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Success Advice

How to Be More Productive According to the Japanese Guru, Marie Kondo



tidying up with marie kondo

With the launch of the 2019 Netflix special, “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo”, Marie has quickly become a household name with her method of helping people declutter their lives to better focus their energies.

Can work “spark joy” aka Marie Kondo style? It’s fair to hope as much since you spend so much of your time doing it! The mantra and way of life for Japanese tidying guru, Marie Kondo, can be applied to the workplace so that you too can experience joy with what you do and how you do it.

1. Streamline Your Focus

Employees, executives, and entrepreneurs often experience the following scenario. You had a clear vision of what your contribution would be when you joined the company or started a company. But over time, like those clothes with tags you purchased for a vacation once got buried so deeply in the back of your closet that you forgot they even exist, your focus evolved.

Call it shiny object syndrome or change management, but do you still know what your purpose is? Do you even know which part of what you do at work is most valuable to the company? Has the company grown fat that it’s no longer as efficient and streamlined as it once was when it was just the founder and a few employees?

It may be time to take a clear look at your best contributions, your vision, and your purpose so that you can strip away the nonessential. No, that doesn’t mean going around wielding a hatchet and firing entire departments or dropping what you’re currently working on. Instead, take a careful look to ensure you are still delivering on your vision and spending 80% of your energy on the top 20% of profit centers.

“When we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or fear for the future.” – Marie Kondo

No doubt it is challenging to drop entire segments of the company’s production, but what if that’s what the market and your customers want? It’s much like when Ford announced that it would be dropping all but 2 cars from its North American dealerships to exclusively focus on trucks and SUVs.

Earlier this year, James Farley, the company’s president of global markets, said Ford is “shifting from cars to utilities,” which have been a bigger profit driver. Ford learned what their customers love and shed the rest. Marie Kondo would approve.

Perform the necessary evaluation to determine what stays and what goes. Bring in neutral parties to weigh in on these potentially tough decisions.

2. Are your employees, colleagues, and subordinates best suited in their positions?

These days, studies show people work harder for praises than raises. Companies are finding that strictly financial perks are not enough to satisfy their employees. When is the last time you made an assessment of your own contributions (or others you are responsible for) to find out if you are best suited for the position and tasks you’ve been given? The same goes for your subordinates, employees, and teams.

This process seems daunting but doesn’t have to be. Meeting with each employee (or your boss) to review job descriptions and work assignments kills two birds with one stone. On the one hand, you’re following Kondo’s sage advice of “dramatic reorganization.” You’re also flexing your workplace communication muscles- a soft skill that you can’t afford not to use.

Listening to each person and empathizing and validating any complaints is not opening up Pandora’s Box. Tackling a challenge head on may seem frightening at first but is key to preventing greater problems down the line.

“A dramatic reorganization of the home causes correspondingly dramatic changes in lifestyle and perspective. It is life transforming.” – Marie Kondo

3. Graceful Gratitude

Expressing gratitude and showering praise comes easier to some than others. Call it personality style or call it extroverted, it pays to be appreciative. The simply selfish reason to express more gratitude is that people do more of what you want when they feel appreciated.

This is the simplest way to get someone to change. Change will happen organically when more appreciation is shared. An employee who feels appreciated by their superior, will rise to the occasion and do more of that behavior. A boss that feels appreciated for all of his/her efforts will stretch to give more.

Get comfortable with expressing gratitude at work. Not only will you see more of what you want to see, you actually become a more positive person – beginning to view people in a more positive light, rather than always looking for negatives.

If expressing appreciation seems difficult, follow the 5:1 ratio. For every one negative observation that you need to share, be it negative feedback or constructive criticism, be sure to share at least 5 positive observations.

Like anything worth doing in life, half the battle is starting. Tidying up is going to be one of those tasks. While making changes to your focus, contribution, and communication with others can “stir up dust” that may have lain dormant for a while, the end results are well worth the exercise.

Which one of the above tips from Marie Kondo resonated most with you and why? Let us know your thoughts below!

With over a decade of experience working with high-conflict couples to help them feel heard and understood, create calm and connection, Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin, M.S., LCPC brings his approach to businesses to help bring about more effective communication and team building in the workplace. As a world renowned relationship expert and marriage therapist working with thousands of couples of the years, helping to turn their marriages around in two days through his unique communication process, Rabbi Slatkin now applies these communication processes to businesses to achieve the same phenomenal results in organizations and corporations through his consulting firm, Slatkin Communications.

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20 Ways You Can Become a Powerful Communicator



Emile Steenveld Speaker and Coach

Some people seem to naturally know how to effectively communicate in a group setting. They can express themselves clearly and listen attentively without dominating the conversation.

Being a powerful communicator is important for several reasons, including building and maintaining relationships, achieving goals, resolving conflicts, improving productivity, leading and influencing others, advancing in your career, expressing yourself more confidently and authentically, and improving your mental and emotional well-being. Effective communication is an essential life skill that can benefit you in all aspects of your life.

But, don’t worry if you don’t naturally possess this skill, as effective communication is something that can be developed with practice, planning and preparation.

1.  Listen actively: Practice active listening by giving your full attention to the speaker and responding to what they are saying.


2. Use “I” statements: Speak from your own perspective and avoid placing blame or making accusations.


3. Avoid assumptions: Don’t make assumptions about what the other person is thinking or feeling.


4. Be clear: Express your thoughts and feelings clearly and concisely by getting to the point and avoid using jargon or overly complex language.


5. Show empathy: Show that you understand and care about the other person’s feelings.


6. Offer valuable insights: When speaking in a group, provide a valuable takeaway or actionable item that people can walk away with.


7. Be an active listener: Listen attentively and respond accordingly, incorporating your points into the conversation.


8. Choose the right time: Pick the most opportune time to speak to ensure that you have the group’s attention and can deliver your message without interruption.


9. Be the unifying voice: Step in and unify the group’s thoughts to calm down the discussion and insert your point effectively.


10. Keep responses concise: Keep responses short and to the point to show respect for others’ time.


11. Avoid unnecessary comments: Avoid commenting on everything and only speak when you have something important to say.


12. Cut the fluff: Avoid being long-winded and get straight to the point.


13. Prepare ahead of time: Sort out your points and practice them before speaking in a group.


14. Smile and be positive: Smile and nod along as others speak, to build a positive relationship and be respected when it’s your turn to speak.


15. Take responsibility: Take responsibility for your own actions and feelings.


16. Ask questions: Ask questions to clarify any confusion or misunderstandings.


17. Avoid interrupting: Allow the other person to finish speaking without interruption.


18. Practice active listening: Repeat what the other person said to ensure you have understood correctly.


19. Use your body language too: Use nonverbal cues such as eye contact, facial expressions, and body language to convey your message and build rapport.


20. Be aware of the tone of your voice: it should be calm and assertive, not aggressive or passive.


By keeping these tips in mind, you can improve your communication skills and become a more powerful communicator, which can help you build better relationships, achieve your goals, and lead a more fulfilling life.

I you want to learn how to become more confident in life then you can join my weekly mentorship calls and 40+ online workshops at so you can master your life with more success.

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