Feng shui reminds us to find balance in our work, in our lives and in our spaces to help us stay healthy – physically, mentally and emotionally. Today, during the Covid-19 pandemic upheaval, this is crucial. You can work from home productively, find time to enjoy yourself and get much needed rest to reset by following these feng shui tips. They work for those of you with dedicated home offices and those with temporary workspaces (like the dining table or the couch.)
Tip #1 Start the day with gratitude.
Writing down what you’re grateful for and affirming what you want in life (in the present tense) is a powerful positive energy boost. Keep your list in notes on your phone, start a gratitude journal, or turn to someone in your home every day and say, “thank you.” In feng shui, gratitude kick starts prosperity.
Tip # 2 Identify your goals for working from home and set up your office to reach them.
- Decide what you need to accomplish your goals – computer, pad, pencil, workspace, chair, light — and set your tools up in the place you designate as your office. Or, place all items in a basket or tray that you can carry with you if you need to work from the dining room table or another sitting area. If working in a dining area, clear off items that are normally there for mealtime. Let this be a clear space for your work, or shared space for office and schoolwork. Energy flows where the eye goes: help your eyes to focus on your work wherever you set up.
- Set your “office” hours and post them where you’ll see them (the refrigerator is perfect). These will probably have to be flexible and may be in set periods throughout the day. Don’t set yourself up for failure by thinking you’ll get 8 hours of work in. You probably won’t – but you don’t need to. Many studies have been done suggesting that 5 hours of work at home is the same as 8 hours of work at an office.
- De-clutter the area where you’ll be working. In feng shui, clutter equals stuck energy which is the opposite of what you need: flowing, positive energy moving in and around you while working. Put stuff in a laundry basket to clear off your space, then, at the end of the day, go through and clear out that basket. (After hours of not looking at it you’ll be able to tell what needs to be filed/put away, used or tossed.)
Tip # 3 Move or rearrange something in your dedicated home office.
This action signifies that your work life has changed, and your office will now reflect that. Moving furniture, art or accessories invites you to literally “see” things differently.
- Place your desk in the “power” position, where you can see the door. If your desk has to be facing a wall, due to space constraints, place a small mirror next to your computer or in your workspace so you can see behind you without turning around. This command position helps you feel confident and powerful in your work.
- Erase your white board or take everything off your bulletin board and start fresh – maybe with work goals, funny memes or inspirational quotes.
- Change out lamps and/or artwork. Go “shopping” in your home for other art and accessories to switch out with.
- If your home office is also the guest room, make it less guest-ready (no one is coming to visit right now). For example, if there is a Murphy Bed, fold it up. With a dedicated guest bed, you can change to a plain bedcover to lessen its visual impact on the space. If you need more space, push the bed against a wall. This is Your Office now.
- Spray an essential oil mist or light a scented candle in your space to signify that it’s work time. Select something energizing, like citrus. The sense of smell is an energy trigger; put it to work for you.
Tip #4 Build a “work fort.”
For those of you with children at home and no dedicated workspace, this is an option to separate out your space with a physical barrier. You could also have “school forts” for your children while they’re doing their schoolwork if they need separation.
- Use a cardboard trifold display board to create your “fort.”(These are often used for science fair projects and easy to purchase online.) It can be decorated on the outside by your kids, if you wish, while the inside is a place for you to post your work goals, affirmations or office hours. When the trifold is open and placed on your workspace (dining table or couch) you are in the “office” and at “work.” Conversely, when it’s folded and put away, work is done.
Tip #5 Drown out distractions with white noise.
Even for those of us with dedicated offices, white noise can be essential. Use your phone and headphones and plug in to a Spotify white noise selection.
Tip #6 Clean off your desk, put your work supplies on your tray or in your basket and STOP working at the time you specify in your “office hours.”
Now it’s time to exercise, go outside, play with your kids, read a book, watch Netflix and relax.
Tip #7 Give yourself permission, and a schedule, to go online.
Use discretion with your news diet.
Tip #8 Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning.
This will help you get enough sleep and give you some structure. Whether you work Monday – Friday or some other schedule, take some days off every week. Structure helps us during this unsettling time by giving us some control over our lives.
Remember that this time of sheltering, and working, at home will end and a new normal is around the bend. Being flexible with work, rest and play now will help you to balance your life in the future.
Stay sane and safe!