**I’m super excited to welcome my guest, Lynn Daue, to the blog today. Lynn and I met a few years back at a business conference and so much of our work is in alignment with one another, when she told me she had this method for making sure only the most important things were on your calendar…I knew I wanted to share her with you! Be sure to read to the end to get her download guide to help you clear your calendar like Marie Kondo!**
Wake up. Shower. Get dressed. Fix breakfast. Drive the kids to school. Camp out in a coffee shop. Write your weekly article. Take a client call. Go to the grocery store. Pick up the kids. Fix dinner. Start a load of laundry. Read a bedtime story. Walk the dog. Collapse into bed.
As mothers and entrepreneurs, there is no shortage of things to do in a day. We’re the women Skyping into mastermind meetings in the preschool pick-up line. We have to-do lists that include “follow-up with clients” and “remind kids to write thank-you notes” on the same sheet of paper. Our daily uniforms are professional tops and Pilates bottoms.
As the separate parts of our lives touch and overlap, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the onslaught of obligations. Not only do we have tasks related to our ambitions, interests, and businesses, but we also have commitments foisted onto us by our communities, our families, and our religious and cultural backgrounds.
We can launch into Supermom Mode—and burn out, fast.
Or, we can apply the world-renowned KonMari method to our calendars and create space in our schedules.
What is the KonMari Method?
The KonMari method is a technique of decluttering devised by organization expert Marie Kondo. In her internationally acclaimed book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Kondo guides readers through her process for creating household Zen. The bulk of her method can be summarized in three parts:
- Discard the items that no longer serve a purpose or do not, in Kondo’s parlance, “spark joy”
- Designate a place for everything that remains
- Limit your acquisitions to items that will add value to your life
The objective is to create a peaceful environment that supports your life and reflects your personal values.
When applied to your to-do list, the KonMari Method has a similar intended result: to create a peaceful schedule that honors your life as a woman, mother, and entrepreneur. (Sounds good, doesn’t it?)
How to Apply the KonMari Method to Your Task List
Applying the KonMari Method begins with cataloging everything on your plate. To help you gather all of your obligations—even the ones you didn’t know you had—I wrote “Clear Your Calendar Like Marie Kondo: Based on the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” for you. Grab your free copy here.
Now, grab your massive to-do list, open your agenda, and get ready to KonMari your calendar.
For each item on your list, hold the item in mind and ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?” If it does, keep the commitment on your list. If not, discard it.
Tasks that must be discarded can be done so in one of two ways: they may be deleted, or they may be delegated.
Tasks to be deleted are ones that do not need to happen or do not have a purpose. They are things that you do out of habit or perceived obligation, such as a 6 a.m. spin class that you hate or chaperoning the kindergarten field trip.
Tasks to be delegated are ones that still need to happen but don’t necessarily need to be completed by you. Obligations such as making dinner, housework, or formatting blog posts can be done by a family member, an employee, or an assistant.
For those things that do not spark joy and cannot be discarded, the key is to transform these mundane tasks into something that you can enjoy. For example, if you hate chasing overdue invoices, you can create an alter ego to take your clients to task.
After you’ve discarded the unnecessary clutter from your task list, each remaining obligation needs a place in your schedule. For each commitment, add a corresponding time block to your calendar. For those tasks that are short, quick, not easily scheduled, or particularly stubborn, author Gretchen Rubin recommends scheduling a “power hour,” a 60-minute block of time dedicated to completing these items.
The “power hour” is particularly effective when it comes to creative business tasks, such as writing content or designing new products or services. Allowing yourself unfettered time to think and build ensures that you’re proceeding in the right direction in your business, rather than spinning your wheels tending to minutiae.
The final step in applying the KonMari method to your calendar is to limit incoming commitments to those that spark joy. These are the tasks that replenish your energy as opposed to sapping it.
The misconception here is that our lives will fall apart: our children will go unwashed and hungry, our spouses will leave us in the dust of neglected marriages, and our businesses will wither without constant tending. What tends to happen, though, is that you tackle your remaining tasks with more gusto and focus, the quality of your work increases, and the other parts of your life adjust and run more smoothly than before.
If you are overwhelmed by the multitude of obligations facing a Mama CEO, I encourage you to KonMari your calendar and create space in your schedule. Grab your free copy of “Clear Your Calendar Like Marie Kondo” to get started.
Lynn Daue is an achievement strategist, author, and hula dancer. Through her books, workshops, and
programs, she helps women clear the mental clutter, reclaim their lives, and make their dreams come true.
Download a free copy of “Clear Your Calendar Like Marie Kondo: Based on the Proven Principles of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” here.