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

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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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7 Ways to Share Your Story on Social Media

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Content marketing is “A type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services”. In other words, explicit marketing is simply saying “buy my stuff!” whereas content marketing is the art of persuading people to do so through storytelling. (more…)

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10 Tips to Deal With Negativity While Starting a Business

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There are ups and downs in business but fearing failures can stop you from taking your first step towards excellence. With pandemic on tow, aspiring entrepreneurs feel a little stuck when ideating a business prospect. Here, we give you some actionable tips to deal with negativity while starting a business, even during situations like a pandemic. We also took the liberty to throw in some amazing book recommendations that’ll help you enjoy the process of being positive and achieving your business goals.

10 Tips to deal with negativity while starting a business in a pandemic

1. Get a mentor

The first thing to do as a new business owner is to find the right kind of mentor. That person could be someone in your industry or in general who you look up to. The guidance must be apt for your business, and it should be a mutual responsibility of sharing knowledge. 

2. Two big R’s – Routine and Refresh

Made a mess of something? Try to reboot the situation and make it work. Take a break once in a while and refresh yourself if you feel stuck or your ideas feel mundane. Plan a routine and stick to them – both personal and professional. Having a routine can increase productivity and engage in more activities apart from your pre-planned schedule. 

3. Inculcate problem-solving mentality

Do not panic once you are thrown a problem. Arrange a meeting with the respective party, listen to both sides of the stories, and make a decision that is more realistic and feasible. 

4. Hire half and half

Whenever you hire someone for your business. Make sure that half of the people contradict your ideas, and the other half have the same mindset as yours. The people who contradict can bring in more valuable points and their perspective might take the discussion to a whole new level.  Don’t take too much time finding the perfect one. Hire an apt person who can have the right attitude. 

5. Network, Network, and Network

Find like-minded people and mingle with them. Be more sportive in the learning process. Listen more and talk less – if you are a beginner. You can only be a constructive person who gives input to someone if you have listened to everyone’s point of view. If you feel down, your network might have something to uplift your mood and change your perspective on something. 

“Negativity, in general, is one of the things that holds people back, and you have to see what’s holding you back to get away from it.” – Lucy Dacus

6. Tech-savvy personnel

Learn a thing or two about the latest technology that you implement in your organization. Since the world revolves around technology, make sure your administrative authority knows as well.  

7. Don’t schedule a meeting, that could have been an email

Yes! I said it. Having unnecessary meetings will weaken the purpose of having a constructive discussion. Having back-to-back meetings drains the team members and yourself too. Always have a 10 to 15 minutes break between each meeting to feel refreshed and give your 100%. 

8. Have a pros and cons list

Always, I mean always have a pros and cons list. Let’s say one of your team members pitch an idea to improve the marketing strategies starting next month. Jot down the pros and cons before approving or rejecting it point-blank. It’s a systematic way of making a decision. 

9. Track your finances

Even if you have a team of accountants and auditors, make sure that you are present (both mentally and physically) – learn if you are not aware of it. Trusting your employees is a must, but not overseeing the records is a mistake that should be avoided. 

10. Remember your “why?”

At some point in your hectic schedule or not having ME time can get to you. During those tough times – ask yourself – “Why am I doing this?”. If you can answer this question with a valid explanation, you’ll feel energized. Because “A purpose drives you”. 

5 Best books to read to be more positive as an entrepreneur

Reading always puts me into perspective. Therefore, I took some liberty to give a sample of positivity and determination through words. 

These are the 5 books that’ll guide you to be a more positive and successful entrepreneur. 

  1. Attitude is everything by Jeff Keller – The decisions you make, the routine you set for yourself, and the affirmations you say to yourself every day are going to make a huge difference. If you feel tired, hopeless, and quitting – then this book is for you to boost you up!
  2. Mindset: The new psychology of success by Carol Dweck – You do what you think. In this book, the author talks about two mindsets: The growth mindset and the fixed mindset and what they’ll do to you respectively. She helps you recognize your mindset and change it for the better. 
  3. Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen – This book is about technology uprisings all over the world and businesses that adopted and implemented technology in their firm. The author teaches you that just because your competitors and others are adopting something into their businesses doesn’t mean that you have to as well. Make an informed decision. 
  4. As A Man Thinketh by James Allen – This book specifically is about the power of thought and how it shapes your life into a more meaningful and fulfilling one.
  5. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle – The author talks about how people always keep thinking about what the future holds but then forget to live and enjoy the present. And also helps us understand how to make decisions more efficiently based on the present. 

Working towards inner balance requires consistency and perseverance. So does hard and smart work. Being negative is a part of our lives. It’s important to channel it appropriately and make things happen despite the roller coaster ride that is our lives. Hope you overcome your fears and negativity to shine bigger and brighter. Cheers! 

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Defining Your Own Success: A Step by Step Guide

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Everyone wants success in their lives, but success can be defined in so many different ways that it can sometimes seem daunting. In this blog post, you will learn how to make success easier for yourself by defining what success means to you. (more…)

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5 Characteristics of Athletes You Need for Business Success

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Michigan State basketball coach, Tom Izzo, wrote “Players play. Tough players win.” I would add to that, “It’s tough to win.”I think if you, as a leader, are looking to build an organization that is successful – that wins – you first have to accept that it will be tough. There are no shortcuts to success. In my 44 years of coaching, I was fortunate to coach a lot of tough players. I believe the toughness I have seen in athletes corresponds well to any organization or business. (more…)

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