Like millions of people around the world, tidying expert and bestselling author Marie Kondo has spent the last few months working from home. To help her stay as productive and organized as possible, the wife and mom of two says she sticks to a strict routine to ensure that her work life doesn’t overlap with her personal life.
“I usually wake up before 7 a.m. and the first thing I do each day is open the windows to let in fresh air,” she tells CNBC Make It. “After that, I burn incense, which not only cleanses the atmosphere but also relaxes me.”
From there, Kondo spends a few short minutes doing a yoga practice or a seated meditation before going in the kitchen to “prepare a traditional Japanese breakfast” for her family. In an interview with NBC’s “TODAY” show, she explained that this breakfast usually includes miso soup with rice.
To maintain a clear division between work life and home life, the author of the recently released book, “Joy at Work: Organizing Your Professional Life,” says she then writes down what she wants to achieve personally and professionally for the day. She also communicates with her husband and two young kids about her priorities for the day before starting work around 9 a.m. To mark the start of the work day, Kondo says, “I strike a tuning fork and diffuse essential oils to signal to my body that I’m switching gears.”
During the day, she says, she spends a lot of time discussing with her husband, Takumi Kawahara, their goals and future plans for KonMari Media, Inc., the company they co-founded together in 2015. Since the pandemic, Kondo says, “we’ve been able to have much more meaningful discussions than our previous schedules allowed.”
To ensure that she’s giving her mind a rest, Kondo says she takes a few short breaks throughout the day to enjoy meals with her family and step away from her screen.
Around 6:30 p.m., Kondo wraps up her work day to have dinner with her family. Then, she follows her nightly routine of reading books with her daughters before putting them to sleep. “After they’re asleep,” she says, “I put away any toys they didn’t tidy up and address any outstanding work needs.”
Similar to all of us, Kondo is spending a lot more time at home than normal, which is why she says it’s important to create a “space that supports us” when we’re working and when we’re not. Tidying up, she adds, can help us to “experience and savor the things that bring us joy” both inside and outside of work, while also helping us to mentally clear space for the things we want in our life and the things we need to change.