Feng Shui for Productivity

By Eric Taussig | Updated: 22 Jul, 2014

Feng Shui (or Wind and Water) is the 3000-year-old art of balancing energies in any given space. Chi (pronounced chee) is the "breath of life," a nourishing positive energy. Feng shui seeks to harness environmental chi to support and nourish your personal energy. Chi is equated with luck, opportunity and money. Who wouldn’t want that kind of energy in their office?

A well-designed office enhances your productivity, creativity and growth, while reducing your stress, helping you to attract abundant opportunities in the form of clients, vendors, colleagues, leads and more.

Below are a few ways that feng shui can help to identify sources of stress within your environment and eliminate them.

The direction of your desk – Some people enjoy directing their desk toward a window in an effort to enjoy the view outside. While this may sound like a great idea upon first thought, it’s important to keep in mind that your energy will be directed toward wherever you look. Therefore, focusing on what’s outside your window, can distract you from your primary purpose, work.

Additionally, a desk that faces a window is likely to be facing away from the doorway. Feng shui practitioners observed more than two millennia ago that people feel more tension with their backs exposed. This protective response goes back to when our caveman ancestors were always on the lookout for predators like saber-toothed tigers.

Today, it serves as an added distraction because in the back of your mind, you’ll always be wondering what’s going on behind you. Therefore, feng shui recommends you position your desk so you can see the door or the entry to your office at all times.

Instead of looking outside, bring elements from the outside in. Green plants and flowers evoke the feng shui qualities of growth and vitality that are essential to business success.

The elimination of clutter – For many of us, our desks serve as a repository for not only our computers but also piles of papers, books, charging cables, snacks, handbags, photos and other tchotchkes.

Clear your desk. File papers away. Put books on a shelf. Tidy up your chargers. Place snacks and bags in a drawer. Eliminate most of your tchotchkes, keeping only the most meaningful ones in plain sight.

Everything on your desk should have a specific reason for being. It should serve a purpose, whether it is something that you must physically use to do your job or it provides creative inspiration for your work process.

Narrow your focus – According to the principles of feng shui, balance is lost when you’re consumed by work. In addition, focus is lost when you don’t have a clear roadmap that outlines your next step.

Balance is gained when you plan your path, when every now and then you take a break to replenish your strength and when you can view your destination up ahead.

By keeping a short list on your desk that outlines what your key priorities are for each day, this allows you to focus on what must be done next, deterring you from the daily distractions of life in the digital age. It also allows you the opportunity to plan for down time including breaks, rewards and quality time with loved ones, resulting in the sometimes-elusive goal of work/life balance.