Productivity Tips Inspired by Marie Kondo

Chances are that even if you haven’t read her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, or seen her show on Netflix, you’ve at least heard of Marie Kondo. Her approach to cleaning and organizing has sparked interest and debate across the country. It’s a more minimalistic approach to cleaning that’s focused on keeping the things that bring you joy and getting rid of those that don’t. This method has worked wonders in kitchens and closets around the world, but it doesn’t stop in the home. Here are a few ways that Marie Kondo’s methods of tidying can even boost your productivity at work:

De-clutter Your Workspace

Our physical environment plays a significant role in our productivity. From a simple task of locating paperwork to our more general state of mind, the order (or disorder) of our desk and workspace affect the way we perform. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to have a starkly empty and meticulously organized office though. It means that you should take the time to consider what type of workspace best supports your productivity and work to create that. Some people will want that clean-slate style of desk, while others may feel more motivated when there’s a bit more around them.

De-clutter Your Mind

The less busy and stressed your mind is, the more focused and efficient you can be in your work. One of the best ways to de-clutter your mind is to minimize distractions. Whether it’s notifications from your phone or computer, scrolling through social media, or chatting with a coworker, these things pull your attention from the task at hand. Another great strategy to keep a clearer mind is to avoid multitasking. When you’re asking your brain to take in bits of information from several separate tasks, you’re wasting your brain’s power to concentrate by dividing it up among so many things.

De-clutter Your To-Do List

While your to-do list may not be full of only things that bring you joy, it should only contain the things that are necessary. If you’re making a daily list, make it realistic. Don’t tack on items you know you won’t get to or that are at the bottom of your priority list, only to continue moving them to tomorrow’s list. Boil it down to the essentials. It can also be useful to categorize it. Whether that’s by time of day, importance, or subject area is up to you. Finally, make it visually appealing. Keep your to-do list looking neat, and cross out or check off completed items to give you a sense of accomplishment as you work through your tasks.

De-clutter Your Purpose

When cleaning a physical space, Marie Kondo emphasizes the importance of knowing its purpose so it can be used to its fullest. The same applies to understanding ourselves. It’s helpful to know why you’re doing the work you do and how you fit into the larger vision of your company. This increases your sense of purpose and meaning which fuels productivity. So, take some time to reflect and maybe even meet with a manager or mentor to further clarify and define your role and purpose.


There’s a reason Marie Kondo has gained immense popularity in the U.S.—she’s offering something that people need. Whether you use her methods to get your home in tip-top shape or not, you can absolutely use them to strengthen your productivity at work.

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