If you're an avid reader of the Design Forum, you should have a pretty good idea of the ways in which feng shui can enhance your productivity. According to feng shui experts, each area of your home or office represents a different area of your life. You can identify these areas using a bagua. Who knows, if you've been having trouble sticking to your budget, it might just be attributed to the wastepaper basket in your prosperity corner!

To use the bagua, simply stand at the threshold of the door facing into the room. Position the diagram so that the three bottom guas (Skills, Career and Helpful People) are closest to you. Imagine a line cutting straight across the front of your home or office where the door is – this is the line at the bottom of the chart. Once you've ascertained which area is which, it's time to redecorate.

Remember, you can use the bagua to feng shui your office, your cubicle or your entire house. If you're designing a new office building, use the gua to determine where different job functions should be located. For example, you may place the advertising department in the creativity gua and the accounting department in the prosperity area.

The Prosperity Gua
This is the area that controls money, so if your job involves money or finance (and let's face it, whose doesn't?), this area is critical. According to feng shui, prosperity follows the principle of like attracting like. So if you want to attract wealth, place an object that symbolizes money or prosperity in this gua – maybe a picture of Bill Gates or an expensive fountain pen. Purple is the color of prosperity, so try to include something purple in your prosperity gua.

The Family Gua
Wood and water are the elements that represent the family. A great way to improve your relationship with your family (or to get a manager to treat you like one of the family) is to integrate these elements into your family gua. Try a bouquet of fresh flowers in water. Because green is the best color for enhancing the family gua, flowers are doubly effective. You could also frame pictures of your family in wooden picture frames.

The Skills and Knowledge Gua
This is a great gua to work on in the office. After all, the more skills and knowledge you exhibit at work, the greater the opportunities for career advancement. Use a desk lamp to represent your inner illumination. Earth is the best element for this gua, so use a potted plant to enhance your skills and knowledge.

The Career and Life Path Gua
If you're investigating new career options, you can't afford to overlook this area of your home or office. Water represents the flow of life, so place a small aquarium, a vase of flowers or even a collection of seashells or a picture of the ocean in this gua.

The Helpful People and Travel Gua
If you've ever experienced a delay at New York's LaGuardia Airport, you'll probably try anything to ensure smooth travel plans in the future. The best color choices for this gua are silver and gray, and the best elements are metal and water. Because mirrors can represent water in feng shui, place a metal-framed mirror in your helpful people and travel gua.

The Creativity and Children Gua
Advertising executives, graphic artists, designers and anyone else whose job requires a creative element could benefit from enhancing this gua. This area of your home or office should be filled with color, light and other sources of creative inspiration. Of course if you work in a cubicle, it can be hard to redecorate, but try sticking a really creative picture on your bulletin board or placing a creativity-inspiring book on your shelf. Even little cues can invoke good feng shui.

The Relationships and Love Gua
You can use this gua in your office to improve your relationship with your colleagues, clients or manager. The best color is pink and the best elements are earth and fire. Unless you work from home, you probably can't have candles or an open fireplace in your office, but you could use a potted plant – preferably one with pink flowers.

The Fame and Reputation Gua
A great way to enhance your fame and reputation in your career is to sit in a high-backed chair in front of a solid wall. The height will support your power and solidify your position. This is not the place for silly trinkets and gag gifts. Hang your degree or diploma in your fame and reputation gua or store successful projects here. For example, if you're in sales, accounts you've closed should be here. Fire is the best element for fueling fame, and red is the best color. So if you can't get away with an open flame, add something red.

The Health Gua
A great way to ensure good health is to incorporate living elements in this gua. Try plants, fish tanks and paintings of mountains or forests. Use lots of fresh flowers and keep this area clean and dust free to invoke general wellbeing.

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