Marie Kondo for adulting: Chinese companies help people fight procrastination | #students | #parents

A modern problem has created a new avenue for people in China to make a living: helping people solve personal problems such as procrastination, overconsumption or home organisation. 

These self-help gurus are often young people, and their companies are targeting other young people to help them perform goals and tasks.

These young professionals reflect the zeitgeist of modern China. As the country grows more prosperous, people are willing to pay for various services to boost their quality of life.

One such person is 21-year-old Zhu Hecun, from the central province of Henan. He started an online business six years ago to help people stay focused and get things done. 

Calling themselves “self-discipline” trainers, Zhu and his team charge a daily fee and help clients stay on top of their daily tasks. 

“What we are offering is more like a companionship, less of being a supervisor,” Zhu told The Beijing News.

Most of Zhu’s clients are students or office workers who live by themselves, and most people are between the ages of 18 to 30 years old.

Zhu charges a daily rate of 6 yuan (US$1) to be reminded about one task and 11 yuan (US$1.6) for multiple task reminders. People usually find them online and place orders through e-commerce sites like Taobao. 

Zhu’s company offers different services such as call and text reminders, creating study plans and reviewing accountability goals. 

In six years, Zhu has grown from a one-person shop to a team of 100 part-time trainers, helping more than 20,000 people reach their goals. 

For Zhu, one of the most memorable clients was a college sophomore who lived with depression. She found Zhu and asked him to help her use discipline to live a “normal” life. Zhu made sure she followed an eating routine, regularly took her medicines and studied or slept according to a schedule. 

The student used Zhu’s service for four years and even paid Zhu directly despite the company taking off, meaning he did not have time to help her personally. Zhu said she has recovered from the depression. 

Another growing profession is home organisers who go into other people’s houses to declutter and organise.

Imagine a team of on-demand Marie Kondos, the famous Japanese organising consultant who popularised a global movement of minimalistic living. 

On Monday, Beijing Business Today reported that more than 40 per cent of professional organisers make more than 10,000 yuan (US$1,521) a month. 

Apart from decluttering client’s homes, the organisers often preach the concept of Danshari, a decluttering movement popularised by Japanese minimalists. The phrase is comprised of three characters which mean refusal, disposal and separation. 

Wei Wanqing, an organiser in her 20s, told Beijing Business Today that tidying homes also helps to soothe people’s emotions. Wei said many of her clients are people who over-consume and collect too many clothes and items. 

She also helps young people who live with their parents to sort out a peaceful cohabitation space.


SCMP, South China Morning Post, China, Marie Kondo, adulting, self-help, life, procrastination, overseas, ANC, ANC Top

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