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Desk Direction & Wall Color... your keys to new horizons

How your desk is oriented can directly affect how you feel at work. It can mean the difference between having an upbeat attitude or feeling like you´ve got writer´s block.

A company once had me do a study of their employees because they routinely hired vibrant, full-of life individuals, but after a few weeks at work these people appeared lethargic and unable to carry out their job with vigor and enthusiasm. One of the keys I found there was that many of these new employees had their desks facing a wall.

"I´ve hit a wall."

Think of the expression: "I´ve hit a wall." We say this when we mean, "I can´t go any further; I´m stuck." The creative channels are blocked. A wall in front of you with your back open to the room can make you unconsciously feel exposed or insecure; no one can concentrate their best this way, and often work performance suffers.

Many of my clients reorient their desks and find the new direction makes a huge difference. The best situation is to have your back to a wall with an open vista in front of you. Many creative people situate their desks in front of a window or at least facing into the room.

Why? The body naturally takes in information through the front -- your eyes, nose, and even your ears face forward. This is the body´s way of reaching into the world for impressions and ideas. Some people call it day dreaming. Likewise, the mind´s way of creating new solutions often depends on intuitive thinking -- you can enhance this process by keeping the space in front of you open rather than abutting a wall. Physically, having a wall behind your back gives you a feeling of control and empowerment.

I find that people who don´t have this kind of arrangement often get up and do their best work somewhere other than their desk. Chances are, without even thinking about it, they are relocating to a place that has the optimal characteristics: open in front of you, wall behind you.

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