Marie Kondo is a bestselling author and host of a hit Netflix series because of her “tidying up” philosophy. Simply put, Marie Kondo teaches that when cleaning around the house, you should throw away everything that no longer sparks joy and keep the things that do. Her tips help keep people organized and happy at home. Wouldn’t it be amazing if everything else in life was so straightforward?
Everyone has struggled to keep their calendar in order or said yes to a commitment that they later regretted. Kondo’s principles could have come in hand nicely for your calendar as well as your home. Time is money, after all, so saving time is one of the best steps toward saving money.
Here are a few ways you can apply the principles of Tidying Up to your schedule and start finding joy in more of your day-to-day activities.
There are only so many hours in a week, so you need to be proactive in planning your schedule. Setting a weekly roadmap is one of the best ways to take control of your calendar. It can help you know how much time you have to budget, avoid doubling up on commitments and stay on top of things.
Start by breaking down your calendar into negotiable and non-negotiable time. You have to sleep, eat and go to work every day, so those are non-negotiable hours. You don’t have to go to the gym or see a movie, so those are negotiable things you’ll need to squeeze into your week.
This isn’t an easy task, but it forces you to take a hard look at the time you have available and gives you some perspective on the value of any given hour-long commitment.
Set Your Priorities
After you’ve broken down your calendar and highlighted your free time, think about what’s most important to you. After discounting non-negotiable time for sleep and work, you may be surprised to see how few hours you have at your disposal. What do you most want to accomplish?
Setting your priorities helps you align your activities with your goals. If you’re on a fitness kick, for example, you may need to proactively carve out an hour of exercise each day. Doing this not only helps keep you organized, but it makes you less likely to find an excuse to back out.
Prioritizing can also help you pinpoint things that aren’t particularly important to you. This way you can easily spot areas to cut back and save more time for yourself.
Cut Back on Commitments That Don’t Spark Joy
Again, your free time is precious and you may not have tons of it. If you’ve planned and prioritized in advance, you know going into each week how many hours you’ll have to yourself. It’s possible you may notice that you commit a lot of time some activities that may not rank very high on your priorities.
As Marie Kondo would say, you should get rid of the things that do not spark joy in your life. Take stock of every negotiable thing you spend time on and ask yourself what you gain from it. You may find that some commitments feel like simple time fillers, while others are more rewarding. Now that you’ve organized and prioritized your calendar, you’re in a position to commit more time to the things that do bring you joy.
It’s not easy to tackle your schedule head-on like this, but time is the most valuable resource we have. By tidying up your calendar, you’re taking control of your time and bringing more joy into your life.
Learn how to save now and retire early: Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) Explained.