The ancient Chinese art
of placement and alignment called Feng Shui (fung shway) is sweeping the western
world. This 4000-year old practice of arranging buildings on property, rooms
in a building, furniture and items in a room, and items on furniture has an
effect on the flow of chi (or energy) in our environment.
Some of the canons of Feng
- All things have an energy
field, an aura, about them and living things give off more energy than dead
things. (live flowers vs. plastic/silk/dried flowers)
- Hand-made things give
off more energy than machine-made things. (an oil painting vs. a movie poster)
- Things that are closer
to their natural origin give off more energy than things that have been through
more processes. (an oak desk vs. a steel desk)
- Chi, or energy, flows
and swirls throughout your space. It flows faster down straight paths, meanders
in a curved path, and dies in corners. It is better to have furniture, plants,
or other objects set diagonally in either an inverted corner or a normal room
corner to allow a better flow of energy.
- The placement of the
stove, the bed, and the desk are the most powerful placements in a setting
and they should be within full sight of the main entrance to the room. The
back should be protected in order to be the most auspicious arrangement.
- Different colors in
our environment have different effects on our energy and our mood both psychologically
and physically. (white, sterile medical office vs. those painted mauve, blue,
or green with an indoor fountain)
- Main doors should open
inwards into wide, bright rooms or lobbies, with as much of a view of the
interior as possible so as not to impede the flow of chi.
- Use a round table or
one with rounded corners in the dining room or conference room. Round shapes
are lucky while sharp corners are inauspicious.
- Adding enhancers to
a room will increase the flow of chi: fish for success (the black ones absorb
the inauspicious energy), elephants for wisdom, moving water to represent
wealth, and things placed in pairs which represent love symbols.
- Square or rectangular
rooms or homes are best since those shaped as triangles or as the letters
L, U, T, and H are considered inauspicious since they have parts missing to
the whole which would make up a square. Whatever part is missing in the space
may be missing in your life such as wealth, longevity, health, marriage.
A new twist on the ancient
art is an adapted version called Fun Shui (SM) which includes other methodologies
to organize, and energize your space to make it more enjoyable and effective.
The plain truth is that those people who are more organized are more energized
by their environment. In one survey 75% of workers wasted up to 30 minutes per
day looking for lost items and 8% waste over an hour per day looking for misplaced
stuff. (i.e. files, car keys, memos, phone numbers). It not only wastes our
time and others' time while they wait for us to search; it also depletes our
energy. The negative self-talk which ensues aids in draining our energy as well.
The solution is to find
systems which work with your preferences and (dis)organizational style. When
we are comfortable with our style, we will use it before we would use somebody
else's system which is imposed on us. Those of us who operate more from the
left side of our brain - the logical, sequential, linear-thinking part of our
brain tend to store things in a vertical position and behind closed doors. These
are known as File People and they usually have less clutter and papers on their
desk than their co-workers. Those of us who operate primarily out of the right
side of our brain; the creative, artsy, free-flowing side tend to store things
within view and horizontally....also known as piles. These folks are the Pile
People and usually have lots of stacks and visual clutter around their work
space. Their slogan is; "out of sight, out of mind" - they need projects, documents,
or other cues in front of them as a stimulus telling them that they need to
Then there are those of
us who operate on more of an integrated system of both left and right brain
and the tendency is a mixture of neatly organized and labeled piles such as
stacking in/out boxes and baskets, letter holders, horizontal cubby holes, or
open-air hanging file carts. The goal is to figure out your style and design
a system which works for your preference so you will be most effective.
An organizational tip for
anybody wishing to avoid the dreaded "to file" pile; have your file cabinet
within arm's reach preferably on the dominant side of your body. Arrange the
drawers so the most-used files are in the drawer most accessible at arm's length
when your are seated. This placement saves you time and energy and eases the
filing and retrieval process so you won't have to stand up or squat down to
handle files. Place daily-used items on your desk within easy grasp and those
less-used items in a nearby drawer. Store occasionally-used items away from
your desk to free up space in your immediate area. Use a critical eye on your
horizontal surfaces to see if they can be better utilized.
Surround yourself with things
that bring you joy and positive energy and delete the clutter and the things
that drain your energy such as things which hold negative memories. Use natural
hand-made products for the biggest boost, along with soothing music, fresh flowers
or some type of aromatherapy (candles, essential oils, potpourri) to enhance
your energy and sense of well being. Displaying photographs, toys (Koosh balls,
stress balls etc) original art, hand-made rugs, or desk accessories also sets
the tone for a pleasant work environment. Allowing fresh air and natural light
into your space helps productivity and using full-spectrum lighting vs. fluorescent
lighting can increase productivity by 25% according to research.
By making educated choices
about how you select your environment; you can control many aspects affecting
your enjoyment and your effectiveness at home and at work. Fun Shui (SM) gives
your tips and tactics for an unfair advantage over the things that drain your
energy by following the motto: organize to energize.