Productivity can be achieved in many, many ways. Maybe you’ve got an ergonomically efficient chair and a sit-stand desk. You might even have a set schedule and a checklist to hold yourself accountable and stay on task. These are all amazing tactics to achieve productivity and organization, but is something missing?
How’s the layout of your space? Whether you work at home, in the office, or both, there are ways to achieve a sense of productivity using an ancient Chinese art known as Feng Shui.
Much gratitude to Chinese culture for sharing such a lovely idea with the world.
If you don’t know what Feng Shui is, here’s a little breakdown:
“Feng” translates directly to “wind,” and “Shui” means “water.”
It’s an art that aims at creating a space that is harmonious with nature and the natural flow of energy throughout a room. It’s pretty neat, isn’t it?
Over 3,000 years ago, Feng Shui originated in China. It has been utilized in many Asian-Pacific places since then, and in more recent decades, has been adopted and utilized in Western regions.
Across the sea and all across Asia, hundreds of businesspeople go the extra mile to include Feng Shui into the corporate environment (Healthline).
In a 2010 survey, it was found that 70 percent of Taiwanese businesses not only valued the art of Feng Shui, but each business included within the survey engaged in transactions averaging $27,000 to ensure that the construction and design of their space maintained the values pertaining to Feng Shui.
Personally, it’s a notion I keep in mind when laying out my personal space at home. It’s great to observe how much lighter I feel internally after moving my desk from one area of the room to another, or introducing a much calmer color scheme to my environment.
Although Feng Shui has not necessarily been scientifically evaluated to bring forth success or efficiency, it’s most definitely worth a shot if you find yourself running into productivity blocks.
Here's how you can incorporate it into your own space:
Seat Yourself Right.
Choose a chair with a high backing, of which offers support. This choice is not only going to offer some aid to your body, but is believed to create protection. It’s also ideal to have the back of your chair against a wall.
Send Your Desk Back.
No, don’t return it. Just place it furthest from the entrance of the room! According to the values of Feng Shui, placing it in an area where the door is visible from the door is considered an ideal move. This is ideal for workspace arrangements at home.
Embrace Those Natural Elements.
Consider the five elements of Feng Shui: Wood, fire, metal, water, and earth. It’s believed that inviting some of those natural elements into your space might inspire creative and positive energy (be careful with the fire, though).
You can bring these into your workspace by adding some live plants atop your desk at the office or hanging from the ceiling at home. Wood furnishing can lighten the air with metal accents, and maybe even bringing a miniature fountain to your desktop can help out as well.
Get Artsy With It.
Bring some art into your space, whether it be inspirational quotes, calming landscapes, or motivational images. Any art that resonates with you and your ability to be efficient will do the trick! Hang it up on your wall at home or place it in an upright frame in your cubicle.
It feels good, doesn’t it? Allow it into your space! Natural lighting in general is ideal for embracing Feng Shui. The problem with yellow-tints and fluorescent lighting? It makes us tired.
If you don’t have access to natural light from a window, look out for incandescent, full-spectrum light bulbs.
Color Inside the Lines. Or on the Walls. Just Be Sure to Choose These Colors.
Pastels and pales of blue, yellow, orange, green, and blue-green. If you aim for more simplicity in your color-scheme, go with a soft white, cream, or soft gray.
Don’t Make a Mess.
Get rid of the clutter, my friend. Clean up that desk space, tidy those bookshelves, and clear the floor of any debris. I promise, mental clarity awaits you on the other side of that trash pile.
Smooth Your Edges.
If you can, especially at your home office, avoid furnishings that contain harsh angles. According to the values of Feng Shui, you should at least create a space where those edges aren’t facing you during work.
Reseat Yourself (Haha, Get it?).
If you share an office space with somebody at home, it’s best that you don’t sit back-to-back or face-to-face, as it is believed to create a sort of energetic conflict in your space.
Instead, try to space your desks out in a way that designates your own space. For example, staggering the desks or dividing the space with a plant.
Feng Shui is a wonderful art and practice introduced by ancient Chinese artists and is something that we should be grateful for and respectful of. When we use it correctly, we can create a space that not only inhibits productivity, but overall comfort and ease.
It’s possible that some of the methods might be unattainable for you and your space, and that’s okay! Use what resonates with you and your environment; whatever renders the best version of yourself and your productivity.
Like I said, just moving a piece of furniture or introducing a new color scheme can very well bring physical lightness to your space. Adding a plant or infusing some organic furnishings can also set an entirely different tone for your environment and encourage a positive energetic flow overall.