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Master These 25 Mac Shortcuts to Work Faster and Smarter

Master These 25 Mac Shortcuts to Work Faster and Smarter

In a busy day, you know it well what it means to save a second of time. It seems a waste of time to leave your keypad and fiddle on your mouse or keypad.

Another approach to save those seconds is to remember Mac shortcuts to work faster and smarter. This will truly make your work quicker than trifling on mouse or touchpad. In fact, not using keyboard shortcuts actually makes you lose 64 hours every year.

I think all of you know command- C means copy and Command- V means paste, but there are a lot more shortcuts other than these. The following commands have been compiled to sky rocket your productivity.

Before we start, here’re things to take note of:

  • The shortcuts that I will be discussing here corresponds to the keyboard of US layout .
  • Sometimes you may find a couple of difficulties using console substitute routes in Mac as the OS and a couple of uses may struggle with each other. If you come across such problems, then please refer to Mac help for your version of the operating system or you may also refer to a utility application.

Okay, let’s get to it!

1. Command+Shift + Three(3)

For full screen capture, press Command+ shift + 3.

2. Command +Shift + Four(4)

You may similarly need to take a screen catch of a selected window from the entire screen.

Hit the Command +shift + four and as the desired window gets emphasized tap the mouse or trackpad.

3. Command + Option + D

This shortcut helps you to hide or show the dock. It is particularly important in Macbooks where the screens are smaller and you need more real estate.

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4. Command + Q

If you want to stop an application at a point, you just need to click Command + Q and you are done.

5. Command + T

With the dispatch of Mac OS Sierra, windows now can carry a tab. However, all the applications in Mac Sierra may not bolster multi-tab control. For the ones which do, you can press Command + T, to open another tab.

6. Command + R

I write a lot of mails and a lot of people write to me as well. Hence when I want to reply to someone instead of hunting for the reply button, I simply click Command + R and a new reply box opens up.

It is important to note that this function is useful only when you are in your mailbox.

7. Command + Spacebar

This is an amazing feature Apple has added to the Mac. If you are searching for something on your operating system or on the web then you can call for a spotlight, you can do this merely by holding Command + Spacebar.

8. Command + shift + ?

If you want to learn how a custom application works or are stuck up with troubleshooting of Mac, a quick shortcut from the keyboard for “Help”, then just hit Command + Shift + ?.

9. Command + OPTION + ESC.

Sometimes when working with an app, it might so happen that the system hangs and stops working. The mouse or touchpad is of no use and at that point just by pressing Command + option + esc together you can quit the application.

10. Command + X / C / V / Z

Although most readers would know this, these are important functions and worth mentioning. These four shortcuts – Cut, Copy, Paste and Undo can be summoned using Command + X/C/V/Z respectively.

11. Command + F

If you are perusing a long article and looking for a specific word or expression, you can take the assistance of Find Order by holding Command + F.

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A finder pops up and you can easily enter your search term and it will navigate to all the places in the document where the word/term is mentioned.

12. Control + Media Eject.

A single command to help with restart, shutdown and sleep for your Mac – Control + Eject.

When you press the command, a dialogue box will be opened, asking you what would you like your system to do further – sleep, shutdown or restart.

13. Command + A

If you’d like to select all the content of the document at one go, then this command comes in handy. Just press Command + A and the entire document will be selected.

14. Command + Navigation keys

If you are going through a long record and need to go to a dedicated page without troubling your mouse, you can do so by holding the Command + up or down key.

15. Command + Option + H

If you are not using a window and want to keep your desktop free of clutter, then the shortcut key you can use is Command + Option + H.

It hides all windows barring the front app giving you a clean looking screen.

16. Command + M

The window you are working on is not of use now and you’d like to minimize it? Just press Command + M and your current active window will be minimized.

17. Command + W

In the event that you need to close a functioning window the order that you can utilize is Command + W.

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18. Control + P

If you have to print a record, the key combinations that you can use is Control + P. If you have a printer connected, a pop up box will open and will ask for further necessary actions to print the document.

19. Command + Move + F5.

In the event that you need to alter an archive, just hold Command + Move + F5.

20. Command + N

If you are working with a document or a browser tab, hitting Command + N will open up a new window. Remember a new window for the current active application opens up.

For example, if you are surfing on your browser, activating the command will open up a new browser window. If you’re on a document, a new document window will pop up.

21. Command + Control + N

This is one of my favorite shortcuts that not too many people know about or use. However it is super useful.

If you have too many files on your desktop and would like to move them to a new folder, this command is what helps you out.

Simply select all the files that you would like to be moved and press Command + Control + N. In a second, all the selected files will move to a new folder.

22. Command + Shift + V

You’ve found something on the internet and you would like to paste it on your document. Most of the times, it ends up in a weird format. To solve this issue just use Command + Shift + V and the text will be pasted without any formatting, making it easy to format the way you want it.

23. Command + B/I/U

The old classic. If you want to make your selection, Bold, Italics or Underline them, simply use the command button and press B/I/U respectively.

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24. Command + Tab

Working with too many windows? It gets difficult to navigate seamlessly between applications when a lot of them are open. Use this command to easily navigate between windows.

25. Option + Shift + Volume(+/-)

When I work on my Mac system, I usually use the volume keys frequently. However, I noticed that just pressing the volume key would increase/decrease the volume speedily. So I hunted down this shortcut.

Using this you can adjust the volume by +/- 1 point for the perfect decibel sound you require.

Summing It Up

Depending on the usage of your Mac and the kind of work you do with it, you will find a selection of these shortcuts, extremely helpful.

You might already be using some if these shortcuts but adding a few of them to your arsenal will save you on those precious seconds that don’t hamper your flow.

If you are a new Apple user, it might be a bit challenging to get accustomed to these quickly. However, once you’ve got used to it, you’ll be a lot more productive.

Featured photo credit: Alex Bachor via unsplash.com

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Harsh Binani

Harsh has helped a lot of multi-national corporations and startups to leverage technology for greater productivity.

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Last Updated on January 6, 2021

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

3. Create a System

Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

5. Use a Ratings Scale

Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

7. Offer Feedback Forms

Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

8. Track Cost Effectiveness

This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

9. Use Self-Evaluations

Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

10. Monitor Time Management

This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

    The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

    While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

    11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

    We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

    Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

    For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

    Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

    Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

    From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

    12. Utilize Peer Feedback

    This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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    Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

    Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

    It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

    13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

    When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

    Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

    Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

    14. Use an External Evaluator

    Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

    They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

    While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

    Final Thoughts

    These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

    The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

    The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

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    Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

    Reference

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