Have you ever gone to work and just felt like…urgh, everything is a mess. Your appointments are not organised properly and you are living in constant fear of missing a meeting or worse, double booking on an event you have to be present at.

Maybe some of you are just jaded from your job and you feel like you are not going anywhere. The passion is dead – or maybe there was no passion in the first place.

Or for some of you, you are taking on too many things that you like to do but you don’t know how to let go of some of your commitments when you know that it is not serving your career any longer.

It’s time to do some tidying up the Marie Kondo way.

1. Clear the clutter

Let’s start with your workspace. Get three boxes, one to discard, one to keep and one for sentimental things you will attend to later. You know the drill – pick up the items on your desk and declutter accordingly. Place what is left that needs to be kept back on your workspace. Now with your space cleared, it is easier to focus on your mental space as it omits the subconscious burden that will help you to continue to clear your career clutter more effectively.

2. Identify your responsibilities

Now you are ready to declutter your list of responsibilities. On your desk, write down the responsibilities that you have – at work and some from home that inches into or affects your work. As you write down you would have already noticed some stuff that you most enjoy doing and some that are just a drag. If you find that a lot of what you do in your workplace is a drag, ask yourself if you are doing anything outside your job, maybe an outside hustle that you are responsible for? List that down as well.

3. Does it Spark Joy?

You know this phrase – so use on all the bullets on your list. Focus on one item at a time and ask yourself if it gives you a thrill or excitement when you hold it. Think of the possibilities in which you can be creative with it, expound on it or if it is just really enjoyable to do as it – in some weird way, relieves stress (this usually involves mindless things that we can do like photostating, separating documents and etc). If you hover around a task and it does not give you any sense of happiness, much less direction, it is time to let it go.

Of course, unlike stuff, you can’t just throw your job away. However, it can help by letting your manager know about the tasks you enjoy doing and are good at and let them know that you don’t mind taking on more of what you love, and letting go on the responsibilities that are probably not your niche, your strength or not supposed to be your responsibility anyways. Your role can then be adjusted.
If you find that a major part of your work does not spark joy, maybe it is time to be on the lookout for new opportunities in your areas of interest.

4. Show Gratitude

Lastly, always be thankful for the things you are letting go. It may be strange to look at your list and say thank you to ‘weekly Skype sessions with a client’ but these experiences are part and parcel of you progressing in your career. Through appreciation, you are able to uncover joy – not in the job, but in yourself.
If your job is the one that you need to say goodbye to, then do it with a thankful heart. Thank your bosses, your colleagues – even the gossiper or backstabber in the office. Thank the stuff (and people) that don’t serve you and send them on their way.

After all this, you will feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off your shoulders. And, you’ll be doing this with a positive mind and enlightened perspective. That is the magic of letting go of to make room for what essentially makes you happy.

Edwin Ang
Author: Edwin Ang


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