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Increasing Productivity with Home Office “Feng Shui”

Most of us spend quite a bit of time in our office. Have you set it up to make it a space you actually want to be in?

I mean, look at it this way…

I like to have a nice bed because we spend around a third of our lives in it. If the average person is sleeping 7-8 hours per night, that’s a third of every day.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I spend about that much time in my home office every day, too. Not only that, this is where I MAKE MY MONEY. So, it is a pretty important space. And I imagine the situation is similar with YOUR office.

Are you as productive as you could be in your office? Is your office a space that you like to be in or not?

Perhaps it is time to get your feng shui on to increase efficiency and get more done.

What Is Feng Shui?

Time to get our “woo woo” on. ūüėČ

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese art (and science, really) of arranging spaces in order to assure the health, energy and fortune of the people in that space. “Feng” means “wind” and “Shui” means “water”. In Chinese culture, wind and water are associated with good health.

It is based on a Taoist understanding of nature, including the idea that our environment is filled with “Chi”, or energy. Fostering good “chi” makes the space more conducive to success and health, at least according to this theory.

The obvious question from a practical standpoint is…. Is Feng Shui a bunch of horse hockey?

Truthfully, my gut reaction leans toward “yes”. However, I am a smart enough guy to understand that there ARE things going on in this world that we can’t see. I believe energy DOES impact us in ways we can’t see or even directly feel sometimes.

So, I’m at least willing to look at this idea of feng shui, take the parts that make the most sense to me and put them to use.

Which brings me to my own home office….

What My Office Looked Like

The best way for you to see it is to watch a super-short video I did when I first moved into the house we’re in now. The first part of this video is the old office setup‚Ķ. then I take you into the video room.

A few things to note about the setup:

  1. I was facing into the wall. My computer was on a corner desk so I was facing smack into a wall all day, with my back to the door.
  2. The hutch on that corner unit was rather claustrophobic. It made the space on the desk look much smaller and it caused the two monitors to bunch up to one another at an angle just to be able to fit on the desk.
  3. The room itself is rather small and kinda dark.

The biggest factor for me was the lack of space. And it led me to say this on Facebook…

Screen Shot 2011 12 18 at 12 15 11 PM

In feng shui, one of the most important ideas is the “command position”. The command position is when you are seated on the far side of the room from your door and FACING the door. Also, you don’t want to be staring right out the doorway. So, essentially, proper command position is when you’re on the furthest diagonal corner from your entry door.

From an article on FastFengShui.com

In the Command Position, you are able to benefit from the chi that enters and flows through the space, while being far enough removed from the doorway that you are not exposed to chi that is too strong. A true Command Position also provides a solid wall behind you for support. Using this position puts you in visual command of the space, and allows you to face life directly, both literally and symbolically.

Well, I was facing AWAY from the door, into a corner, with my back at the door. And anybody could walk up on me without me knowing it. In fact, my kids have done it a few times and it freaks me out. :)

So, I Made Some Changes

I decided to move my primary office setup into that video room shown on the second part of the above video. That room has a lot more space to it. Plus, it is convenient having my video setup right there in the same room.

Interestingly, once I decided that the lack of space in my office was affecting my productivity, I set up a make-shift desk in the bigger room just for a week so I could work in the larger room.

IMG 0216

My desk is a modular one which means I could purchase add-ons for it which actually match. So, I picked up a long table desk and NO hutch. I then set up an L-shaped desk setup.

Once the new desk arrived, I got it all set up:

IMG 0221

IMG 0220

I still have yet to work out where all those video lights are going to go so it doesn’t crowd up my field of view, but I’ll figure it out.

Now, here’s the thought that went into it:

  1. When I’m at my computer, my back is now to a wall and I’m looking out into the (much larger) room. Toward the door, too. That is the “command position” according to feng shui.
  2. Aside from this room being larger, it also has two windows. More space that way.
  3. According to feng shui, the southeast corner of your space is the prosperity corner. While the foundation of this seems a little odd to me, it was easy as pie to stick my desk in the southeast corner of the room. So, I did. :)
  4. The plant is fake (probably not good feng shui), but at least I’ve got something green in there. Perhaps I’ll replace it with a real one soon.

A few other things I might do to the space are:

  1. As mentioned above, I’ll likely put a real plant into the room. I’ve even thought about setting up a small electric water fountain. The noise of running water is soothing.
  2. Organize the video stuff so that it doesn’t clutter up the room. Clutter is the enemy of focus.
  3. Instead of just hanging any ol’ thing on the wall, I can ensure that the things on the wall represent part of me or things that motivate me. Success images, for example. Photos of my kids.

The Point Is…

We have to like the space we work in. When you do, you won’t mind being there.

We are all “hard-wired” to want space. There’s a reason that, when we feel bad, going for a walk can help. It is because you are looking at space. You are actually creating your own space by observing the space around you.

So, try not to work in a constrained environment. Try to set up your desk with the command position in mind. If you absolutely can’t do that, try faking it with a mirror on the wall so you can see space.

For me, I DO feel as if my efficiency was higher since I moved into the larger room. I enjoyed being in there.

So, What About You?

What do you think? Have you had any experiences with the setup of your office increasing or decreasing your efficiency?

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