The Marie Kondo Approach to Choosing Work in the New Year

work that sparks joy

A lot has been written about applying the Marie Kondo decluttering and organizing method to finances. I’ve used the method myself in the past to get my financial paperwork in order. But as we head into the new year, what I’m thinking about most is how to apply it to choosing new work.

Why I’m Choosing New Work in the New Year

I’ll be looking into new work for the New Year. Honestly, I’m going back to the financial basics. I’ve let them lapse the past couple of years. Therefore, it’s time to reset. I need to earn more, plain and simple. And as a freelancer / independent contractor / independent author, I have a lot of opportunities for choosing new work. So, I’ll be adding projects here and there.

Marie Kondo, Step One: Put It All Out There

If you’ve read Marie Kondo’s books or watched her Netflix series, then you know there’s a lot to the method. However, it starts with simply selecting an area and taking everything out in the open. For example, put all of your clothes out where you can see them, rather than in drawers and closets.

So, I’ll be doing an inventory of all of my current work. What am I working on? What stage is it at? How do the numbers play out as compared to the time spent on each project? I need to lay it all out there for myself.

Marie Kondo, Step Two: Does It Spark Joy?

Whether or not to keep something is super simple in the Marie Kondo method. You simply hold the item in your hand and ask yourself, “does this spark joy?” If it doesn’t, then you get rid of it. You make room in your life for only those things that spark joy.

It’s tempting to make excuses for things, especially when it comes to work. A job that pays steady and well but sparks no joy is still hard to get rid of, especially when you’re trying to earn more money. But the truth of the matter is that I do better work – and ultimately end up earning more as a result – if I stay true to myself and do what sparks joy.

So, I’m going to look at my current work with a critical eye and ask myself honestly, “does this spark joy?” While I won’t quit the jobs that don’t willy-nilly, I’ll prioritize them and begin to look for new work to replace them that does spark joy.

Adding New Work in the New Year with a New Mindset

This approach is less about getting rid of existing work and more about finding new work. Therefore, I’ll be on a job hunt this year, both for freelance work and for opportunities to expand my own projects including my newest book. As I add new work, I’ll make sure to ask myself: “Does this spark joy?” If I’m not truly joyful and excited about the work I’m considering then I’ll take the time to find the things that do excite me.

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