Most Mac users are pretty savvy. However, there’s always room for improvement. And if you want to maximize productivity, it helps to understand some of the different tricks and hacks that are available.
Try These 4 Mac Productivity Tips
For as many hours as you use your Mac each day, it makes sense to learn how to really use it. Here are a few productivity tips that will save you time and mental bandwidth:
1. Clean Up the Clutter
Get rid of the clutter! Seriously, you need to do away with all of those stray files and folders on your desktop background. Most of them rarely get used, but they’re constantly competing for your attention. Whether you realize it or not, every file and folder clamors for your mental processing power and limits your ability to zero in on whatever task you’re trying to complete at the moment.
Your desktop should be used as a temporary folder and nothing more. Treat it like a 24-hour holding ground. Anything that’s still on the desktop after a day should be sent to the trash can or filed away in a folder.
2. Optimize for Multiple Displays
There are times when you have no choice but to work with one screen, but whenever possible, you should use a multiple display setup. This gives you more space and requires less minimizing and expanding windows in the middle of a task.
Plus, if you want multiple screens when on the go, you can always use Apple Sidecar. This excellent feature allows you to use an iPad as a second screen for your MacBook. Plus, you can even connect wirelessly via Bluetooth. And as long as you stay within a 10-meter range, the two screens will communicate with one another.
3. Learn These Keyboard Shortcuts
It can take some time to learn new keyboard shortcuts, but they can save some valuable time, especially when it comes to repetitive tasks that you do multiple times per day. Here are a few keyboard shortcuts specifically designed to promote productivity:
- Command+Space: Search for anything on your computer (or even the internet) by pulling up the Spotlight feature.
- Command+X,C,V: Why waste time right-clicking to cut, copy, or paste? With these keyboard shortcuts, you can move text around quickly and effortlessly.
- Command+Tab: If you have multiple windows open, clicking back and forth between various apps gets tedious. Use this shortcut to automatically transition between apps with minimal effort.
Want more shortcuts? Mac lets you create your own so that you can optimize your system according to your own workflow preferences. Just go to System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > App Shortcuts.
4. Use These Built-In macOS Features
In addition to keyboard shortcuts, macOS has some pretty neat built-in features that can be used to increase daily productivity and output. Here are a few that you might be interested in:
- Go to your system settings and remove all non-urgent notifications. This prevents those annoying pop-ups that frustrate you and slow down more important processes. (You can either turn off all notifications with one click or remove them on an app by app basis.)
- The Mac Time Machine feature is awesome. It allows you to backup all of your work on an ongoing basis, which averts so many potential disasters. (It also allows you to set up a new Mac relatively effortlessly.) The key is to invest in a good external hard drive, which doesn’t have to be expensive.
A Word on Productivity
Perhaps you’ve read through all of the tips highlighted in this article and think to yourself, “Yeah, but what good is saving three seconds by using a keyboard shortcut?” Or maybe you’re asking, “Why would I take the time to set up multiple displays when I can just minimize windows?”
The best answer is that it comes down to compounding repetition. Saving three seconds isn’t meaningful in the moment. But if you save three seconds every time you perform a task – and you perform the task 20 times per day – that’s one minute per day. Still doesn’t sound like a lot? Well, that’s 365 minutes per year, or six hours.
Now think about how many different tasks you can streamline like this. Five? Ten? Fifteen? Suddenly you’re saving hours of time every single week – dozens or even hundreds of hours per year.
This is the beauty of embracing productivity tips and prioritizing efficiency. You might not move the needle in isolation, but you’ll see some profound gains over the long-term.