It seems like I'm on a crusade against clutter, but why?
The cognitive load that clutter brings upon you it's hidden, but it's definitely there.
It asks for your attention and distracts you from what's important. The worst part about it is that you don't notice. It's not obvious as it is social media or any other distraction. It's more subtle and because of that more dangerous. It doesn't make you waste hours but seconds, seconds that compounded every day for months turn into minutes and eventually hours.
4 seconds * 30 days = 2 minutes
4 seconds * 1 year = 24 hours
It's just one more thing competing for your attention and trying to make you lose focus on what you're doing.
1. Open only the apps you're using at the moment
It doesn't mean to open and close apps every second. If you need to switch between two or three different applications, that's totally fine. Don't just open Photoshop because you're going to need it in a few hours and then leave it open and running.
2. Adapt your dock (or the icons on your Desktop if you're using Windows) to what you need
Your dock shouldn't be static. If there is an app you never use, remove it right away. You can always access it using spotlight, it's just taking unnecessary space.
3. Use fullscreen
When possible try using fullscreen. It will force you to only focus on one application at a time and you can easily switch between them by swiping.
You don't need to use all of the tips right away, you can start with one.
Changing how you work is though, always try with small changes at first.