The Power of Your Workspace

Your workspace is your Productivity Powerhouse!   According to the ancient principles of Feng Shui, the items you chose to have in your workspace and how you position this area of your life not only affects the quality of your work, but also has a knock-on effect on your other life areas, for example your health and relationships.

Feng Shui is a holistic art and science, which can help us to bring balance and harmony to our inner and outer worlds.   A key principle in Feng Shui philosophy is that every person, place and thing is made up of energy and literally alive with Ch’i.  The objects we surround ourselves with from day to day in our homes and places of work contain molecules of matter, which contain the energy of our thoughts, feelings, memories and associations.  Everything in your work environment either enhances or detracts from your career success.

An office environment can nourish and support the human spirit as much as it can deny and suppress it. If our offices are humane, loving and sacred, then what is produced in those offices will have a sense of humanity and integrity… The act of turning the places where we work into places we love, can transform our own lives and will in turn positively affect the lives of everyone around us. – Denise Linn

Whether you work in an office shared with others, have your own office space or work from home, make some subtle changes to your environment and you will soon experience the power of having a balanced workspace.  What you make of your workspace and what you create there is linked directly to your prosperity and success.  Whether the work you do is go-getting or reflective, part-time or full-time, the space you call your ‘office’ needs to be set up to positively support your daily routines, creative flow and financial success.

Follow these Five Simple Steps to Work Space Feng Shui: 

Schedule Time to Simplify. Put time aside each week to simplify and organize your workspace.  Stick to this appointment with yourself and your space.  Use it to sort through your in-tray.  File away loose documents.  Tidy any paperwork clutter.  Throw away old post it notes.  Creativity gets lost in clutter.  Clear space for Ch’i and creativity to flow.  External order and harmony reflects inner order and harmony and visa versa.

Bring in Something You LOVE. Take a look at your office chair, desk lamp, in-tray, box files, coffee cup, even the pen you use.  Do you love using them?  Don’t settle for using something you don’t love.  Small changes can have a huge impact.  No allowance for sprucing up your office space?  Your boss’s budget might not stretch to extravagant office upgrades, but a few simple changes will cost less than a month’s worth of Starbucks, and be well worth the investment.Engage all of your senses, decide what sights, sounds, tastes and smells will help elicit feelings of power, creativity, energy, resourcefulness and productivity.  Drape a beautiful cloth in your favourite colour over the back of your office chair.  Replace your lamp with a funky fresh alternative from your favourite shop.  Indulge in a fine china cup, or designer mug.  Treat yourself to tasy teas to tantilise your taste buds.  Pop a photo in a frame of a scene that makes you feel energised, or save a digital one on your computer desktop.  Swap your standard biro for a pen that makes you smile.  Ditch your boring battered box files and replace them with nice new folders from your local stationary shop.   Surround yourself with things that keep you inspired, creative and productive.

Make Yourself Comfortable. By law your employer should provide you with the correct standard of equipment and work environment for you to carry out your job safely, but it is your responsibility to take reasonable care of yourself in the workplace.  Is your chair at the correct height and your computer screen, keyboard and mouse positioned appropriately?  Make sure you are sitting correctly and comfortably in your workspace.  Check out the NHS Choices guide for advice on sitting correctly. http://www.nhs.uk/LiveWell/WorkplaceHealth/Pages/Howtositcorrectly.aspx

Ensure Your Back Is Supported. It is of course important that your chair supports your back, but one step better is to position your chair with it’s back to a wall or screen, so that you are facing the door.  Ever noticed how top executives always sit with a commanding view, so that they can see what’s going on in front of them?  This is often referred to as the ‘power position’.  According to Terah Kathryn Collins, bestselling author of The Western Guide to Feng Shui, the ideal power position is where you have a “perfect view of the door from your chair, a pleasant view out a window, and a solid wall behind you”.  The view of the door is the most important to help maintain a good flow of Ch’i.  If you cannot position your desk so that it faces the door, hang a mirror to reflect the view while you work at your desk.  Even just a small compact, or shaving mirror will suffice – the point is to reflect any motion occurring behind you.

Utilise The Five Elements. To give extra power to your workspace Feng Shui observes that we are most effective when surrounded by the basic natural elements of our planet: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water.   By combining the five elements in your workspace you can bring it into perfect balance.  The aim is to get an equal amount of each element in your office space.  See the elements list and diagram below (replicated with kind permission of Western School of Feng Shui) to help you work out what colours and things are associated with each element:

Wood

Anything made from wood.  Plants and flowers (including silk, plastic and dried).  Blues and Greens.   Plant based clothes like cotton and rayon.  Striped or floral patterned items.  Pictures/photos of landscapes, plants/flowers and nature scenes.  Paper.  Columnar shapes like pillars and poles.

Fire

Candles, fireplaces and any forms of lighting.  Sunlight.  Red colours including pinks, reddish-orange and maroon.  Feathers.  Silk.  Materials made from animals like leather, suede and wool.    Cone, triangle and pyramid shapes.  Photos or pictures of people or animals.

Earth

Soil.  Adobe, brick, tile, ceramics and earthenware objects.  Rectangular and square shaped items.  Yellow and earthtone colours.  Photos/pictures of desert landscapes or fertile fields.

Metal

All metals (steel, copper, brass,  iron, silver, platinum, aluminium and gold).  Cement, rocks and stones (including crystals and gemstones).  Oval, circular and arched shapes.  White and light pastel colours.

Water

Any kind of water feature.  Reflective surfaces like crystal and glass.  Mirrors.  Flowing and asymmetrical shapes.  Pictures or photos of lakes, the sea, rivers and ponds.  Black and dark colours.

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