No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.
Conferences and in-house presentations are great opportunities to see other people’s desktops. Before the presentation is started you see which files they currently have on their desktops (and in some cases, you recognize files you have seen years before) and which programs they use for them.
The dock in Apple OS X is especially interesting — one thing are the application icons (Does this person have a program I don’t know? If so, which?), the other thing is the amount of applications in the Dock. Given that space is limited I have never understood keeping applications there that are there by default but really aren’t useful or used on a daily basis. Photobooth would the classic example, unless you’re narcissistic or do a “one photo a day” project, there’s no need to have it there. It just makes the size of the icons smaller, making them harder to click.
But what if you need a lot of different programs?
Personally, I have removed those programs from the dock that I never use to create a new document — Microsoft Word, along with Excel and Powerpoint, for example. Sure, I use them almost every day, but I always close the application and I never create a new document with them, I only open documents I already have (and double-clicking on the files doesn’t require to have it in the dock). So, when I work on a Microsoft document, the icons are (temporarily) in the dock, but after I’m finished they vanish again, leaving the Dock clutter-free.
It’s a little thing but I’ve made the experience that when it comes to stress free work, it’s usually little things that get you stressed. And having the Dock on the right side (horizontal mouse movement is easier) and with activated hiding makes it easier for me.
Note: If you are looking for a technical instruction on how to remove the items: Close the program (click on the name of the application in the bar on top of the screen => Quit), then left-click on the Icon and keep pressing down and drag the icon out of the Dock-Area. If the icon comes back next time you start your Mac, right-click (or ctrl + left click) on the icon, choose options and click on Open at Login so that the check mark vanishes. There is also the option to remove the icon from the dock, in case dragging it out doesn’t work.