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How decorating with feng shui actually makes you smarter

Heather Barnett is a freelance writer and foodie whose work has been featured in blogs, websites, magazines, and TV and radio ads. She spends her free time relaxing with her soulmate, Keith; her dog, Mosby "The Fly Slayer;" and Felix th...

Get better productivity by updating your home decor

Want to know the secret to being a smarter, more productive you? Stop trying every productivity app and intelligence-building website around and just feng shui your space.

Can feng shui actually make you smarter? Well, it certainly won't increase your IQ and it can't change your DNA, but it can open your mind and improve your productivity, which leads to smarter living. According to feng shui expert Dana Claudat, author of Feng Shui 101: A Guide to Finding Your Flow of Fabulous, "The connections we make to the spaces we inhabit bring us tremendous power. Feng shui at its core is the art of connecting more profoundly to space so that it supports your intentions and goals."

Where to use feng shui to make you smarter

Feng shui can make you smarter in just about any room of your home, but start by focusing on areas where increased productivity is essential.

  • Home office
  • Child's homework area
  • Serious hobby areas

How feng shui can make you smarter

Claudat identifies eight steps to awesome feng shui, all of which can be used, but I'll show you how to apply those concepts to create a smarter room. You know how the saying goes: "Work smarter, not harder."

Tip No. 1: Don't fight your flow

Before you begin, take a good, long look at your space. Yes, you're in there every day, but are you? When was the last time you opened the bottom drawer of that filing cabinet? How far is your desk from the window, and which direction does it face? The wall? A TV in the next room? It's hard to work smart if you don't understand your environment.

Pay attention to how you use your space and try to optimize it for a more productive you. Are you noticing that your kids spend a lot of time getting up from their homework to locate supplies like extra paper or highlighters? Perhaps you should move those to within arm's reach using a nice caddy or built-in organizer.

Tip No. 2: Eliminate clutter

Nothing can stop you from working smart like clutter. If you have a stack of bills or papers piled up, go through them. Throw away what you don't need, scan or file what you want to save, and then make a deal with yourself that you'll either stop using that pile or at least address it once a week. How are you supposed to finish that article you're working on when that stack of unpaid bills is calling your name?

Tip No. 3: Give yourself an outlet for creativity and interrupting thoughts

No matter what you do, you're probably going to get distracted sometimes. The key is controlling the distraction.

If you tend to be interrupted by ideas or thoughts that send you off on another project because you're afraid you'll forget, give yourself a way to get it out of your system with minimal interruption. I work with a notepad next to my desk. It's a place where I can jot down those sudden ideas, make any notes I immediately have and leave reminders about things I need to research. No, it's not a decoration, but it's essential. And feng shui isn't all about decoration, it's about directing your energy in a more positive way.

Tip No. 4: Accessorize intelligently

I used to have this ridiculous collection of troll dolls, leftover from my high school days, that I insisted on keeping on my desk. It's a way to show my personality, right? Except I kept rearranging them into different vignettes when I was doing a task I didn't enjoy. That's right. A grown woman playing with dolls at work! It's nice to have a fun office, but it also stops you from working.

Get rid of that stuff. You don't need it. Instead, try more natural decorations like plants or rock gardens. I traded in my trolls for a betta fish in a nice big bowl with a pretty plant. He can be distracting sometimes, too, but for me, it's in a good way. Watching him swim peacefully actually helps me think.

Bringing it all together

You don't have to go it alone, and there's no need to hire a consultant. Dana Claudat's book, Feng Shui 101: A Guide to Finding Your Flow of Fabulous, is a steal at only $20. It's literally like having your own feng shui consultant you can carry in your purse.

More home decor ideas

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A fresh take on nautical decor
Elegant nursery designs inspired by royalty

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