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Organizing expert Marie Kondo has already helped millions put their closets, kitchens, and homes in order—and she’s coming for your workspace next. In her new book “Joy at Work,” now available, Kondo is offering useful tips and habits for keeping a tidy workspace—be it in your home or at an office. 

But it’s not just cleaning out the pencil drawer: Kondo has advice for finding actual work that sparks joy and does so through a combination of comprehensive studies and anecdotes intended to inform and inspire. She’s even intent on tidying up your business network, which can become filled with meaningless associates you can barely remember.

Related Reading: Marie Kondo Your Kitchen With These 11 Amazon Products

The tidying expert and bestselling author teams up with an organizational psychologist, Scott Sonenshein, using the patented KonMari Method™ and cutting-edge research, “Joy at Work” aims to “help folks overcome the challenges of workplace mess and enjoy the productivity, success, and happiness that come with a tidy desk and mind,” according to Kondo’s website.

Joy at Work by Marie Kondo, $16.78 on Amazon

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Grab your copy today so you can apply Kondo’s tactics to your makeshift home workspace and/or study up for when offices and shared workspaces re-open. 

The following is excerpted from JOY AT WORK © 2020 by KonMari Media Inc. and Scott Sonenshein. It is used with permission of Little, Brown and Company, New York. All rights reserved.

Marie’s Approach to Tidying Networks

One of the most important points in building a joyful network is knowing what kind of connections you enjoy. For example, some people love being surrounded by friends and having fun together. Others prefer to have deeper relationships with just a few people. I fall into the latter category. I’m not very good at keeping in touch, and I feel more comfortable with fewer relationships.

But when I quit the company and started to work as an independent consultant, I poured my efforts into making connections with as many people as possible because I wanted to introduce my business. I joined seminars and gatherings for people from different fields, exchanging many business cards. Gradually, however, I noticed something wasn’t quite right.

The more people I knew, the more invitations I received to events and parties, and the more packed my schedule became. I no longer had time to do what I really wanted. I was so swamped with emails that I struggled to respond to them all. When I looked at the names in my notebook, the number of people whose faces I couldn’t remember kept increasing.

It didn’t feel good to be inundated with information, and I wondered if it wasn’t rather dishonest to stay connected with people I couldn’t even remember. The more my connections increased, the more uncomfortable I felt, so I decided to reset my network.

Using the KonMari Method, I looked at each name and kept only those that sparked joy. The number of names in my address book and my apps dropped drastically, and in the end I was left with only ten people, excluding my family and people whose contacts were essential for work. To be honest, I was stunned at how many names I eliminated, but afterward my heart felt much lighter, and I was better able to nurture those relationships that I had chosen to keep. 

Because I now had more time and mental space, I contacted my family more often and could thank my friends sincerely, even for little things. I also felt far more gratitude than before for these precious people with whom I had decided to stay in touch.

Since I reset my network, I’ve made it a habit to periodically review my relationships and to be thankful for them. I write down the names of all the people with whom I am currently involved and jot down my feelings of gratitude. This makes me value them even more and helps me nurture warmer relations. This practice is perfect for me because, when I’m busy and engrossed in my work, I tend to forget to be considerate of the people around me.

Just as you would to create a joyful lifestyle, choose what sparks joy and take care of what you decide to keep — you need to do both of these things to build a joyful network. When you feel something’s not quite right with your network, see that as a sign. Believe that you can have a more fulfilling life and contribute more to the lives of others when you are comfortable. Then say goodbye with gratitude to any relationships you no longer need and nurture those that you decide to keep.

Photo courtesy of KonMari Media, Inc.

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