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Published on November 2, 2018

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 July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

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