Make sure you have plenty of light.
Lighting is essential when it comes to preventing eye strain and headaches. Natural light is best, so ensure your window treatments allow sufficient daylight through. In the evenings, you’ll need both general and task lighting. Opt for warm white, which best mimics natural daylight.
Keep your room cool.
Studies have shown that temperature can have a significant impact on your concentration and memory. The optimal temperature for focused work is 23 to 25 deg C. While this varies between individuals, it’s generally agreed that a working space that is too warm can be most detrimental, causing alertness and energy levels to plummet. Keep your study cool with air-conditioning or a standing fan next to your desk.
Aim for a clutter-free study.
A clean study helps the mind to focus. Keep essentials organised on your desk. The rest of the clutter should be stored out of sight. It’s also a good habit to set aside time for tidying your study after you complete your work. This simple routine ensures that you start each day on a fresh, distraction-free note.
Face your desk away from distractions.
One of the best places to position your desk is next to a window. It ensures sufficient natural light and air circulation. However, veteran feng shui practitioner Liu Tian Huang cautions against placing young children directly in front of the window as it can result in distractions. Similarly, avoid placing your desk too close to high- traffic places like a doorway.
Optimise the air quality.
Feeling sleepy? That could be due to poor ventilation. Maintain constant air circulation in your study with a fan and open window. Alternatively, invest in an air purifier that helps to filter out allergy-causing particles and microbes. The best ones have a HEPA filter, which can trap harmful particles such as pollutants, pollen, pet dander, dust mites and tobacco smoke.
Spruce up your walls with artwork.
In feng shui, paintings depicting mountain and lake sceneries are good in a study as they symbolise academic excellence. “They are a representation of knowledge, wisdom and problem solving,” says Tian Huang, who is also the author of a bestselling Mandarin book, whose title translates to Mastering Eight Characters: Practical Case Studies.
Scent your space.
Fragrances like peppermint and citrus can improve concentration and lift the spirits, making it easier to focus on your tasks. Add scent to your study in the form of a low-maintenance reed or electric diffuser. We like the V-Stop Airshield range of sanitising concentrates for their fragrance as well as antibacterial and antiviral properties.
Adding greenery instantly enlivens your study or home office. Shop for low-maintenance plants that don’t require frequent watering. For the feng shui-conscious, Tian Huang suggests the plum blossom, orchid, bamboo and chrysanthemum or chamomile. In Chinese culture, these are associated with qualities of uprightness and perseverance. Artwork depicting these plants work just as well.
“Avoid plants that have an overly strong scent or are sharp and point, like cacti, since they create negative energy (she qi),” says Liu Tian Huang.
Reach out to Liu via email at email@example.com.
Paint your study a calming shade.
Colours set the tone and mood of a space. In a study, where calmness for a focused state of mind is needed, it’s recommended that you use tranquil, earthy tones such as pale green and eggshell blue. Stimulating colours, like red, are great for promoting creativity, but should be used sparingly and mindfully.
Lynn Lee, senior product specialist from Nippon Paint, advises balancing strong colours with a neutral palette of whites and greys. Not sure how the finish will look? The Nippon Colour Visualiser app can help you envision the outcome. Simply take a snapshot of your space and the app will “paint” your walls for you.
Invest in proper ergonomic support.
Avoid aches and strains by ensuring your furniture gives you adequate support. This means adjusting your desk height or adding a laptop stand so that your screen is at eye level for comfortable viewing, as well as investing in a chair with good lumbar support. We like the Secretlab SoftWeave Black3 chair. It’s made with a cool, breathable fabric and customisable ergonomics that can be adjusted to your height.