Clutter inevitably invades your brain, and pares down your productivity without your even being aware of how sneakily it happens. The reason(s) you may not be coming up to even your own expectations at work may be lying on top of your desk, so remove these unnecessary nuisances from there immediately.

1. Pet Distractions. If you know seeing your phone tempts you to check notifications every two minutes, then keep it in the drawer instead of within plain sight. The same is true about books or glossy magazines that invite you to put your feet up for a ten-minute break -every ten minutes!

2. Unhealthy snacks. If you must have a snack perched on your desk, let it be a packet of nuts or an apple, which will give you a quick energy boost, instead of french fries, which are a sure-fire way to induce mid-morning lethargy.

3. A Smattering of Sticky Notes. A couple of reminders will help keep track of stuff that needs to be done, but if the sticky notes are taking over the rim of your computer, or all the space on your desk, they’re going to become counter-productive. What works better is to make a list of six or seven tasks that need to be prioritized, and tick off whatever you accomplish.

4. Stationery Clutter. A study by Princeton University concluded that the more stuff you have on your desk, the more distracted you’ll be as each item vies for your attention, especially those brightly colored paper clips and staplers.

5. Food Leftovers. Nothing creates a worse impression about you than the sight of half-finished containers of food lying on your desk. Co-workers are definitely going to be disgusted with the mess, the smell, the crumbs… need we say more?