I tried to believe. I really did. But half of what I read about feng shui seemed totally loony. So, once again, I’m going to rely on the benefit of 52 years of experience. Here’s the “ETR shui” on setting up a good office/studio.

First, some observations and conclusion:
* If you want to be really successful, you must work long hours. During the week at least, you’ll spend more time at work than at home. For that reason, if no other, decorate your office/studio with as much care as you decorate your house.
* To maintain a well-balanced life, you must separate work from pleasure. That means you should try to do most of your work in your office and reserve most of your time at home for being with your family. You should, however, have some space somewhere in your home where you can do homework. Make it small. Keep it away from the space used for family activities. Don’t spend too much time there.
Now, here’s how to create the perfect office:
1. You need a range of lighting from subtle to very bright. To do this cost-effectively, you will need three or four light sources. Use the best-quality light you can afford.
2. Spare no expense on your workspace. Your desk and credenza should be tailor-made to fit your working style. Don’t shortchange yourself here. Give yourself plenty of surface and ample space in which to move around from desk to credenza and back.
3. Keep all regular reference sources handy — preferably within a step and a grab from your chair. This can be done by furnishing your office with customized or store-bought bookshelves, etc., none of which should be expensive.
4. Get a great (not simply good) chair. Your chair is something you should spend a fortune on. Like your bed, you’ll be spending six or more hours a day on it. It’s infinitely more important to your work and your health than is your car — and what do you spend on your car?
5. Decorate your office with signs of who you are as a complete person. Put up your family photos and your business awards too. The walls and spaces of your office should be full of physical signals that will talk to you about your ambitions, your talent, your dreams, and your future.
6. Keep an egg timer on your desk. Use it to make sure you are never seated for more than an hour at a time. Each time it goes off, stand up and do something you like to do: stretch, shoot pool, have a drink of water.
7. Get rid of the mess. You may think it works to your advantage to have everything you could possibly need piled up around you, but it doesn’t. It just shows the rest of the world how unwilling you are to take control of your life.
8. Put something in easy sight of you that makes you smile. Maybe a photo of your dog. Or an inspirational quotation. Keep it there to do its magic until it loses power and then find something new to replace it.
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