Feng Shui – More than just a good tidy up

30th September 2008:

September 2007:

Extract from an article published in “Executary Magazine” (monthly news magazine for Executive Secretaries/PAs)


It’s jokingly called the Ancient Chinese Art of Tidying Up. Mention it and someone will invariably ask, “Do I have to knock down the walls and move the front door?” (Answer: only if you want to). There are some who think it’s too ‘New Agey’, too complicated or even just complete nonsense.


Pronounced “Fung Shway”, it’s simply about living in harmony with your environment, making the most of your surroundings and minimising or even eliminating any negative aspects. Putting it into practice, either at home or work, doesn’t have to mean drastic alterations. And it doesn’t have to cost you (or your employer) a penny.


Take a quick look around your immediate work area. How do you feel? Overwhelmed? Distracted? Bored? Or energised and eager to start the next project?


For several years I was a “career temp”, mostly on short-term assignments, and every few weeks I would start work in yet another new office. It didn’t take too many weeks of this to realise that these different working environments were affecting me – and my work – in all sorts of ways. Loud, clashing colour schemes made me jumpy, lots of abstract paintings affected my concentration, 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 – and started to put these into practice.


Sceptics may wish to look away now.


Back to the Diary Room