Can You Really KonMari Your Calendar?
The point, it seems, to saying no is that it frees you up to say yes to what you really want to do (vs. what others want you to do). And that’s great but… what about not filling up the calendar at all? Like what about saying no so you have an empty space in your calendar and then not filling it with anything that needs to be written down on a calendar and is tied to a certain block of time?
I decided to do this with my calendar. I left off work engagements because I enjoy work AND it doesn’t really matter whether or not it sparks joy. I still had a considerable number of promises on my calendar, but I immediately ran into the problem that the author addressed in the article:
So last spring I decided to analyze my calendar and, using the KonMari method, ask whether each commitment brought me joy. I believe this is why Kondo has become a guru to many Americans at the end of their proverbial ropes. She doesn’t ask if things are necessary or useful. She asks if they spark joy. Joy! That is a high bar, especially if you are using it as the filter for socks or a trip to the DMV.
I would say about 50% of my commitments sparked joy. I genuinely enjoy the volunteer work that I do with teaching coding to kids. I’m helping advise a new nonprofit on their social media strategy, and it’s a lot of fun to apply what I know and dream big. But I also do a lot of things that I don’t really like at all because they’re obligations. They’re part of living in a community. They’re part of giving back to the world. They’re necessary for our family to run. It’s not that I’m so busy; I just don’t enjoy a bunch of ways I’m spending my time.
So… I dropped pretty much nothing.
I find KonMari great in theory and terrible in practice. I can apply it to one or two things — clothing, for example — but I can’t apply it to most items in my house. And I certainly can’t apply it to the intangibles and have the ideology create a life-changing impact. Grab me back an hour, sure. Grab me back full afternoons so I can read a book or take a class? Not quite.
Instead, it felt worse to say to myself, “This doesn’t spark joy… but you have to do it anyway.”
I take ownership of my calendar. I know I’m in control of setting my own boundaries. I know how much is on my plate and how much I can reasonably take on and not make myself miserable. Sometimes those facts control my calendar. Sometimes there are other elements that are more powerful that take over my time.
Do you think you could KonMari your calendar and really achieve a difference in the way you spend your time?