The Mouse Trap
First of all, I would like to point out that this is not a blog about Tom and Jerry. This blog is about the leveraging the Keyboard. The Keyboard is a Superhero which most of us use but never use to its full potential. It’s power? It can control time. Now, what do I mean by this? Well…
This blog is dedicated to a mentor of mine Devinder Sigh who as a Junior Developer took me under his wing and showed me how leveraging the Keyboard I could save hours coding.Dedication
Before you dive in, I should say from the onset that is a blog coming from a Windows User (sorry to you Linux/Mac lovers) but I guess you can read on just when and when I reference keys like using the Windows key you can just replace it with the alt-tab etc…
What I mean is that you can save so much time in your day to day by leveraging the use of the keyboard. Imagine typing by using a mouse i.e. you have an on-screen keyboard and you drag the mouse and have to c…l…i…c…k…[space bar]…e…a…c…h…[space bar]…c…h…a…r…a…c…t…e…r the dots illustrating how convoluted using the mouse can be, likewise some of the things you use the mouse can be easily avoided.
A thought experiment: I want you to think about and keep a note of the most common things that you use the mouse for, it can be at work, school or at home and then ask yourself is there a keyboard shortcut for this? Take a look at the challenges below.
A challenge: Take a note of the 5 most common uses you have for your mouse whether that is copy and paste (CTRL C + CTRL V) or locking your screen (Windows Key + L) and try to use the keyboard instead, it will make a difference in your day to day when you can save time on common tasks that you perform. A helpful tip whenever you right-click or look at a menu to click on something; usually on the right-hand side, the command is right there even on a Mac.
A super challenge: Now I’ve tried this myself and the first time I tried it; it took some adjustments, so I am expecting the same. For 24 hours put away the mouse, or just use it when there is no other option, you may want to do this at home, you cannot site this blog post as a reason why you were less productive arguing that because there is a learning curve to this which will benefit you in the long run (even doe this is true).
Whilst this blog is not a glossary of all things keyboard shortcuts, I did want to list a top 5 personal shortcuts which let me leverage time (except for the two examples in the thought experiment section).
- Windows Key + E – This is to open Window’s file explore
- CTRL + Tab – This allows you to navigate between tabs
- Windows key + Arrow keys – This allows you to move the current Window
- Home/End Keys – Moves the cursor to the beginning and end of a line
- Delete Key – Works by removing the subsequent characters as oppose to the previous characters which the normal backspace
I would encourage you to create a fact sheet document of your common shortcuts and refer back to this sheet until it sticks and perhaps after you feel more comfortable you may want to test yourself with the Super challenge above.
There you have it the unsung hero of our day to day, this blog post hopes to get you thinking of placing a structure around a skill like operating a keyboard to get the best and consistence use of it. Let us know how you get on. Want something more? Part two? Reach out to us via the contact page we are big on feedback and always strive to improve.