A couple of months back, I stumbled upon a life-altering book while searching for something to accompany my daily runs. The book, penned by Marie Kondo, happens to be a gem in the domain of decluttering and organizing. If you have ever sought advice on tidying up, you have likely heard her name. Marie Kondo, a diminutive Japanese lady with a heartwarming personality, possesses a unique talent for helping people declutter. Her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (affiliate link), is one I cannot recommend enough. It brought about a profound change in my life, and I believe it can do the same for you.

This book’s transformative impact on my life led me to shed countless items from my home that had not been in use for years. This decluttering exercise brought an unparalleled level of happiness and boosted my productivity.

A critical principle that Marie Kondo often discusses, especially on her Netflix show, is evaluating possessions by asking, “Does it spark joy?” This simple question has helped me in unimaginable ways.

Interestingly, I discovered that this question is not just beneficial for decluttering your living space but also serves as an outstanding productivity tool.

Applying “Does it Spark Joy?” to Your Daily Routine

Let’s delve into this a little more.

Take a few moments to reflect on your daily routine, both personal and professional. The myriad of activities you engage in each day is likely quite extensive.

In a recent episode of The Mister Productivity Podcast, I spoke about the ODAE Method, which stands for Outsource, Delegate, Automate, and Eliminate. It helps identify tasks that can be outsourced, delegated, automated, or removed to enhance productivity. One common question I receive is, how to discern which tasks fall under these categories? Marie Kondo’s magical question, “Does it spark joy?” seems to be the ultimate answer.

Take your daily to-do list and evaluate each activity against this question. If something doesn’t make you exclaim, “Heck yeah!” in terms of joy, it’s time to consider outsourcing, delegating, automating, or eliminating it.

Time is Limited; Choose Wisely

It’s essential to recognize that your day isn’t really 24 hours long. Subtract sleep, personal development, commuting, and other activities, significantly reducing your usable hours. Thus, it is imperative to choose your engagements wisely.

A Holistic Approach to Joy

It is important to emphasize that when I say evaluate your activities, I mean ALL of them – not just work-related. Life is about more than just your job. It’s essential to evaluate everything you do, whether it’s for your family, friends, community, or religious gatherings. List them all and ask yourself if they spark joy.

Finding Joy in Your Passions

Allow me to share a personal example: I adore football (you may call it soccer). Watching football matches is something that truly sparks joy in my life. So, I ensure that football has a reserved spot on my calendar. Contrary to what others may think, this doesn’t detract from my productivity. It enhances it because it adds happiness to my life. I work around the football schedule and make sure my work is done.

Concluding Thoughts

In essence, Marie Kondo’s “Does it spark joy?” is not just a question to help you declutter your home. It is a powerful tool that can be wielded to declutter your life. It’s a filter to evaluate which activities deserve your precious time.

As you go about your day, let this question echo in your mind. Whether it’s a meeting, an app, a lunch with your team, or your daily commute, ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?” This continuous self-questioning can lead to significant improvements in the quality of your life.

Consider the things you are deeply passionate about and ensure that they have a place in your schedule. If an activity makes you happy and content, it’s worth making time for. Conversely, if stopping an activity would make you unhappy or if it doesn’t bring any joy, it’s time to consider if it’s necessary or if it can be outsourced, delegated, automated, or eliminated.

So, let’s embrace Marie Kondo’s philosophy in a broader sense. Let’s not only declutter our homes but also declutter our lives from activities that don’t add value or happiness. By doing so, we will create more time and mental space for the things that truly matter and bring joy, ultimately leading to a more fulfilled and productive life.

“Does it spark joy?” – let this be your guiding mantra as you decide how to spend your time and energy. Not only will this lead to a tidier living space but also a tidier, more joy-filled life.

Happy decluttering and here’s to living a life that sparks joy!

Every month, I host a live masterclass aimed at helping you increase your productivity as a solopreneur. We’ve covered a wide range of topics so far, everything from gaining clarity in your work to effective daily habits, decluttering your workspace, maintaining health and wellness, and mastering time management. And we’re just getting started!

If you want to ramp up your productivity and achieve more as a solopreneur, these masterclasses are a treasure trove of insights and practical tools. Now, here’s what you need to do next:

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