May 22

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Is there a shortcut to success?

By Ralph Varcoe

May 22, 2020

productivity hacks

2.8   Shortcuts to Success

Productivity hack no.24 from '60 Ways to Hurray! by Ralph Varcoe.


I have, on many occasions, collaborated with others putting together presentations for an event or two and, being a bit of a control freak, I prefer to drive the creation of the presentation deck. I’m pretty quick at it because I’ve used PowerPoint a lot. I’m not the quickest, and when there’s someone else who is as speedy as the Roadrunner, I’ll relinquish command and let them dazzle us.

When I’ve been a participant rather than the driver, and the person putting the deck together isn’t a speed freak, I find it quite frustrating, because it’s slower than it need be. I have no challenge with the content being created or how it looks. It’s just slow. This section of the book is all about driving efficiency so that you have more hours available in the day for the important stuff so you need to focus on how to get more out of these programs.

Here’s an example: There’s a text box that needs duplicating so the driver of the PowerPoint highlights it, moves their cursor to the menu bar, clicks on Edit, moves the cursor down to Copy, clicks it, then moves the cursor back to Edit in the menu, navigates to Paste and finally moves the duplicated text box into position. It doesn’t take more than about 10 seconds in total, but all these 10 seconds make up minutes that could have been spent getting on with the work. The speedy user will spend less than 2 seconds clicking Ctrl+C then Ctrl+V.

Every program has keyboard shortcuts. If you’re going to be using something regularly then try to learn the shortcuts as they will save you loads of time, and in doing so won’t break your concentration, enabling you to accomplish things a lot quicker.

True, it will take you time to learn them in the first place, but the investment is worth it. Soon enough the shortcuts become autopilots (habits) that you don’t even have to think about.

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Ralph Varcoe

About the author

For over 20 years, Ralph has run sales and marketing teams across large enterprises and smaller start-ups, at companies such as Orange, Tata Communications, Virgin Media, Spirit Ai and others. He brings a wealth of experience in personal and professional development with a laser focus on enabling people to achieve more than they thought possible. He's a published author and musician with a passion for creating - be that change, the right solution, exciting campaigns, the right environment for customers to succeed, or podcasts, videos and written content.

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