The creative process is not always associated with a clean, spic and span desk. The artistic output like the oil painting or the 700-paged novel may not be messy but the process that produced it most likely involved lots of mess. Even though mess is inevitable, it is still advisable to work in a tidy environment. Here are the reasons why:Less distraction If you think you can keep your focus when you see yesterday’s granola bar and potato chip wrappers in your desk that you forgot to throw, you’re not. Chances are you’ll end up thinking if you should clean or not, and if you do when? The garbage can is a few meters away, do you do it now or not? Having less distractions in your work space gives you more time to focus on what needs to be done.Freedom As a creative thinker and doer, you would definitely want to jumpstart your work in an environment that is conducive to creativity. You will want to be able to take a break if you feel like you’ve been staring at a blank canvas or blank page for too long. This makes it important to have a clutter-free workspace.Fresh mindset You just arrived in the office and you walk towards your desk. Would you want it clean or dirty? If you want to be productive then you’ll definitely want to tidy up. It turns out, according to a study done by the Minnesota Department of Health (MHD) in 2008, exposure to dirt or dust affects employees typing skills, logical reasoning, memory and creative thinking at about 2-6%.Better reputation In a study conducted by the famous Dr. Albert Mehrabian, author of Silent Messages, he found out that in communicating 7% is conveyed through words, 38% is in the tone and 55% is through the non-verbal cues or what people see. The cleanliness of your desk will affect people’s’ impression of you. And these impression affects your morale to deliver a high quality of service to customers.So if you want to stay creative, productive and focused, here are some effective tips you can do:1. Keep the important ones close Strategically, the first thing you need to do is to rate the things on your desk by importance. In that way the things that you often use are easy to access and the not-so-often used items can be safely stored away.2. Take advantage of stacked in/out trays Trays allow you to organise things like envelopes, papers or magazines in a single file. Putting them in category will save you a lot of time and stress in the long run.3. Get rid of the unnecessary clutter/things Being sentimental to a can of soda given by a co-worker isn’t going to help. Learn to keep the things that you foresee using within 6 months, and let go of the things you haven’t used for the last 6 months. The goal is to keep less things to make way for new.4. Always keep a trashcan within one meterIf you are too focused on work to go regularly head to the trash bin out at the hallway, why not get one near your desk. Put it within reach and make it a habit to throw your garbage right away.5. Clean before you leave Cleaning your desk before you leave your office is the same as setting your mood for the day. Don’t leave wrappers and papers lying around when you leave. A clean, organised desk is a great sight to see first thing in the morning.