How To Gain Hours of Productivity Every Month

Being productive is a large part of a developers success. The more productive we are, the more we accomplish. The more we are able to accomplish, the more bargaining power we have in the equation of dictating how our lives unfold as developers.

Personally, I am always looking for a way to boost my productivity through efficiency. If I am presented with a task that I need to accomplish more than once, I try to automate it. If I am performing a task in large quantities that can't be automated, I look for a way to perform that task more efficiently.

One such efficiency that I see overlooked time and time again, is the use of keyboard shortcuts. Let me say this and let me say it loud...

Every developer should invest the time to learn keyboard shortcuts in the IDE/Editor of their choice.

All other things being equal, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage when compared to those who use keyboard shortcuts.

Let's Run Some Quick Numbers

For the past few weeks, I have taken a critical eye when viewing others work inside Visual Studio. More specifically, trying to recognize the length in which it takes someone to copy a line of text and paste it more than 5 lines in either direction of the line they copied it from.

On average, I was seeing people take 4 seconds to complete this action using a mouse. I can complete the same action in under a second with keyboard shortcuts.

Mouse

  • 4 second * 100 actions a day / 60 seconds in an hour=6.67 minutes a day
  • 6.67 minutes a day * 5 days a week=33.3 minutes a week
  • 4 weeks in a month * 33.3 minutes a week=133.2 minutes a month
  • 133.2 minutes a month / 60 minutes an hour=2.2 hours a month

Shortcuts

  • 1 second * 100 actions a day / 60 seconds in an hour=1.67 minutes a day
  • 1.67 minutes a day * 5 days a week=8.3 minutes a week
  • 4 weeks in a month * 8.3 minutes a week=33.2 minutes a month
  • 33.2 minutes a month / 60 minutes an hour=0.56 hours a month

The above results in 2.2 hours a month when using a mouse versus 0.56 hours a month when using keyboard shortcuts. That is a savings of 1.64 hours a month.

1.64 hours in savings a month with one keyboard shortcut!

Imagine the additional time you can save learning more.

5 Essential Visual Studio Shortcuts

The following are 5 essential Visual Studio shortcuts that I think every developer using Visual Studio should know.

  • end - Jump to the end of a line.
  • home - Jump to the start of a line.
  • shift+end - Highlight everything in the line, to the right of the cursor.
  • shift+home - Highlight everything in the line, to the left of the cursor.
  • ctrl+arrow-left or ctrl+arrow-right - Jump to next logic character set in a line.

As a bonus, these shortcuts are for the most part a standard in all editors.

Also, head over to http://visualstudioshortcuts.com/2015/ for a complete list of keyboards shortcuts you can use to start being more productive.

Be sure to let me know what your favorite shortcuts are in the comments below.