The More Creative Home Office
Copyright 2006 Suzanne Falter-Barns
A few years back I wrote here about Kathryn Weber, whose beautiful ezine, The Red Lotus Letter, is one of the top Feng Shui ezines out there. (Feng Shui is the Chinese art of using interior decoration to create an auspicious life.) It’s a great mix of the practical and the mysterious. To that end, Kathryn has shared with us some tips on how to set up a more creative office, using Feng Shui concepts. (Fellow skeptics, please stay open and read on. You may find some surprises here.)
And, as someone who has RADICALLY overhauled my office, my files and my systems lately, I can’t urge you enough to dig in and clean up … it feels amazing! And boy, ideas are flowing through me like mad.
Here are Katherine’s thoughts:
On Setting Up Your Office If someone wants to begin a home business, typically they have a space to dedicate for that purpose. Maybe a spare bedroom, the dining room that’s not used. Sometimes their business doesn’t take off because they’re trying to get something started on a card table and a folding chair. This is not an inspiring environment; it doesn’t get you started in a fruitful way. Offices are really symbolic of the amount of success you have.
If you can’t get a query letter to pique interest, why? Take a look around. Are there kid’s toys and other crud in the corner? Is this truly a dedicated work space? You need to really give your chosen space over to your new endeavor. Then outfit it for success. You’ll need storage for pens, papers, filing beyond milk crates, real working office furniture, etc.. If you want your business to be a real success, make it a real office.
Desk Placement Many people push their desk against a wall because that’s where plug is. Yet, then you’re in a place of arrested development, because a wall represents an obstacle. That puts you in a subordinate position; for instance, policemen always say ‘turn and face the wall.’
High level executives often turn their desk so it can face the door. This is a command position, so you can look up and see who comes in the door; it puts you in command of your career. Ideally, your desk needs to be turned so there’s a solid wall behind you, yet it still faces the door. You won’t feel supported unless it’s solid behind you.
L-shaped desks can be a problem. People work at the small part, and whole big desk is not used… so they confine themselves to small area. The Chinese look at L-shaped desk as a hatchet or cleaver, so you’re getting cut in half. The 45 degree angle puts you at odds with your work space.
Decorating Make your office a visually appealing space. Paint it a favorite color, or one that’s auspicious for you. The Kua Calculator is a Chinese Feng Shui tool that helps you pick your auspicious color based on the time of your birth, date of birth and your gender. That will help you figure out which element is associated with you. Then you can also decorate with whatever nourishes that element. If your element is wood, water feeds trees, for instance. So watercolors, water-themed visuals, pictures of turtles, lakes, and boats on lakes … these are good for a ‘wood’ element person.
Don’t be shy Hang up your accomplishments. Some will post their goals, but they don’t post accomplishments that show how far they’ve come. Post published articles, photos of significant moments or famous people you’ve met, awards or kudos, thank you letters or from happy customers, anything significant. Frame them right on a South wall as inspiring artwork; this is the wall of fame. I would not leave a blank area, because that’s a vacuum. Attention is always drawn to a negative … so fill it up.
Display a symbolic mentor Most of us would love to have a coach or mentor, but we may not be able to make that happen. So display a picture in your office of someone you’d like to be like, or whom you’d like to have as a mentor. I have a picture of Oprah in my office because of her biz acumen, her truth, and her caring for people. The way she goes about her business is my model.
How to arrange your desktop Arrange your desk according to Feng Shui. Water or coffee goes in the north; a picture of your inspirational person or mentor is in the northwest. In the northeast, put a book of inspiration. In the east, a vase of flowers; southeast, a small green plant. To the south put a lamp or something red, the southwest a crystal paperweight, and to the west, electronic equipment such as computer or radio. That’s a more auspicious arrangement.
Want to know more? Kathryn’s available to consult long distance via phone, photograph, video, etc…Check out additional tips in her good article, http://www.redlotusconsulting.com/PowerOffice.html