Tidy for Joy

One of my go-to activities when too tired and uninspired to do anything else, is tidying. Tidying my surroundings is deeply relaxing and satisfying to me. It gives me peace of mind, knowing that things are in their right place. – And that I put them there!

Especially after a stressful day at work, coming home and putting my shoes, purse and work-clothes back in their designated places feels like a great accomplishment. It gives me a small confidence boost, knowing that although work didn’t go as planned, I still accomplished something.

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I am well aware that not everyone enjoys tidying (my boyfriend included) as much as I do. And if you don’t mind living in mess, there is really no reason for tidying. Except if you have an obnoxious girlfriend like me, of course, who forces you to close the kitchen cabinets and reuse your glas, instead of taking a new glas every time you get thirsty – leaving a million glasses scattered around the apartment… sorry, I almost got carried away there for a minute!

Unlike my boyfriend, however, it seems like many people despise mess. They just don’t know how to get rid of it properly. Enter my new hero: Marie Kondo, a “Japanese organizing consultant” nonetheless, according to wikipedia!

The KonMari method describes tidying as a logical and structured process, which should leave your home clutter free – for good! What is unique to the method is the focus on tidying as a means for transforming your life. In an interview with Arianna Huffington, Marie Kondo explains: “Central to the KonMari Method is envisioning one’s ideal life prior to tidying. This establishes a goal for tidying and sets the practice into motion.” As such, the method is rooted in a single question: Does the item spark joy? 

Here are my main take-aways from the process of tidying described in the book:

  1. Collect every item of a group (e.g. shirts / cosmetics / books) in a big pile
  2. Go through every item in the pile, and toss everything that doesn’t spark joy
  3. Once you have gone through the pile… go through it again!
  4. Decide on a designated place for the remaining items (meaning only the items that spark true joy) in the group (e.g. all shirts to be located in the top drawer)
  5. Place all joyful items in their designated place

Once you get into the habit of returning your joyful items to their designated place, your home will always be clutter-free and tidy. How neat? (ba-dum-bum-chiii)

Happy tidying, guys!

Bags and Business

When a friend of mine completed a grueling two-year graduate program, she celebrated her subsequent promotion and first ever salary negotiation by buying herself a designer bag. When she brought it to work, proud as ever, the first comment she received was: “Well look at that, we are definitely paying you too much“. Although the comment was (I assume) meant as a joke, all her fears related to the salary negotiation immediately reappeared.

In the book “That’s What She Said”, Joanne Lipman explains how men are four times more likely than women to ask for a raise – and when women do ask, we typically request 30 percent less than men do. Luckily, she says, this gap appears to be closing somewhat among younger women, such as my friend. Still, women are far from parity when it comes to negotiating pay.

Thus, the next time you see a young business woman carrying a designer bag, I urge you to either congratulate her on negotiating a good salary for herself, or acknowledge her conscious financial choices that has allowed her to save up for it (that is what I call priorities!).

Or, you know, maybe she received the bag as a present from her generous parents… I guess most of us rarely know the exact financial situation of our colleagues (or friends, even). Thus, don’t judge a book by the expensive watch or designer bag on it’s arm!

Your Future is in the Present

Hello, and welcome back. I hope you have had a wonderful summer! My summer has been great and sunny, and involved a lot of inspiration and thinking about the future of the #Busbeesblog. Now, I am fully recharged and ready to get back into my daily routines (i.e. involuntarily stop eating excessive amounts of chocolate and fast food every day).

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist is one of my favourite books, and the quote above has been imprinted on my mind since I read it. This quote motivates me to pursue and engage in good intentions, every day. I have personally witnessed how my thoughts eventually materialize into actions, and how – over time – these actions become habits. According to Will Durant, “you are what you repeatedly do“. By extension, you become what you repeatedly do. In that sense, our minds have significant power in taking us to our future. That is, the future we visualize and pursue for ourselves.

When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

My aim for this fall is to work on implementing new good habits, to achieve my formally (aka scribbled down on a napkin..) formulated goals, in the hopes that preparation meeting opportunity will lead to great achievements. For instance, I have thought about how to optimize my Hour of Powers, which books to read, and established a personal budget. I have also been working on a new evening routine, which you can read more about tomorrow.

Have you thought about your goals for the fall semester? And how to achieve them? If not, check out Mind Tools for inspiration on how to set and reach SMART goals. Happy reading!