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keyboard shortcuts, brainscape, productivityThis is Week 37 of a Year of Living Productively

This week I tested whether using computer shortcuts could help me get more done. I used the keyboard shortcuts app, added a browser extension, and started using a WordPress plugin to save time. Scroll to the bottom of last week’s post for details.

How Computer Shortcuts Saved My Sanity This Week

  • Saved me from stupid time wasters. The Chrome extension to email webpages saved me lots of time. I do this on Chrome all the time on my phone, yet was copying and pasting URLs I wanted to email on my desktop. Dumb. I’ve used the email extension many times since adding it. The other dumb waste of time I was saved from was approving pings back to my own blog. I knew I was being ridiculous to put up with that, but had never taken the time to get a plugin that stopped self-pinging.
  • Serious fun. I recognized quite a while ago that productivity is a hobby for me. Learning new ways to save time on the computer is not only fun, but addicting! I really love the Brainscape app and am looking forward to mastering all the shortcuts.

How Computer Shortcuts Made Me Crazy This Week

  • Hard to break old habits. It’s been a challenge not to reach for the mouse as much. It’s kind of like changing to a car with a new location for shifting with lots of wasted movements.
  • Not all time savers yet. Because I keep reaching for the mouse, some time savers really aren’t. Opening a new tab with Control/Command T for example, takes more time for me than clicking the new tab button on Chrome because I have to stop and think. My hand automatically goes to the mouse.
  • Take time to find. The shortcuts that will save me the most time take time to research. For example, I had to find a new plugin to turn off self-pings because the old one hadn’t been updated. As with most hacks, you have to take time to save it.

Did Computer Shortcuts Help Me Get More Done?

Yes! The real benefits will take time to be realized, however. I need more time to change my mouse-loving ways and to find the right time savers for the way I work.


While I use the browser tab closing and a few other common keystrokes, I have to admit I haven’t continued to add keystroke habits to save time. That is probably because it takes time to create the habits.


productivity, download, interruptions, form, printable

The Productivity Approach I’ll Be Using for Week 38

This week I’ll be testing an interruptions log. By recording the when, who, and what of the interruptions to my work, I can prevent unnecessary interruptions. Okay, I can hear you laughing. I might be able to prevent some interruptions. Maybe.

The concept. Many interruptions we have to our work flow are internal and can be prevented by eliminating distractions like the phone, alerts, and websites. Internal interruptions can also be prevented by having systems in place for coping with them — a list of things to check out later, a Pomodoro timer, using Do it Tomorrow, etc.

Other interruptions occur because we haven’t scheduled focus work at the right times, haven’t discussed them with family or co-workers, or haven’t established boundaries (like phone being on Do Not Disturb or closing the office door).

Recovering from interruptions wastes valuable time.

If you’d like to join me this week, here’s what you do. Read this Mind Tools article and download the free form for tracking your interruptions. Then implement the ways to handle interruptions based on what you learn.

To see if the Interrupters Log worked for me, click here.

Photo Credit

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Here are the links to the productivity hacks I’ve tried so far:

A Year of Living Productively

Week 1: Paper To-Do List

Week 2: Covey’s Quadrants

Week 3: Routines

Week 4: Paper Planner

Week 5: SMEMA

Week 6: Guilt Hour

Week 7: Envision Ideal Day

Week 8: Do it Tomorrow

Week 9: Pomodoro

Week 10: Time Warrior

Week 11: Scheduling

Week 12: The Repeat Test

Week 13: Personal Kanban

Week 14: Eat That Frog

Week 15: Vacation

Week 16: David Seah’s 7:15AM Ritual

Week 17: Another Simple and Effective Method

Week 18: Daily/Weekly/Monthly To-Do List

Week 19: Ultimate Time Management System

Week 20: Getting Things Done

Week 21: Time Blocking

Week 22: Morning Ritual

Week 23: Beat the Week

Week 24: Productivity Ritual

Week 25: Make it Happen in 10 Minutes

Week 26: Focus & Relief List

Week 27: Accountability Chart

Week 28: Limiting Choices

Week 29: Zen to Done

Week 30: Heatmapping

Week 31: Gamification

Week 32: The 12 Week Year

Week 33: David Seah’s Ten for Ten

Week 34: David Seah’s Emergent Task Planner

Week 35: Steve Kamb’s Do It Now

Week 36: Rising Early