When I advise people on how to best get things done I often suggest that they get a clean desk. After reading Is A Messy Desk Really Better For Creativity? I will modify that advice. It’s about removing clutter and distractions, not about a clean desk. What distracts us vary, figure out what works best for you and find your own level of neatness.

The part “Change Your Definition Of Clutter” contains this gem (bolding is mine), a great definition of clutter:

Clutter isn’t necessarily piles and items that appear disorderly. Instead, clutter is made up of items we keep that do not serve us—that book you’re never going to read, the papers you think you need to hang onto because you have to, etc. If you need it and it’s giving you something positive, it’s not clutter.

My advice now on clean or messy desk is this:

  • Get rid of clutter, things that no longer serve you.
  • Create a for you distraction free work zone.
  • Focus on one thing at a time.