Keyboard or Mouse – Shortcuts Help You Find Time

Keyboard or MouseKeyboard or Mouse?  For those who do a lot of work at their computers, this isn’t an idle consideration.  How you use these fundamental tools can either save you time – or lose precious moments.

The increments may be tiny, but they mount up.

So, before you even dip into this post, consider how you use them – and what your preferences are for different activities – keyboard or mouse.

For example, when you save a document, do you grab your mouse and head up to the menu to click save?  Or does typing “CTRL S” do the trick for you?

Keyboard or mouse – some things to consider:

Efficiency experts will tell you that every motion you make takes time and every extra click, when you’re on the computer, adds up.  Not only that, but repetitive motions can lead to physical issues that can slow you down and/or require attention.

The lesson is that small things we do every day mount up. They have an impact in the aggregate that far outweighs each instance.

Keyboard or mouse – some shortcuts to try:

There are lots of articles out there about keyboard shortcuts, and I recently came upon one on lifehacker that gave a nice compilation of ideas.  It’s titled “10 Things You Can Do On a PC Without Ever Touching the Mouse” and

The main thing I’d suggest that you consider is that it’s less important to have a huge array of tools than it is to have a few that you use frequently.  It takes practice to become familiar with a shortcut, for example.  But once it becomes a part of your repertoire, it can save you the time you spend reaching for and then moving and clicking your mouse.  The seconds become minutes and over the course of weeks and months, those minutes become hours!

So, for example, here are some shortcuts for browsing that you may find helpful:

Your browser has more built-in shortcuts than you can shake a stick at, and you’d be surprised how much browsing you can get done without that mouse. For example Ctrl+L takes you to the address bar to type in URLs or search terms. Backspace and Shift+Backspace move you back and forward a page. Ctrl+F finds text on a page, while Ctrl+Enter opens a link in a new tab.

NOTE:  When experimenting with this in Chrome, we discovered that it’s Alt+Enter that opens a link in a new tab – but it may be that Ctrl + Enter works in other browsers.

Keyboard or Mouse

One of our favorite shortcuts is “Win +D” – also “Win +M”.  This takes you straight to your desktop – minimizing all of your open windows.  It’s like being able to get quickly back to home base – no matter how far afield you’ve been exploring!

In another post on lifehacker titled “Back to Basics: Learn to Use Keyboard Shortcuts Like a Ninja” there’s an excellent list of the 20 most essential shortcuts to get you started.  You can click on the image above to enlarge it and get a sense of their list!

As I said earlier, when it comes to making the choice to use your keyboard or mouse, factor in the potential time gains and then practice!  Your goal is to change your thinking and, in turn, your muscle memory so that these shortcuts become automatic.  THAT is when they truly begin to save you time!

Are there keyboard shortcuts that you especially find useful?  Share them here – we’d love to learn from your experience!

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Comments

  1. Matthew Bauman says

    Custom macro’s are a huge part of my day. I use about ten different one’s that automate the most mundane tasks. It saves me at least an hour per work day.

  2. Hi Matthew – That is an impressive statistic. Would love to hear more! Will you be sharing any tips on your blog?

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