Being productive is very much in “vogue” today in business blogs and there are a ton of articles out there on this subject already. I personally get frustrated when I go to those articles and I am expected to buy something. I want to talk about a few ways that you can quickly increase productivity at no additional cost to yourself, just supply a little effort, which if you are interested in being productive should be a given!

Reduce Mouse Clicks

Shortcuts can be used with almost every program and universal functions typically have the same shortcut, e.g. Ctrl + C is almost always “Copy” and Ctrl + V is almost always “Paste” regardless of the program. If you slow down a bit and hover over a button most programs will tell you if a shortcut is associated with that button. A program’s settings will often allow you to view and even customize shortcuts.

In Gmail I hovered over the “Send” button and I see that “Ctrl + Enter” will send my email.

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You can also do a search for “Windows keyboard shortcuts” and you will find many articles on using the default shortcuts already in place that you may not know about. My experience is with PC’s but I’m sure the same options are available for MAC computers.

If you apply this approach to every program you use, you can decrease your mouse clicks in short order.

One further suggestion I would make is that you tailor the shortcuts you learn, use, and customize based on your use of a program.

A designer with GDI, INC has gone so far as to customize the shortcuts within MiTek Sapphire so that they can all be done with his left hand. This leaves his right hand free for the mouse and the number pad. One other function for the left hand is drinking coffee which may be the productivity binder that holds the rest together.

Increase Mouse Speed

Unless you are using a touch screen you can’t eliminate the mouse altogether, but you can increase the speed that it travels.

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Adjust your mouse pointer speed to the fastest that you can accurately handle. Obviously, speeding around the screen but missing the mark wouldn’t be productive! You may also enjoy this previous post about using a mouse to increase productivity.

Remove Distractions

This may be one of the toughest. Self-discipline here is essential. Working at a computer offers both the opportunity for incredible productivity but unlike traditional tools, it offers many distractions. If you really want to be productive then saying no to these distractions is a must. Self-awareness is tied in here. For instance, if you know that you are a sucker for clicking on that link that someone sends you in the middle of the day, checking social media, or watching videos on youtube, etc. then use an app like Cold Turkey to block those sites for a set time.

I hope you found these suggestions helpful. Let us know how you plan to increase your productivity today!

Tim Hoke – Design Professional