even using the Method to tidy your home can help you see new possibilities for your work life, according to Ledergerber.
She would know. “Back in 2016, when my husband and I personally applied the KonMari Method to our home, it created long-lasting career changes for us both,” she says. “My husband went from sitting 120% of his work week in front of a computer to opening a side business creating beautifully handcrafted, locally sourced, massive wood furniture items, and I went from an IT career focus to opening my own home organizing business to help spread my new found joy to others!”
“We become more energetic when we lean into the activities that bring us the most joy. At work, that can mean knowing what you love to do and becoming your own advocate to ensure you get assigned that type of work.”
04. Reduce Work Stress Through Mindfulness and Routine
Much of the KonMari Method centers on mindfulness, and Marie has often spoken about how essential her morning and evening routines are to her. KonMari Consultant Kristin DeCou of Modern Refresh says that prioritizing these routines can also dramatically improve your work life.
“Having a consistent morning and evening routine sets me up for success in my daily work and at home,” she says. “This includes 15-minutes of tidying in the morning and at night, once our kids go to sleep. It serves as a daily reset and refresh to start off and end well with a blank slate and a calm space.”
KonMari Consultant Raychel Klein of Raybaybay uses the Method to integrate meditative moments throughout her day. “I take a deep cleansing breath before I start my work day, before I even read a single email and greet the day with gratitude…particularly during stressful times, I use the method to re-center myself and identify what is taking away my joy — and work to clear that barrier.”
“I find myself coming back to the Japanese concept of 'Ikigai,' which translates as ‘your reason for being or purpose in life.’ It's the convergence of four areas: what you love, what you're good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for. ”
05. Find Your Purpose — And Your Ideal Career
The KonMari Method can also help you make much more significant changes at work, particularly if you’re in a job that no longer sparks joy.
“What activities do you never need to add to your to-do list?” says DeCou. “That’s a hint to what you’re naturally gifted at and what sparks joy for you. I find myself coming back to the Japanese concept of Ikigai, which translated literally means ‘your reason for being or purpose in life.’ It’s the convergence of four areas: what you love, what you’re good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for. My advice? Find a job where you can do that.”
If that sounds simple but not easy, our Consultants recommend you take some time to get to know yourself before making any major career change.
“I think self-reflection is the key to finding a joyful and fulfilling career. Before embarking on the job search journey, take time to look inward,” says KonMari Consultant Melinda Ferrier of Live Life Organised. “Reflect on your values, interests, passions, and strengths. What activities or pursuits bring you the most joy and satisfaction? By gaining clarity on what ignites your passion, you can embark on a job search with purpose, aligning your path with the elements that spark joy in your professional life.”