Bring Feng Shui to Your Desk to Promote Balance, Creativity and Productivity
In the minimalist revolution that has been sweeping the nation, Feng Shui isn’t brought up as much as it should be. It is the original minimalist, utilizing visual queues that inspire and provoke happiness and joy, while removing all excess that clouds or clogs the flow of those energies. So, it would make sense that as you clear out and declutter your space (removing anything unfinished, unresolved, simply tolerated, or disorganized) in an effort to achieve your desired level of minimalism, you refer to the ideas of Feng Shui and apply them to your own space.
We all know that in a small space, adding a mirror will give the illusion of a large space – in Feng Shui, mirrors are used to bounce energy creating a sense of peace and balance. Plants are added to bring color or filter the air – but also to promote life and wealth. You have already been applying the ideas of Feng Shui to your life without even realizing it. So, here is a simple guide to applying it to your desk or workspace – wherever that may be, as well as apply these principles to other areas as well.
Why start with your desk?
It is, for most people, the domain of your career. You will spend 8+ hours, 5+ days a week focusing all your energy into creating a livelihood for yourself and your family. By applying the principles of Feng Shui, you can amplify your energy, or Qi (“Chi”) for business success as well as improve other aspects of your life. While there is little scientific evidence to support the theory of moving furniture and adding specific colors or elements to a space improve a person’s well-being (only thousands of years of Chinese tradition); there is psychology research stating that adding natural elements such as plants and sunlight as well as physical movement, to a workplace increase employee health, happiness and productivity.
First clear off your desk, take time to clean it off, empty your drawers, untangle any cables, repair anything that is damaged or broken. As you do this, assess everything and make sure that as you put things away, you are keeping on what you need, and donating or throwing away what you do not.
Before we start actually applying the principles of Feng Shui to your desktop – let’s talk about the size, shape, color and placement of your desk in your space. These are some things to keep in mind when choosing a desk and deciding upon its final location.
Size & Shape:
Choosing a size and shape for your desk to compliment not only your space, but your personality, makes working there all the more enjoyable for you.
Proportions: Consider the size of your desk and the space it is placed in – also consider the work that will be completed within that space. If your job is writing or data entry, perhaps a small space is needed vs. an architect or artist with drawings that need to be spread out over the surface. The key is that everything that is needed to complete a job is within reach at all times.
Strong Foundation: A strong base made of strong, sturdy materials gives a visual as well as a metaphoric solid foundation for your work and business. Nothing is more frustrating or annoying than a wobbly desk.
Shape: Desks come in all shapes and sizes, considering the shape in your decision is a step you don’t want to forget. Typically desks come in a square or rectangle, this shape is reliable and solid and promotes concentration.
The least desirable shapes are round, oval or perfectly square. Circular desks promote creativity or brainstorming and a constant, refreshing flow of energy making them great for meetings, but not for individual work. Their shape not only encourages free flow energy but equality of ideas and people – ovals also great for energy but not so much equality. A square desk can be beneficial to individuals who are distracted easily – but opt for a slightly rectangle one for better Feng Shui. Beware of free form shapes like kidney or peanut shaped, if you are inside the curve, the concave area – you will concentrate better than if you are on the outer curve (convex area) as well as deter people from approaching you.
Material: What your desk is made out of can also have a positive or negative effect on you and the surrounding energy. When choosing a desk make sure you don’t forget to consider the material and not just the aesthetic the desk will create in your space.
Wood desks are sturdy, supportive, reliable and in most cases – long lasting. Not only with this choice bring in natural energy, but it will bring a nourishing and vibrant quality to the space. This is probably the best solution for any working space for any great length of time.
Metal desks are sharp, penetrating and bring elements of preciseness and clarity – they will provide lots of mental energy and are great for concentration, but they can be very draining on the body.
A glass top desk is very revealing, and gives the impression you have nothing to hide – but energy passes through it very easily. To slow this down, consider wooden accessories or plants.
Laminate is probably the worst option you could choose – they are neither good for your energy nor bad for it. Meaning the items on and around your desk need to work more to help boost your space.
Modesty Panel: (this is that board or cover under your desk that hides your legs from people walking toward you from the front) Not having one makes you more approachable, and people are more likely to come to you for all sorts of things – some of them may be issues or problems, which invite negative energy into your space. Unless you are in human resources or a leadership role – it is probably better to have a modesty panel on your desk.
Colors have a unique ability to change our mood and thought process just by looking at them. Red brings passion or hunger, blue is calming, yellow is warm and cheery. So making sure that is considered in your choice of desk makes sense – you don’t want a color that is distracting or unappealing to you, it will hinder your ability to concentrate or be creative.
- Black: Attract energy inward which encourages introspection, creates opportunity and promotes open mindedness.
- Brown: A grounding color, it stabilizes and strengthens the body by creating a sense of comfort and nourishment – but doesn’t energize the mind.
- White: Activates the mind by facilitating clarity and discipline but drains energy from the body.
- Grey or Metallic: Similar to white – increases focus and drains the body of its energy.
- Green: Good balance of mind and body energy it is revitalizing, creative and nourishing.
- Earth Tones: The lighter the color – the more mental focus you will have; however it will still drain your body energy, just not as much as grey or metallic colors.
- Bright Colors: (Think yellow, orange or pink) draw attention and increase restlessness in the mind and body making it hard to concentrate – not recommended for long-term use.
- Wooden Colors: Medium-tones will provide greater strength and stability, while lighter tones will energize the mind.(Also these light tones offer great contrast without the eye strain of a white desk)
Having your desk in a position where you feel comfortable and safe, reduces the chance for distraction, lack of motivation and increases your potential output.
Face your door: If you are facing a wall, window or partition – you need to move your desk, if possible. Having people look over your shoulder while you work is unnerving and makes you uneasy, and not always seeing who is coming or going behind you adds another layer of stress. If at all possible, face the door way, but not in the direct line of sight. If someone were to shine a light into your space, you want it to be seen, but not shine on your desk.
Windows: Like with doors, you don’t want these behind you – the have an abundance of energy coming and going and can be very overwhelming. However, this is not always as easy to avoid. Consider covering, or obscuring the direct path of the energy with a plant, curtains or screen.
Keep things positive: On your desk, in your space you should only have things that are uplifting and empowering. Simply put, in the words of Marie Kondo, they should “Spark Joy”.
Step-By-Step Desk Feng Shui
Now that you know what size, shape, color of desk you want or have, as well as the perfect place to inspire all those creative juices, lets dig into the basics of Feng Shui: The Bagua.
The Bagua is basically a guide of colors, elements and aspects of life and which go with what. You can apply this guide to any space, large or small. It is used to determine how we affect and are affected by the energy (or Qi) that flows through the different spaces – regardless of where your front door is (as opposed to using a compass direction to dictate the spaces).
To get started you will apply the Bagua as if it were drawn on the top of your desk. Place the career point where you sit. Which means your left hand will be touching the knowledge, family and prosperity/wealth areas – and your right will touch the helpful people/travel, creativity/children and love areas. In the middle will be the health, and then at the farthest point the reputation/fame area. If it helps, think of your desk as a tic-tac-toe board.
The colors and elements (water, wood, fire, earth, metal) used are aligned with their respective areas of the Bagua would also be used in your house. Obviously we aren’t talking about starting a fire on your desk to ignite your reputation and fame. This is where symbolism comes in handy – candles or lights have the same aesthetic as fire – without the hazard.
Section 1: Career
This is the space directly in front of you, the bottom center square of your tic-tac-toe board. This should remain as clear of clutter as possible to invite new work and opportunities. This is where the flow of work pass through – hence the element here being water. Here a picture of water will enhance its effectiveness, simply tape a picture of water to the underside of your desk, if a glass top, make it something you enjoy looking at. If a solid top, still tape the picture underneath – just because you cannot see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t working.
Section 2: Knowledge
This is the space directly to your left in the lower corner of your desk. Here you can keep books related to your profession in drawers, a small book shelf or on top of a small stool – better yet if the covers are primarily blue, or if the stool or shelves are.
Section 3: Family
Moving up the outer left side of the desk, is the family area. The element is wood, and the ideal color is green. A wooden photo frame with your family; a small plant – preferably a live plant; fake plants do not have the same effect since they produce no natural energy. If you lack a green thumb, try a succulent or cactus – both are brown thumb friendly. The addition of green to this space will make you feel more at ease with family and friends.
Section 4: Prosperity & Wealth
Color: Purple (Gold or Green)
Symbolism/Element: Golden Objects or Money
The upper left corner of your desk is where the money is. This area brings about wealth & prosperity to your life and those around you. The colors here are purple, but gold and green are also prosperous colors. A money tree, coin jar, picture of a dream house or golden trinkets work well (also, not a bad place for a well-working computer).
Section 5: Reputation & Fame
The top middle point of your desk is where fame and reputation reside, the color here is red and the element – fire. As I mentioned before, we don’t want to literally start a fire on your desk. Placing your lamp or candles in this location are great. Also keep any awards and your business cards in this location.
Section 6: Love & Relationships
Symbolism/Element: Pairs or other symbols of love
Located in the upper right hand corner of your desk is the love area. Here keep items in pairs (a pair of pens, figuringes, flowers, etc.), photos of your significant other or a hidden description of your ideal partner. Perhaps messages of love/inspiration written on pink post-it notes.
Section 7: Creativity & Children
Color: Black & White
It may seem unchild-like, but the area ruled by creativity and children is represented by black and white, and metal objects. When we think of children or creativity – we usually think of bright, primary colors. But this area is more sophisticated and looks to inspire your child-like sensibilities through contrast and ingenuity. Keep a picture of something that inspires you – if you are an architect perhaps a signature building or bridge; for a photographer – a black and white portrait. Or you could add something like a metal pendulum to help infuse your space with more creative energy.
Section 8: Helpful People & Travel
Color: Silver or Grey
Symbolism/Element: Any silver or grey object
The lower right-hand corner is where you can call upon help from others (and everyone can use a helping hand every now and again). Keep contacts or business cards here – perhaps your cell phone is here, or a collection of business cards – or if you keep it old school, an address book. Write yourself notes about how others will help you achieve specific goals – and remember to update it as you achieve each one. You could also keep travel destinations or brochures here to keep you inspired to complete your goals and take that long desired trip!
Section 9: Health
Color: Yellow (Earth Tones)
Symbolism/Element: Earth elements such as stones
This is the center of your desk, represented by the Earth – it grounds us and keeps us balanced. It is represented by earth tones, but primarily yellow. You could tape a large yellow circle under your desk – or you could keep a few small objects that symbolize the earth such as a stone or sea shell. But keep this space as clear as possible and clutter free – you definitely do not want to mess up your health energies!
Other Feng Shui Tips & Tricks
Add your own source of light: we touched on this for the Reputation & Fame area. However, a lamp or other light source would also be beneficial in the upper left corner, or your Wealth & Prosperity corner.
Clearly define your space: what are you using the workspace primarily for, and making sure you have all the tools and resources readily available to complete any task or job. Do you need folders on the desk? Do you need pens? Notepads? Keep only the minimum required items on the desk – and the rest within reach.
- Pyrite: brings crisp, fresh, happy and disciplined energy full of optimism and stamina.
- Amethyst Cluster: with its relaxing energy it works with your third eye to balance the mind with insightful solutions to problems
- Hematite: a cooling energy and great for grounding and keeping calm.
- Ammonite: this fossil circulates stagnant, stuck energy due to its spiral design
- Black Onyx: provides a supportive, strong and constant energy keeping you focused on real priorities
- Carnelian: warm and joyful, this provides grounding and protective energies
- Amazonite: clears negative thoughts away, works with the heart and throat chakras to release past hurt you so you can better express yourself in every area of life
Be creative and see what elevates you and inspires motivation and productivity.
Change is good: add and remove elements from your space to change up the focus of the energies around you and provide a fresh perspective as well as avoiding complacency and stagnation.
Feng Shui isn’t a magic spell or secret formula – it is a way of thinking or creating balance in our lives to promote peace of mind, clarity, and overall well-being. Using these guidelines will give your desk, cubicle, or office the positive, creative energy and restored balance it deserves!
Feng Shui could be the first step from Slayin’ Princess to Bad-Ass Queen!