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This is the key to productivity and eventual success which most people overlook.

Joy at Work

Joy at Work

by Marie Kondo, Scott Sonenshein

According to psychologists, messy environments reduce our focus, tax our brain and make our overall working lives more difficult. In addition to this, the “Pygmalion Effect” suggests that tidy individuals are more likely to be seen as ambitious, intelligent and kind – all factors which subsequent...

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Tidying up can sometimes feel like a never-ending process. We swing between moments of having a tidy environment to a chaotic one. Why can’t we seem to tidy and keep it that way?

One of the main reasons for us not being consistently tidy is because of our intrinsic motivation behind it. You...

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Before you get started tidying up, it is a good idea to have an effective plan in place. 

  • Visualize Your Ideal Work-Life.
  • Know where everything belongs.

When you encounter anything, ask yourself:

  • Does it spark joy?
  • Is it needed for work or play?

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Books can provide us with knowledge and inspiration but can also become a barrier to tidying. Although a full bookshelf can seem fulfilling, we might keep books for the wrong reasons – like impressing others…

Gather all your books into one space and ask yourself those 3 earlier key question...

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1. The pending ones

These are the ones that require future action. Think outstanding bills and things like proposals that must be reviewed.

2. The ones we MUST keep

Most workplaces will have things that are required by law – these might be long-term contracts or legislation. 

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Make clear but simple categories which work for you. If you are a designer maybe break everything down by client and then have a master admin folder for general bits. If you do a lot of ad-hoc work maybe a date type filing system might be best? Ask yourself: How do I approach my work and how can ...

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Regularly maintain a box – whether it be physical or digital – for things which are pending. This is your place to put things when they don’t have a place yet. Think new documents – do not just put everything here though! It is instead a short-term stop-off for documents.

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There are usually 3 ways we approach our emails: all of which can lead to problems.

1. Those who stay alert

These are the people who stay alert for inbound emails.

2. The spring cleaners

These are the people who purge their inbox occasionally.

3. The accumulators

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  • Firstly, consider those 3 questions we have been using above when deciding what to do with an email.
  • Delete anything which does not fulfil the criteria and then begin organizing the remaining ones.
  • I would suggest having a reasonable number of folders but no more than 10. Cat...

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It can be easy to fall into the trap of doing more work than we should. It can be so troublesome that psychologists have coined it “Over-earning”.

We tend to invest lots of energy into things that don’t really matter. We might originally undertake a task to achieve a specific objective, but...

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Instead of making time to dive into focusing on one task we instead jump from one seemingly urgent task to the next. We work on auto-pilot and complete assignments based on what has been deemed urgent instead of the important tasks. What usually happens is most tasks become urgent when they are n...

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Multi-taskers tend to be among the least productive people at work. Research suggests that by multi-tasking you could be decreasing your productivity by as much as 40 percent. We can only think of a limited number of things at once: take on too much and you are likely to end up doing a few things...

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You do not have to let your schedule get the better of you. Here are some tips on taking control of your schedule:

1. Identify your ‘core tasks’

These are your central, ongoing activities that justify your existence at work.

2. Identify the ‘project tasks

These are the kin...

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Most of our decisions are ones made with little effort or focus, however, other decisions can be high-stakes and require intense thought and then there are the medium-stake decisions which fall in between and are the ones we are likely to put off as they aren’t as easy to make.

When tidying...

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  • Gather all the medium stake and high-stake decisions that you currently or will soon face.
  • Look through your pile and put the high-stakes ones to one side. These must be kept!
  • Now you’re left with the medium pile. It’s time to find out what is worth keeping.
  • Again, as...

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Instead of doing everything perfectly – forget the idea about being a perfectionist and completing everything perfectly, you might be able to cope for a week but after a while, you’ll get fatigued and start doing a poor job on everything. Instead, perfect the jobs that need to be perfected.

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1. Show up

This means not being only physically present but mentally present too. 

2. Come prepared

Read any agendas sent over and bring any information along which might be useful.

3. Put away distractions

Other mes...

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1. What do you want to accomplish?

Is the meeting even required in the first place?

2. Do you need to invite everyone?

Fewer people but more engagement is better than lots of people with little engagement.

3. Let others know the purpose of the meeting...

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