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Book Review: Joy at Work

How can you arrange your work desk and align your life altogether? Well, ‘Joy at work’ helps you to discover your ikigai; something that makes you jump up every morning and goes to work. Seeing piles of documents at your desk, 1000s of unanswered emails and scattered stationery often distracts you from focusing solely on your work. Here comes Marie Kondo to your rescue.

Joy at work is the latest release by Kondo. It was one of the most anticipated books after the success of her previous book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. After releasing a guide to tidying up your closet, this targets your work-life. Written with Stretch author Scott Sonenshien, this book takes you through why a clean workspace, both physical and digital is important and how you could make it better.


Marie Kondo is a Japanese organizing consultant, author and a Netflix show host based on her method of organizing called the KonMari method. Since the start of her carrier, she has become widely popular for her methods and tips across nations. Discovering the magic of organization at a young age, she joined a tidying consultant at the age of 19. Her agenda is simple, bringing joy through simplicity. Usually, she advises to tackle the clutter in sections and build a cheerful surrounding for your lifestyle.


We spend approximately 8 hours on that desk, it is time we clean it up. This book is for the white-collar working class mostly confined to their cubicles or desk. Joy at work offers 250-plus pages of advice about the advantages cleaning had. In the end, we do learn a few powerful lessons like:

1. Clutter acts as a magnet to Misery

2. Decluttering helps you be ahead in work and meet deadlines

3. Mastering digital tidying, like sorting out mails

4. Fewer apps equal fewer distractions

5. Investing energy consciously

Yes, these pointers sure to help us but to answer the obvious, no, it didn’t spark joy. Since it released during the unprecedented pandemic it lost the impact as people could no longer relate to it. “Being at work” isn’t the same, for example, this blog is being written at 11:15, while I am in casuals planning what to snack on after writing this. It isn’t her fault, but there was not a hope to continue this once things become normal. Rote advice like, “be careful with the reply all button”, isn’t what you expect. We come across many real-life people and their stories. Often these stories portray the transformative power, like tidying-up helping with emotional stability and relationships. It is great that it helped them on the other hand, it just isn’t helpful in the present situation. No matter how disciplined we are in sorting things out, stepping out for only things we need or pairing the paperclips is not filling one with optimism.

Maybe, once the offices start functioning according to the new normal, this might become more obvious. Nevertheless, this book is a good read if you have been wanting to sort your life literally and figuratively. It is a slow read and initially takes time to understand the drift this book wants you to take.

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