The Essential Elements Of A Productive Workspace (According To A Feng Shui Healer)
Many of us spend countless hours a day laboring away with projects, whether we have a job, work for ourselves, or are retired. I'm continually grateful and amazed by how my life's work has manifested in the world, thanks in part to these simple feng shui adjustments. I hope they encourage you to infuse your own workspace with love, prosperity, and wonder.
1. Rethink your desk position.
The single most important aspect of your work space's feng shui is your desk location. For maximum flow and productivity, place your desk so you can see most of the room when you're sitting there. You should be able to see the entryway, but you should not be directly in line with the door. For the most dynamic desk placement, place your desk at an angle, kitty-corner from the door. This is called the "commanding position" and it creates the most dramatic shift toward renewal, effectively clearing the space for opportunity and abundance to come your way. In case you can't move your desk, you can also place a mirror at your desk that reflects the door.
2. Place a mirror above your head.
While it may sound wacky, placing a mirror on the ceiling over your desk is a simple, effective feng shui adjustment. I recommend purchasing a 3-inch round mirror and using some double-stick tape to fasten it on the ceiling above where you sit.
The mirror uplifts your chi, or life force energy, effectively enhancing, magnifying, and centering your energy flow when you sit underneath it. For extra feng shui credit, place this adjustment between the hours of 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., the most life-affirming yang hours of the day.
3. Fill a desk pad.
Another simple way to create more focus and flow is by placing a writing pad in the center of your desk. In feng shui, we use a map, called a bagua, to designate the nine areas of our lives and homes. The center of your desk is the health area—and it speaks to more than just physical health. It can represent the health of your career, job, or business, too. It also touches all the other eight feng shui map areas, so it connects and supports all the aspects of your workspace. Desk pads are essential for those with glass desks, as glass is transparent and may make things "fall through" in your work life. In this case, the pad serves to provide some grounding and support.
The pad should take up at least half of your desk, and you should be intentional with your color choice. Black relates to connections and flow while tones of orange, yellow, and brown provide stability and support. White helps you complete tasks, red ignites passion, and green and blue are full of energy, growth, and new beginnings.
4. Support yourself.
The chair in your workspace is very significant. After all, it's your seat in the world. Make sure you're using a chair that is stable and sturdy, with a back that's as high as your shoulders. It should be solid, without any gaps between the seat and the back, and you should be able to comfortably use it without any lingering pain. Make sure you have at least 3 feet of space at your desk for the chair. When you are squeezed into a tiny desk space, you simultaneously feel similarly crushed and held back in your work and projects.
5. Turn your computer screen into a vision board.
Since most of us spend the majority of our workdays staring at a screen, why not turn yours into an inspiring canvas? You can cut out images or phrases from magazines and tape them on your screen, or use Post-it notes to display quotes you love. I have a daily self-care list on my computer to remind myself to take a break every once and a while.
The bagua map I mentioned earlier can help guide the placement of your inspiration. Let's start at the top center of your screen and continue clockwise:
- Passion & Recognition, 12:00: Are you looking for more passion in your work? What would that look like?
- Relationships, 1:30: How are your connections and work relationships? Could they use some more energy? What would that look like?
- Completion, 3:00: This area can depict a project you want to complete.
- Benefactors & Travel, 4:30: Maybe you want to travel to a certain destination for work? Or maybe you need more helpful people in your work life? You can write a list of the qualities you seek in a benefactor or supportive co-worker.
- Career, 6:00: If you need more direction in your job, you can place a vision or written reminder of your career aspirations here.
- Knowledge, 7:30: This is an area to improve your skills as well as your self-cultivation.
- New beginnings, 9:00: If there are projects you need to jump-start, this is a great place to display them.
- Abundance, 10:30: This area is where you can activate and attract wealth as well as energetic abundance.
6. Celebrate new beginnings.
Building on the theme of renewal, I encourage you to activate the "new beginnings" area of your workspace by standing in the doorway or in the middle-left area of your space. Once you've located the new beginnings area of your space, you can place a feng shui adjusting object there. A new green plant encourages growth and flexibility, and it's extra lucky when tied with a red ribbon.
7. Declutter your desk.
Lastly, be sure to declutter your desk and workspace. Create an office that inspires you to manifest joy and success by removing anything that has fallen into disrepair or is no longer useful. Every morning when I sit down at my computer, I conduct a mini-ritual of cleaning my desk. It clears my mind and gives me a totally fresh slate.
Anjie Cho is an architect, feng shui educator and author of Holistic Spaces: 108 Ways to Create a Mindful and Peaceful Home. Cho is a New York State registered architect, a graduate in Architecture from the College of Environmental Design at the University of California at Berkeley, LEED Accredited Professional, and certified feng shui consultant from the BTB Feng Shui Masters Training Program. Since 1999, she has been designing beautiful and nourishing spaces (inner and outer) with balance and harmony, informed by the ancient practice of feng shui. Her focus is to create nurturing and supportive environments, tailoring her practice to each individual’s specific needs.
Cho is a sought-after expert in the fields of feng shui and interior architecture. She is the owner of Anjie Cho Architect, co-founder of the Mindful Design Feng Shui School, and founder of Holistic Spaces which hosts a blog, podcast and online store. She is also an assistant teacher of dharma arts and meditation in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage. Cho is a regular blog contributor to MindBodyGreen and has been featured in dozens of publications including: the New York Times, Domino Magazine and BuzzFeed.