I almost never see my laptop's desktop. I tend to either cmd+tab through my open programs, use Alfred to launch apps, or rely on Finder to open/view/move files. I honestly can't remember the last time I viewed the normal "desktop."
That said, I do use a second monitor both at home and at the office. I used to have Tweetdeck open at all times, but ended up finding it too distracting. Now I only use the second monitor when I have specific ad-hoc work that helps make my workflow more efficient (usually doing something in another browser window, Excel, etc).
I now like to have a clean / minimalist / dark background on the second monitor, since it's squarely in my line of sight all day. I use a dark wood background I found online. The only program I usually have open is a simple Timer app. If I'm ever lacking motivation to do something, I'll usually "challenge" myself to make as much progress as I can in — say — 15 minutes, which helps break me out of the rut.
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