A clean workspace is nice, but sometimes things are just fine the way they are, even if it's a little messy. You can use the 30-second rule to find out if your approach is hurting your productivity, or if you're better off keeping it the way it is.
Photo by The Lone Traveller
It's OK to find the best ways to streamline your productivity, but it can be harmful to only focus on the streamlining and not the actual "doing it" part. When it comes to your workspace, organisation expert Alison Kero told Gwen Moran at Fast Company that you should use the 30-second rule to find out:
If you are the kind of person where you look at your desk and somebody says, 'Hey I need this paper' and you can, within 30 seconds to a minute, find that paper very easily, then whatever system you've got going on is working for you. If you lose things all the time, your desk makes you feel like you're in chaos and overwhelmed, and you're spending more time hunting for things than actually being productive, that's when it's not working for you.
Don't stress too much about your workspace unless it's actually slowing you down. Things might seem a little disorganizsd to others, but it might be just right for you. It's your workspace, not theirs, so do whatever works best for you. If your space doesn't pass the test, it's time to get things decluttered.