Exploring literature is a numbers game. We have to accept that we'll never know everything, so the priority is to maximise the probability of becoming familiar with the most important stuff, and accept that we'll miss out on some things, and that's ok. As a new researcher, you will forget the proofs in a week, but intuition is what sticks and makes you understand the field, so that's, to me, the goal to maximise.
I start by reading the abstract. If that looks relevant, I read the conclusions. If those look legit, I then read the introduction. If that also looks relevant, I will then skip all the filler material and go straight to the "new" contributions, which is typically a couple of pages. I will only revert back to the filler material if I'm missing information to understand the new contribution.
Honestly, if a paper is not written in a good, understandable way, and is unnecessarily packed with math, I'll pass. I only have so much time, so I find it optimal to spend time on papers that are relevant and well-written.
That's not a golden rule though. Sometimes I do spend time understanding badly written papers (btw to me a paper full of proofs and no intuition building or graphs is a badly written paper), if they're highly cited by other prominent authors. This is an indicator that there's good stuff there.
One cheat I use when there's an important but badly written paper, is to track down papers that cite it, and see if one of the newer authors explains the original paper in a better way, which is almost always the case for prominent papers. I've found papers that explain a 30-page paper in half a page. I might spend 3 hours tracking that paper down, but it beats spending a month on the original paper.
Remember, as living persons, time is our most valuable resource. Sure, the way I do things I surely miss out on some very good stuff, but at least my time is efficiently spent.
Finally, don't be too worried about not understanding proofs. Some proofs take years of building intuition to properly understand.