Do your work tasks spark joy?
The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment.
I really enjoyed the recent Tim Ferris podcast interviewing Marie Kondo (@MarieKondo) He leaves her original Japanese voice in the interview for much of it, and you understand why. As he says, her voice is amazing. It is.
As a big fan of minimalism, I love her approach – which in summary is “to fill your house with objects that spark joy”. So whereas minimalism might be seen as the removal of “stuff”, here she suggests evaluating objects on the basis that, if it provides you with a genuine “spark of joy” then keep it.
We should ask the same question about our working tasks. Do these tasks provide a spark of joy? If not, why not? And what can be done to change this?
I have a concrete example in my own instance. Because I live in Asia, my calls with teammates and clients tend to get piled up to very late in the day. But I’m an early morning person, so energy levels get low later on for me.
This can mean I go into 3-4 hours of back to back calls and not be at my best.
But there’s an easy fix to reverse the energy issue and maintain the ‘spark’. All I need to do is “book in” 30-40 minutes of relaxation time before the 3-4 hours block starts. That way I can be present in the best way for the people I’m connecting with and make the best use of all our time, not just mine.
I am not suggesting it is entirely possible to make all working tasks “joyful”. There’s always tough decisions to be made, yes we need to Eat Frogs, and grit is key to pushing forward in life – but use her method to ask:
- Why the task doesn’t create joy and can it be fixed?
- Is there a way to achieve the same results via a more efficient path?
- Is this the best use of your time – should you be doing it at all?