Have you ever wondered how to set up your office space for maximum effectiveness, or wondered how much your surroundings affect your ability to stay productive and make those big dreams of yours happen? Today, I’m excited to share with you a guest post from the fabulous Tanya Arler, Intuitive Art Coach and certified Infinite Possibilities Trainer! In today’s post, Tanya shares with us 5 tips for using Feng Shui basics to set your workspace up for success and abundance. Take it away Tanya…
I lived in Singapore for 2 years and had the amazing good fortune to learn Feng Shui Consultancy from the most genuine, peculiar and fascinating woman I have ever met… OK, I’ll say it differently; she was strange, but good strange.
When I first met her she just looked at me, waved her hand around, kind of squeezed my forearm and said “ahw… ahw…hmmm… too much Yin.” Then led me to her apartment where she was going to teach me the finer art of Feng Shui, or the science of Geomancy as they call it locally.
I followed her to her apartment, expecting a picture of tranquility. A neat, tidy, Zen abode which oozed grace and fluidity. She was a Feng Shui Master after all!
I don’t even have the words to describe her place.
The humidity had taken over, the apartment was tatty and at first glance, chaos seemed to abound. I sat down on a worn futon couch and in front of me was a flip chart, you know, one of those things from the 80’s?
So, I sat there with very little hope, feeling a bit icky to be quite honest, but what came next was amazing!
Creating a space that works for you!
She looked at this blond western girl and just very matter-of-factly said “I don’t need to teach you about dragons and lotus flowers — that means nothing to you in the west. And I don’t think western people really care about the 9 generations that came before and how the positioning of their lamp could affect the 3 generations to follow. I am going to teach you ‘Black Hat’ Feng Shui”, and off we went!
And so I learned Feng Shui, and it was fascinating!
She taught me the principles, but also taught me the art. The focus is on the flow of energy in the space, but it also needs to gel with the people living there. She recognized that putting a dragon in the ‘Fame’ corner could be counter productive if the person just thought it was weird.
Instead, she taught me to use shapes, colors and the depictions in paintings to shift energy and create an environment that flowed for the person. She taught me to be sensitive to the individual, whilst implementing the clear guidelines that dictate good CHI (the Chinese word for energy).
5 Tips to Feng Shui your workspace
Putting it all together is quite complex but there are some simple principles that you can apply. In business, I leaned some really cool stuff… that quite frankly makes perfect sense if you think about it.
1. Never place your desk in a position where a window is directly behind you.
If a window is behind you, you will feel unsupported in your decisions. Unsure of who has your back, you will continually doubt yourself and your performance.
In time, this will lead to you not feeling passionate about what you do; feeling very lonely in your work and self-doubt will creep up more and more as time goes on.
At the same time…
2. Never sit with your back to the door.
If your back is directly facing the door, your nervous sensors will continually be on guard. Literally worried that someone might ‘stab you in the back’.
Being able to see the door where people enter through, or just the direction where most people come from, is key. If you can’t see who (or what) is approaching, your body will naturally put itself in a slightly ‘defensive’ energy. Ready to respond to surprises quickly.
This is at a miniscule level, not like when we were cavemen and worried about tiger attacks, but nonetheless, it is constant.
Over time you will feel more stressed, less able to handle unexpected projects that land on your desk and you will become distrusting of you colleagues and world around you.
3. Place your desk so there is a wall behind you and you can see the entrance to your space.
Ideally you want a solid wall directly behind you to literally give you the feeling that something or someone has ‘got your back’. This will allow your body to relax a little more into the moment and not feel the need to be on guard all the time.
Your work and creativity will flow more easily and you will welcome support, help, suggestions, and ideas. You will find that you collaborate with your colleagues better and connect with your customers in a more welcoming way.
To do this, sometimes you need to get creative, but remember, the desk doesn’t always have to be against a wall.
It can be pulled away from the wall so that you walk around it to sit. This puts a wall behind you and the door is in your line of sight.
Even in the smallest space I have been able to find solutions with a little bit of out-of-the-box thinking.
4. Feng Shui does not equal ‘Zen’
A common misconception is that good chi is achieved by having a minimalistic, preferably all white, office with little or no personal touches… OH, and the desk has to look like it is never used, not a paper to be seen.
Hang pictures on the walls that inspire you. Make sure that they exude what you want to feel like in your work. Avoid pictures that are lonely, or too introspective as that might lead you to be too insular.
Also, some people need a level of chaos to thrive. A sense that they can make mistakes, not be perfect, gives them the license to truly create amazing things.
So, when looking at your desk, don’t dwell on how it ‘should’ look. Focus on the right amount of organization, or chaos, for you.
The caveat is for you more chaotic types. Just because I say that a little chaos might be right for you, doesn’t mean I am giving you permission to go wild. Remember, it is about the RIGHT amount of chaos.
So when your mind is not focusing, clean your desk. It doesn’t have to be perfectly tidy, but get rid of the stuff that doesn’t need to be there and give yourself a sense of organization.
5. Put a plant in the far left corner of your space.
In the most basic version of Feng Shui, the far left corner of your office, standing in your door looking into your space, is your Prosperity corner.
In Feng Shui this not only represents money, but wealth in general, abundance and flow. So it is in this corner that we want growth!
If you have an established business, put a solid plant there that has strong roots and represents the business and how you want to keep it.
If you are a start up, or looking to grow, get a younger plant that has space to grow and get bigger.
What is really important is that you don’t leave a withering or dying plant in the corner… or in your space at all! This represents death and decline and brings down the energy and flow of you and your chi. NOT GOOD!
For those of you who have the opposite of a green thumb, a silk or plastic plant is fine (I can hear that sigh of relief).
The important thing is that whatever you put there doesn’t get neglected. Make sure the live plant has water and is thriving and that the fake plant doesn’t turn into a dust bunny machine.
Water, clean or dust your plant regularly, so that it represents the vibrancy of life.
Where is your energy focused?
Like most ancient philosophies, Feng Shui is steeped in tradition, but when you look past that, you can see the common sense behind it.
To thrive in your business you need to put yourself in a position that all your energy is expended on your passion and joy. That creating growth and vibrancy is your focus, not preparing yourself for battle.
I love Feng Shui because in my business, I thrive on finding the things that are holding you back, that you don’t even realize are an issue. What’s lurking in the subconscious or keeping you from really pursuing your dreams. Feng Shui is just one of the tools in my toolbox.
To learn more about Tanya Arler, visit her website or connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.
To do further Feng Shui work with Tanya on your office or space, contact her at email@example.com. She does both on line workshops for up to 6 people and individual consultations via a combination of email and Skype!
photo credit: pixabay.com cc (modified by me)
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This was great! I already practice this, I think, since I intuitively set up my office that way. There is a certain logic and flow to it. It just made sense to me. I also painted it a soothing green, which is not only soothing, but makes me productive, as it is the color of life/nature.
How about background music for working? I find gregorian chanting to enhance productivity at least for me. Ocean waves as well. Pop music for a pick me up.
THANKS and yaaaay You for intuitively sensing the energetic flow! and the soothing green is great! Not only the color of growth, but also a color that encourages a balance between logical thinking and intuitive knowledge!
As for music, Feng Shui doesn’t dictate any guidelines. Play what makes you feel in the groove you need to be in that day!
Glad you enjoyed the blog!
Love this post, Tanya — thank you so much for sending it in! 🙂 I have a question about what to do when you can’t set your office space up this way. When I saw the draft you sent me, I realized that my space is set up wrong and I tried to shift it around. My window is at my back, and I have noticed exactly the effect that you described — I had no idea what was causing it before!
The problem is that it’s a small space, and in between the shape of my desk (it’s a corner unit) and the placement of the furnace vent, door, and window, I can’t place the furniture to take all these elements into account (I even tried to use a different desk, but the space just doesn’t work).
I’m assuming there are probably other people out there with similar problems, so I was wondering if there is anything that can be done to mitigate furniture placement issues when you can’t set a room up properly? Can we add plants or other elements to offset the “bad Feng Shui” elements?
Nathalie recently posted…The Power of Your Dreams
Maneuvering the furniture in the room can sometimes impossible to arrange according to the basics of Feng Shui…at that point we bring in some tricks.
Each space is different, but in this case I would suggest trying to find something to ‘solidify’ the part of the window that is directly behind you. Is there a window sill that you could put a kind of solid statue or item that feels supportive?
If not, is there something (like a window decal type thing) that you can affix to the bottom part of the window to make it not see through?
The idea really is to have something behind that makes you feel secure, and that doesn’t ‘feel’ like you can fall backwards.. so ‘fill’ the space behind you.
Does this make sense? I hope it helped!
I usually keep the curtains closed because I get glare on my computer screen otherwise. I do have a window sill, though — I’ll look for a little statue that I can put on it. Also looking for a nice plant for the corner! 🙂
HI Nathalie, curtains are ok, but not very solid. Do you feel the curtain gives you a solid back?
In classic Feng Shui they would probalby suggest a statuette of a warrior king, or the like. for you, I really just feel it needs to be something that makes you feel strong and secure… in whatever shape that is.
Thanks Tanya — I’ll start looking for a little statue that will fit on the windowsill, too. 🙂
Great Article! I had my office at home in a living room so having a combined use for one room wasn’t the greatest. I put a partition in to separate the rooms more and you could feel the energy increase!
FSD recently posted…Office Feng Shui Tips
Thanks! I like the idea of a partition to help separate the space. Glad it helped your energy flow! 🙂
That is AWESOME! So glad the tips have helped! I get so excited to hear from people that implement some ideas and make it work! THANKS!