A couple of years ago I accidentally discovered an underutilized time-saving technique, using keyboard shortcuts. It was something I hadn’t really thought about so I decided to learn more at a “lunch and learn” offered by my client at the time.
It was really eye opening! Every time we move from the keyboard to the mouse, we’re expending more time and energy than we need to. Learning keyboard shortcuts is a great way to make your movements really efficient, plus you can avoid some hand/finger strain from all that mouse clicking!
Since I know that habits are hard to change, even when they’re being replaced by better, faster ones, I decided to approach this one in small chunks. Here’s how I started:
- Go through a list of shortcuts, or observe one action you do with your mouse that interrupts your flow on the keyboard.
- Pick 1 – 5 keyboard shortcuts that you think would be useful.
- Write them on a sticky note.
- Place the sticky note where you will see it when you’re working on your computer (e.g., your monitor).
- Be mindful and try to incorporate them into your routine. Make an effort to consult your sticky note when you’re working to help remember the new actions.
- If you forget, be gentle on yourself. Changing habits takes time!
- Once you have mastered the ones you selected, pick a few more and start over.
Here are a few I use often for PC or Mac:
- Tab = to move to another cell or field (e.g., when filling out forms)
- Shift + Tab = to move back to a previous cell or field (opposite direction of the action above)
- Control + C = to copy something (on a Mac use Command + C)
- Control + V = to paste something (on a Mac use Command + V)
- Control + X = to cut something (on a Mac use Command + X)
- Control + Z = to undo something (on a Mac use Command + Z) – this is a big favorite!
- Shift + left, or right, arrow key = to highlight one character of text to the right or left
- Shift + command + left, or right, arrow key = to highlight a whole line of text (on a Mac)
- Shift + command + up, or down, arrow key = to highlight text above/below (on a Mac)
- Alt + Tab = to shift between open applications (on a Mac use Command + Tab)
Click below for more:
Keyboard Shortcuts in Windows (10, 8.1,7)