Yes, it is. Beware of appearances! Many people are disorganized, but that does not prevent their brain from working impeccably!
That being said, if you are waiting for an important visit, or if you merely want to be able to access information in your files more quickly, you have all the interest in the world to keep your desk neat and tidy. You will give the impression of someone who is well-organized. With a little bit of discipline, it becomes easier and easier to do it. Just follow some simple tips.
After each job or each meeting, take a few minutes to clean up your desk. Empty and remove coffee cups or dirty glasses (and ashtrays, if smoking is still allowed by your company), and try to keep your desk as clean as possible.
Never leave your desk the in the evening without arranging the stacks of paper gathered in the day that has just ended, and without having prepared the other papers that you will need to take care of in the morning.
If your organization is using an office cleaning company, remember that they can't be aware that you have scribbled an important phone number on a crumpled table napkin left on your desk. Chances are that the next morning you will find yourself without that vital phone number you need to call. Better be safe than sorry; copy your important information in your agenda or phone; this way you will avoid some unpleasant surprises.
If you're in a rush (you've been working late and you need to be in front of a cinema or at a restaurant in 15 minutes to meet your significant other half) it's wise to write down on a Post-it a very visible message for your office cleaner. A message such as "Please don't clean this desk! I'll take care of it in the morning." that is posted on your monitor, in front of your keyboard or on the backrest of your chair could work wonders.
Keep a desk drawer (we suggest the top one, as it's easier to reach) just for dropping in all stuff that isn't essential and should not, under no circumstances, clutter your desk - it's just a single drawer! But you should check its content and empty it once a week.
Keep only the essentials on your desktop: your calendar, a desk clock, pens, a notebook, the phone, an address book, etc. Everything else is still within reach, but not within sight.
Do not transform your desk into a personal museum. Holiday memories or some pictures of your dog are just distractions. A pretty flowers bouquet or a green plant that is well maintained is much more appropriate.
Perform the "great desk cleaning" at least once a month: drag a large rubbish bin near your desk, then empty all your drawers on the desktop. Discard everything you don't find useful. Be merciless! Ask yourself "what's the worst it would happen if I threw it away?". If the answer is "nothing serious" then throw it. If you are still unsure whether to keep it or throw it, throw it!
One final tip: use some plastic separators in one of your drawers to keep things organized. There are two distinct advantages of doing that. The first one, you'll never ask yourself again "where are my staples or my scissors?". Everything has its own special place, it's easier to find it and easier to remember to put it back. The second one, in every office there are some colleagues that are borrowing items from another one's desk and never bring them back. Keeping your office supplies neatly ranged in a drawer is going to save you a lot of time trying to recover things that have mysteriously disappeared from plain sight.