Clear Space, Clear Mind: Is Your Workspace Working for You?

Coffee. Exercise. Supplements. Meditation. People have myriad ways to increase clarity and focus. When it comes to business success, did you know the state of your environment can impact your productivity? From eliminating clutter to arranging furniture to allow for the best flow of energy, there are a number of ways you can clear your mind and enhance your workspace.

One way is to apply some simple Feng Shui principles, according to BusinessInsider.com. Feng shui, which means wind-water, was practiced for 1,700 years in Asia before making its way to the U.S. in the 1980s. It may sound a bit “woo woo,” but progressive businesses around the country are latching on to the concept. Feng shui is basically about how you feel in your workspace – are you inspired, creative and motivated, or stuck and insecure? 

"Ideally, a successful business has people who are energized," the article states, "and there's no way to have that unless you have a space that supports that energy.”

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Furniture placement – Your desk should be positioned with your back to the wall and face to the door so you can see people coming, with a view out a window if possible. Make sure you have a quality chair with wheels that “gives you the flexibility and the sense of freedom you need to move forward in your business.”
     
  • Your desk – According to feng shui, a decluttered and organized desk will improve work performance and business wealth. Lots of stuff on your desk blocks the “chi” flow and clutters your mind. Tip from Business Know-How: Take everything off your desk and clean up any cluttered areas around it. Put back only items that are used every day, and papers on your desk must be limited to those for one project only. Other items and papers should be placed elsewhere – in file cabinets, desk drawers, and storage cabinets/containers.
     
  • Lighting – Direct, natural sunlight is the best for mental alertness, but most offices have fluorescent lights. Aside from taking frequent walks outside, you can add an incandescent lamp to your desk.
     
  • Air quality – Add plants to purify the air in your office, which is typically two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. The areca palm and Boston fern are considered two of the best for clearing toxins in the air. NASA recommends one plant per 100 square feet of home or office space.
     
  • Visual stimulation – Remember, plants and flowers must be healthy and flourishing. If a plant dies, remove it and replace it with another... it’s better to have a silk plant than none at all. Just be sure to keep it dusted and vibrant-looking, according to Business Know-How.
     
  • Increase flow – Water is the most powerful symbol of money in feng shui. Add a water element such as an aquarium (include a goldfish – gold is the Chinese symbol for money and the color is believed to attract it) or a desk-top fountain, for example. And keep the water fresh and clean!

These are just a few ideas to get you started. Anyone can apply basic feng shui principles to their workspace and bring in the positive energy!