Feng Shui – More than just a good tidy up

18th May 2020:

It’s jokingly called the Ancient Chinese Art of Tidying Up. Mention it and someone will always ask, “Do I have to knock down walls or move the front door?” (Answer: only if you want to).

In reality, it’s simply about being in harmony with your environment, making the most of your surroundings and minimising or even eliminating any negative aspects.


Take a quick look around your immediate work area. Do you feel overwhelmed? Distracted? Bored? Or energised and eager to start work?


For several years I was a “career temp”. Every few weeks I would start work in yet another new office. It didn’t take too long to realise that all these different environments were affecting me – and my work - in all sorts of ways. Loud, clashing colour schemes made me jumpy, lots of abstract paintings made concentration difficult, and too many light colours and shiny glass made me feel … vulnerable. Worse was the clutter: piles of paper, boxes and so many files on the floor that some nifty footwork was needed simply to get to my desk.


Eventually, the agency took pity on me and sent me to a traditional professional office who had decided to give Feng Shui a try. No abstract art, no large mirrored surfaces, only lush green plants, pictures of open landscapes, sunrises, long white beaches. And as little clutter as possible. It was a pleasure to go into work.


I managed to learn a few basic Feng Shui principles – as a poor temp, especially those relating to money and career (see below) - and started to put these into practice.



Sceptics may wish to look away now.


Within a year, I had swapped the temping life for that of a freelance secretary, boosting not just my income but also my job satisfaction.


Obviously, it would be naïve to think Feng Shui was solely responsible for this but once I started to make a few changes, I became remarkably pro-active and focussed on my future career – most unlike my usual tactic of floating along on the tide.


So how do you use Feng Shui? Taking your desk as an example, start with a good tidy up. Filing, dusting, watering the plants. But don’t suddenly depersonalise your desk or throw everything away. It’s all about your own personal environment.


Imagine your desk divided up into a grid, each square relating to a different aspect of your working life:


TOP ROW - back of your desk: Prosperity | Reward | Relationships

MIDDLE ROW - mid-desk: Teamwork | Well-being | Creativity

BOTTOM ROW - front of your desk: Knowledge | Career | Friends


If you wish to improve to a certain area of your working life, try placing a bright or shiny object in that particular section. Brightly coloured mouse mats, pen holders, plants with healthy (but not spiky) leaves, fresh flowers, crystals, postcards of elegant cityscapes, birds soaring into the sky …


It follows that, to stabilise a specific area, you should place an object representing stability (a paperweight, a pebble or even a postcard of Ben Nevis) in that sector.


One note of caution: don’t overdo it. Lots of bright, shiny objects all over your desk will simply create a sense of confusion.


There is, of course, much more to Feng Shui than this. It’s a fascinating subject but remember that it’s not a “once and for all” solution. Think of if more as an ongoing process to be reviewed regularly to reflect your current goals. You may not instantly win the lottery but you could just get a bit of a boost when you need it most.


  And a tidy desk.




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