Feng Shui Your Home Office

Boost Your Productivity and Success

Have you ever woken up in a great mood ready for a productive day, but as soon as you sat down to work you felt stressed, unmotivated and exhausted? This could be the result of a daunting to-do list or hundreds of unanswered emails - or your home office’s Feng Shui might be out of whack!

We’ve all heard of Feng Shui - the ancient Chinese practice of making energetic and physical adjustments to a space to create balance and flow - but have you ever considered how it might help boost your productivity and success?

“Feng Shui isn’t just a decorating fad; it’s an age old system for energizing those parts of your life tat are in the doldrums,” says Ingrid Hauck author of Feng Shui with Attitude: Jump-Start your Joy! It’s all about the Chi (or Qi) - that life energy considered by Chinese philosophy to be inherent in all things. Chi flow is achieved only when everything is balanced.

“Begin with the placement of your desk,” says Hauck. “If you’re facing a wall or a window, then that’s how you’ll experience productivity - either you’ll be constantly hitting a wall or your productivity will fly right out the window.”

Tip 1: Position your desk so you’re looking into your office with a full view of your space. This will put you in command of your work.

Also, ensure there’s nothing creating a physical barrier above you, like a bulkhead or hanging shelf, which could be responsible for limiting your thinking. “When there’s nothing hanging above you, the sky’s the limit,” says Hauck.

Next, attack the clutter! Because as Hauck says, “clutter is the number one enemy of productivity!” That means if your office is doubling as a playroom, you might want to create a space that’s just for you - kicking your kids and their toys to the curb. “No matter how big or small your space, if there’s too much stuff in it, you can’t be at the top of your game.”

Tip 2: Ensure your furnishings fit the size of your room, and only have in your office what you absolutely need for the work at hand (not what you imagine might come in handy someday).

Now, consider balance! According to the principles of Feng Shui, all rooms should include the ‘five elements’: wood (furnishings, plants, etc.), fire (an adequate amount of general, ambient and task lighting), earth (earthy, neutral colours and ceramic/clay objects), metal (silver, gold, brass and copper), and water (fountains, flowers in water, an aquarium, or images of water painted with water colours). For optimal balance, try to incorporate at least one item representing each of the five elements into your office.

“You also want to pay attention to balancing Yin (feminine energies) and Yang (masculine energies),” says Hauck. Yin is soft and flowing and can include fabrics, carpets, flowers and flowing patterns. Yang is hard and includes marble, wood or ceramic surfaces, striped or plaid patterns, and tall ceilings or plants. “You neither want to feel like you’re on a factory shop floor nor in your grandmother’s parlor.”

Tip 3: To ‘wake up’ the energy in your home office fix anything that’s broken, apply a fresh coat of paint, replace any worn furnishings and accessorize with art and images that inspire you!

Want to learn more? Check out Ingrid’s website: www.room4success.ca

Hailey Eisen is a freelance writer, editor, and communications consultant (www.haileyeisen.com). Her work has been published in Backbone Magazine, Our Kids Go to School/Camp Magazines, Style at Home.ca, More.ca, Holmes Magazine, Mommyish.ca, 2: The Source for Couples, among others.

When she's not working from her home office in Toronto, she's busy chasing after her daughter Willow, helping her to discover and explore the world. Hailey blogs about her adventures as a first-time mummy at www.mominbalance.ca.