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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

More by this author

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 October 29, 2020

How to Develop Mental Toughness and Stay Strong

How to Develop Mental Toughness and Stay Strong

Are you the kind of person who wants to achieve massive success in your life? Do you have the mental toughness to make that happen?

I think we can all agree that no matter your ambitions, achieving success can be difficult; and over time, the daily grind can take a toll on your physical, mental, and emotional energy.

Achievers and high performers from all walks of life face ups and downs along the path to success—they face failure, burnout, discouragement, fatigue, self-limiting beliefs, stress, and so much more.

How do some people continually strive towards their personal goals year after year while others give up on them? How do those people stay strong and persevere when there is so much stacked against them?

Studies now show that mental strength is a critical key to success. If you haven’t read Angela Duckworth’s book Grit, you should. In it, she shows that “the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls ‘grit.’” In other words, mental toughness plays a significant role when it comes to achieving goals.

At its core, mental toughness is simply the ability to stick to something when the going gets tough. People with high levels of mental toughness can push beyond these obstacles and forge a path towards success, while those with lower levels of mental toughness may abandon their dreams.

The good news is that no matter who you are, what you’ve been told, or what you currently believe, you can develop the mental toughness you need to be successful.

1. Develop a Positive Mindset

If you’re going to increase your mental toughness and manage stress, the first thing you have to do is focus on building a strong, positive mindset in everyday life.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, the average person has 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those, 95% of those thoughts repeat each day and, on average, 80% of repeated ideas are negative.[1]

That’s roughly 45,600 negative thoughts per day!

Carrying around these negative thoughts is like going on a hike in the mountains with a backpack full of rocks. The hike is hard enough on its own, but having extra junk weighing you down is a recipe for failure.

Sometimes, building mental toughness isn’t as much about building new strength as it is about saving your strength for the right tasks. Wouldn’t it be easier to dump the rocks out of the backpack instead of trying to get strong enough to carry the extra weight?

Let Go of Self-Limiting Beliefs

It’s pretty hard to be mentally tough when you’re constantly beating yourself up. Self-limiting beliefs are any beliefs that hold you back in some way. Here are some examples:

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“I’m not smart enough to…”

“I don’t have enough experience to…”

“I’ve tried that before, and it didn’t go well, so I must just be bad at…”

When we allow these self-limiting beliefs to flood our minds, negative self-talk runs rampant, and we crowd out our ability to think positively.

When you recognize a self-limiting belief cropping up in your mind, quickly silence it by telling yourself that it’s not true, and then back that up with some positive affirmations:

  • “I am smart enough; I may just need to do some more research first.”
  • “I may not have as much experience as someone else, but that’s not going to stop me from trying. I have enough experience to get started. I’ll figure the rest out on the way.”
  • “Just because I failed at this last time doesn’t mean I’m going to fail this time. My past does not dictate my future.”

Get Rid of the All-or-Nothing Thinking

Another form of negative thinking that could be preventing you from building mental toughness is all-or-nothing thinking.

All-or-nothing thinking is the concept of thinking in extremes. You are either a success or a failure. Your performance was great or awful. If you’re not perfect, then you’re a failure.

But this isn’t true!

If you’re trying to lose 30 pounds and only lost 28, isn’t that still better than not losing any weight at all? I’d say so!

If you allow all-or-nothing thinking to rule your mind, you’ll be on cloud nine when you succeed, but you’ll beat yourself up when you “fail.” Acknowledging the shades of gray in between will allow you to see success more often.

When you recognize an all-or-nothing thought, remember to look for the positive in the situation. What did you gain by trying? What would you have missed out on had you not tried? Could you do better if you were to try again?

Ditch the Dwelling

Self-limiting beliefs and all-or-nothing thinking can lead to a bad case of dwelling on the negative, which is bad news for mental health. If you want to build some mental toughness and keep your mind strong, you have to ditch the dwelling.

When we dwell on our misfortunes, we waste massive amounts of energy that we could be using to achieve our goals. When this happens, we’re more likely to quit altogether.

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That doesn’t mean you’re not mentally tough; it just means you’re misusing your energy.

The next time something bad happens, it’s important to allow yourself to feel the disappointment and frustration, but work on reducing the amount of time you dwell on the situation.

If you struggle with this, you can try the following:

  1. Call a friend or mentor and talk it through with them. Get some outside perspective on your situation.
  2. Time block your dwelling by allowing yourself to dwell for no more than one hour.
  3. Then, tell yourself to move on, that you’re human, and you’re allowed to make mistakes or experience setbacks.
  4. If all else fails, find a good way to distract yourself until you can calm down and reexamine things with a clear mind.

The faster you can focus on the positives and move past the problem, the quicker you can get back to achieving success in your life.

2. Connect With Your Purpose

One of the most critical elements to building mental toughness and keeping a strong and focused mind is having a strong “why” for all of your short and long-term goals.

If you set out to achieve a huge goal that you don’t have a “why” for, you’re going to find yourself distracted, discouraged, or disengaged as soon as you experience your first setback.

Think about the last time you were working on a goal or resolution, and things weren’t going well. Perhaps you thought you didn’t have enough willpower or discipline.

It’s more likely that you just didn’t have a strong enough why.

Simon Sinek has been spreading his message “Start with Why” across the globe.[2] In short, he says that:

“Your ‘why’ is the purpose, cause or belief that inspires you.”

One of the biggest drains on your mental energy is pursuing a goal or a task that you don’t have a why for. Often, we set goals because we like the idea of the goal, not the reality of the goal. Without connecting to our why, we can’t intrinsically motivate ourselves to achieve our most challenging goals.

You can learn more on identifying your purpose in this video:

Find Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation is our innate desire to do something, and it comes when we work towards something that satisfies ourselves above all else—not our parents or our bosses or our teachers[3].

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Develop mental toughness with intrinsic motivation

    Let’s say you think you want to quit smoking because you know it’s bad for you, but you really enjoy smoking. If you don’t truly want to quit smoking, it’s going to be nearly impossible, regardless of your willpower or mental toughness.

    However, if you want to quit smoking because you just had a baby, and you don’t want your baby growing up around smoke, then that “why” is going to give you intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is far more powerful than sheer stubborn willpower, and it’s far easier to maintain over the long haul.

    If you’re trying to develop mental toughness, connecting a why to everything you want to achieve will reduce the effort and energy it will take to achieve those things.

    3. Find Strength in Unity

    The final aspect of developing mental toughness is embracing the idea that you’re not in this alone.

    Bill Gates didn’t build Microsoft alone. Oprah didn’t build her network by herself. Steve Jobs didn’t invent the iPhone without a team. Michelle Obama didn’t implement the “Let’s Move” campaign on her own.

    Behind all of these successful people were countless other people who were offering support, mentorship, guidance, and encouragement.

    If you want to develop unmatched mental toughness, you need to understand that you don’t have to go it alone. Even the toughest Navy Seals have a team backing them up.

    Find a Mentor or Committee of Mentors

    The benefits of having a great mentor are far too many to list, but to boil it down to the basics, a mentor is someone who will help show you the path to success, discover your greatest strengths, spot and overcome your blind spots, and work through your weaknesses.

    If you’re struggling to deal with your internal negativity or with finding your purpose, talk it through with a mentor. Sometimes we lose the forest for the trees, and a mentor can help us take a step back and see the bigger picture.

    Here’s how to find the right mentor for yourself: How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed

    Recruit Some Cheerleaders

    If you want to stay strong, it never hurts to have a group of personal cheerleaders to help you successfully complete your goals. Unlike mentors who are going to jump in and help you address your problems, a group of cheerleaders will help keep your spirits up.

    Even if you have a strong why and a positive mindset, it’s nearly impossible to maintain a positive attitude 100% of the time. It doesn’t make you weak to need some help from time to time. Having a group of people cheering you on will make all the difference in the world.

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    As you work towards your goals, tell a few close friends about what you’re doing, and when things get tough, tell them about it. When they give you the pep talk you need, don’t resist their positivity or counter it with your self-limiting beliefs.

    Allow their optimism to refill your energy and use that energy to press on.

    Form an Accountability Group

    Cheerleaders are great, but sometimes we need someone to give us the kick we need to keep going. You might have a strong why for running a marathon or losing 30 pounds, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy; and trying to force yourself to follow through is a sure way to tax your mental energy.

    Why not save some of your mental energy by forming an accountability group?

    Find a person or a few people who have similar goals, or at the very least, the need for an accountability partner. Then, form an agreement within the group to push each other every day.

    4. Learn to Pick Yourself up After Setbacks

    Building a strong mindset and developing mental toughness isn’t easy! Anyone who’s ever achieved massive success knows that obstacles, setbacks, and failure are inevitable, and you’re no different.

    As you work on your goals, you’re going to face many ups and downs, but this doesn’t mean that you don’t have mental toughness, willpower, or discipline.

    When you find yourself in a low spot, instead of giving up right away, ask yourself these questions:

    • “Am I being too hard on myself?”
    • “Are negative thoughts distorting my view?”
    • “What’s the positive side of this setback/obstacle/failure?”
    • “Why was this goal important to me? What was my purpose?”
    • “Is this goal still important to me?”
    • “Who can I ask for help? Who can mentor me or hold me accountable?”

    Asking yourself these questions is a great way to check in on your mindset. When we get lost in negative thinking or lose connection to our purpose, it’s far too easy to become discouraged.

    This article provides some useful tips to help you get back on track: How to Deal with Failure and Pick Yourself Back Up

    Tying It All Together

    A crucial part of developing mental toughness is learning to recognize negative tendencies and taking action to correct them early on with healthy habits. Developing mental toughness is not about eliminating weakness, but learning how to deal with it and overcome it.

    No one is perfect, but when we focus on the right things, we can develop a mental toughness worthy of life’s biggest challenges.

    More on Developing Mental Strength

    Featured photo credit: Zulmaury Saavedra via unsplash.com

    Reference

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