"Cleanliness is next to Godliness."
"If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, what is the significance of a clean desk?"
How's your work space looking, boys and girls? As with the first set of photos, is your desk free and clear of clutter? Do you subscribe by the rule "If it's bigger than a bread box, it shouldn't be on your desk?" A clean desk can allow you to focus and concentrate on the task at hand, to work without distraction. It may remind you to work paperlessly and store everything on your computer. Also, it literally allows you to clean your desk / computer / keyboard / mouse with those antibacterial wipes - something I forget to do all too often. At my old job, we used to have a clean desk policy, which was reinforced once a year when someone came in and literally did an inspection and audit of everyone's work space to confirm that confidential information was not in plain sight.
Or maybe your desk is more like the second set of photos. You let papers, files, magazines, books, cups, plates, dead plants and other sorts of detritus collect on your desk. Could be that you're too busy / lazy / unorganized. Or perhaps you work better having things on your desk where they're within easy reach and remember. You don't want to potentially toss something important or sentimental and find inspiration from random scribblings, desk toys and photographs. Rummaging through the stacks on your desk is like going through a personal timeline of what you've been doing, eating, wanting in the last few days (or weeks). My own desk now (last picture) follows more of the second philosophy, although it's not for lack of trying to aim for the first.
PS - Please click on the links if you want to find out more about the desks' owners. My favourite, which I've blogged about before, is that of Nike's CEO - picture #4.