Your How-To Guide For Balancing Art Time With Everything Else

By Nicole Tinkham


If your head is spinning with all the things that you want to and have to do on a daily basis, I can totally relate. It’s tough to manage a family, the bills, a job, other responsibilities, and also time for yourself (like your art time). Sometimes it just doesn’t feel like there’s enough time in the day to get it all done, right? The good news is that managing your art time with everything else that’s going on is quite simple. It will take some organizing, prioritizing, planning and dedication but it’s certainly achievable. If I can make it all work in my life, I’m confident that you can too. Read on for your how-to guide for balancing art time with everything else.

1.    Have dedicated art space

The first thing you must do is separate your art space from your family or other space at home. This can be very difficult for the artist and I understand that but there’s a reason for it. As artists, we can easily get lost in our artwork. If there are art supplies throughout the house you’ll be tempted to work on your art and put other important things off. Or if you’re stressed out because you don’t have time for your art, it’s a constant reminder of what you’re not doing which can make you feel worse.

By keeping your art space separate, you won’t feel so scattered and you’ll actually be able to focus on one thing at a time. So how in the world are you supposed to keep your art stuff together and separate from everything else in your house?? I have a few suggestions..

First thing’s first, you must get organized. Gather similar supplies (all watercolor supplies, for example) and store them together. Donate anything you never use. Invest in or create the perfect storage solutions for your supplies and save space wherever you can. If you have an extra bedroom or basement area, this is perfect for your separate art room. If you do not have a separate room, you could put up a screen or room divider to create your own little space.

One thing you can’t control is the creative ideas that flow in at the most random moments. These ideas are good though! Carry a journal with you everywhere and jot down those ideas as they come. That way you’ll get the idea down on paper and out of your mind so you can move your focus onto other things.

2.    Set your priorities

Once your space is organized it’s time to set your priorities. Many people skip over this step when getting started in something new and are disappointed when they still aren’t happy. Sometimes adding more art time to your life can hurt you if you aren’t allowing enough time for other things that you care about.

For example, if you put family as your main priority and art as your secondary, this means your family comes first. Always. If you chose art over a family birthday party, you may not be very happy with your decision because you’re missing out on something important.

Take a look at every area of your life (career, hobbies, family, relationships, health, faith, and finances) and rank them in order of their importance to you. If an opportunity comes up that takes you away from your main priority it may not be ideal for you to go after. Prioritizing will help you in the next step, blocking time in your schedule to actually get more accomplished.

3.    Block time in your calendar

Whether you’re an organized person or not, you need to invest in a good planner! If you take a look at your calendar, you’ll discover a lot of time in your day. When you’re blocking time to do certain things, understand that this scheduled time will be focused and productive time to really get things done.

Start with your main priority and block out time for those things first. If your main priority is family, you may block time in for a family party or a planned dinner out. Move onto the next priority which may be your full time job. Block out the time you will be busy with that. Then move onto the next thing and keep going until your calendar is full (or nearly full – you’ll want to keep some time open to relax).

Tip: Color code your blocks of time to differentiate your priorities. Family events are green for example while art time is purple.

When planning your calendar, it’s a good idea to leave a little buffer room between activities and leave some down time to just relax! Block your time consistently every single week. Of course things will come up and alter your schedule but having an idea of how your week looks will really help keep your priorities in line.

4.    Have a chat with your friends and family

You are now on a mission. You will get more done and you’ll start having focused time in the areas that mean the most to you. This is huge! It’s time to sit down with the people closest to you and let them know your plan. Keeping them in the dark about what’s going on could confuse them (why is she locking herself in the art room from 6-7:30 pm and not talking to anyone?). Explain your goals and what you hope to accomplish with them. Make it clear what’s important to you and share your calendar with them so they know not to distract you during your art time or whatever else you have scheduled.

I hear from artists all the time who describe their art space and life as “organized chaos”. I completely understand how that works out for you because I can be the same way. However, when prioritizing my schedule and finding time for all the things I want to do, I find it very helpful to stay at least somewhat organized. Of course you don’t have to be perfect but when it comes to your planner, have things in order to keep you on track. That’s the biggest way I’ve seen improvement in my productivity.

I would love to know, will you be using these steps to balance your art time with all the other things you do? I can’t wait to hear how it goes!

How To Take A Mental Break For A Stress-Free Day

By Nicole Tinkham

How To Take A Mental Break For A Stress-Free Day

So many of our blogs and tips we post on Facebook mention taking breaks when needed to increase your productivity. Stepping away from a project, taking a walk, or switching your focus are all great ways to take breaks throughout your day but every once in awhile you need to completely shut off your brain. Sometimes this can be tough to do especially if you have a long to-do list and a ton of things that need to get done. Even if you are taking your focus away from the project at hand, chances are you’re still thinking about it when you take your breaks. We’ll show you how to completely switch off your mind so you can take a mental break from life for a stress-free day.

1.    Visualize Relaxation
We know you’re creative and used to using your imagination so this activity should come easy to you. Take at least 5 minutes to leave your work area, sit somewhere quiet, and visualize whatever it is that relaxes you. Picture yourself in a sunny field with the breeze blowing through your hair. Or you’re on an empty beach listening to the waves crash in. Really focus on this relaxing state and ignore your actual surroundings. Allow yourself to get lost for a moment and when you come back to reality, you should feel totally refreshed.

2.    Listen to Relaxing Music
Give your typical music (or whatever you’re used to listening to throughout the day) a break and plug into some relaxing audio. We’re talking about nature’s music, like rain falling or birds chirping. As with visualizing yourself relaxing, listening to relaxing music will allow you to escape from the real world allowing you to leave your stress and worries behind. Close your eyes and take slow, deep breaths to totally calm your mind. We recommend using Spotify, a free app to find relaxing audio.

3.    Take a Nap
Not only does taking a nap feel incredible but it’s also shown to boost energy, productivity and creativity. Plus when you’re napping, you’re not thinking about he stresses of the day. Think you don’t have time to nap? All you really need is a 25-30 minute refresher. If you don’t work from home, taking a nap may be difficult to do during the day. If that’s the case, keep this tip in mind for the weekends. We know how hectic they can be and taking just a little bit of time to catch some zzz’s could be just the thing your body needs to power through the rest of the day and weekend.

4.    Practice Yoga
Meditation and yoga are both proven ways to relieve stress. Either one of these mindful activities will work but we really like yoga since it gets the body moving. Not only will yoga help clear your mind but it will also improve your flexibility and your performance in other physical exercises you may do. Whether you’re meditating or practicing yoga, be sure to take deep breaths to really get yourself relaxed. And if you’re short on time a short 10 minute session can get the job done!

5.    Seclude Yourself
Whether you love being around other people or it’s just not your cup of tea, sometimes you just need to be by yourself. With social media and drama in the office or with friends, you need to seclude yourself every once in awhile in order to hear yourself think (or not think). Spend some quality time with the most important person in your life, you! Turn off your phone and shut down your computer and tablet. This will help you get rid of all that negativity that’s out there. For now, you’re in your own little world.

6.    Spend Time in Nature
We spend a lot of time talking about the importance of being out in nature especially to get out of a creative rut. It’s definitely our favorite way to escape the stresses of our busy lives. Being out in nature puts things into perspective. We rarely have time to enjoy this beautiful Earth we live on and that’s sad! Get out there and feel the grass and dirt beneath your feet. Soak in the scenery and just be present in the moment. Make sure you have plenty of time to do this as it’s so easy to lose track of time when you’re out there. But maybe that’s the goal in the first place 🙂

When reading over this list, we realize that you may not think you need to be doing these things. You might believe that it’s just a waste of time especially when you have so much on your plate right now. Listen up! It may sound crazy but taking just a few short breaks throughout your day or spending a little more time at some point during the week to clear your head, relax, and de-stress will actually increase your productivity. So by taking these breaks you’ll actually get more done than not taking a break at all. Of course we don’t expect you to do all 6 things on this list but try a few out over the next couple weeks and see what works best for you. This could seriously change your life!

What helps you to relax?? COMMENT below with your top tricks!

7 Ways To Make More Time For Art

By Nicole Tinkham

7 Ways To Make More Time For Art

Are there ever enough hours in the day? Chances are, you either work all day long with little time to get anything done once you get home, or you’re retired with even more work to do around the house. The work just never seems to end! One thing our artist friends have been saying they wish they had more of is time for their art. So instead of wanting the best art supplies out there (which would also be nice) they just want more time to create. Unfortunately, time is something we’re unable to give away. But we can help you work a little smarter and prioritize your time. Here are 7 ways to make more time for art and how to get started today. Grab a pen, paper, and your calendar because we’ll be taking action right away!

1.    Make it a priority

What you care most about comes first in your life, right? Maybe your full-time job comes first at the moment because that’s how you pay for important things like art supplies. Your family is probably also high on the priority list. That makes sense. But what are your priorities other than work and family? What do you do on your down time (when you’re able to get some)? We know it feels like you don’t have much spare time but there has to be some time leftover in the day. If what goes on your priority list gets done, why not put art on that list? It doesn’t matter if you have time for it or not. If it’s important to you, you’ll make time for it

Do this now: Grab your notebook and write down your top priorities, including art. Now organize your list by most important. See where art falls on that list and it’ll tell you how much of your time you should be dedicating to it.

2.    Schedule it!

Once you’ve made art a priority and you’re dedicated to making more time for it in your life, it’s time to schedule it. Don’t just say you’ll make time for it in the imaginary calendar in your head. Actually write it down on a calendar or in your phone. Act as if it’s an important business meeting you must attend. Remember, it IS important. It’s on your priority list!

Do this now: Grab a calendar, planner, or even a blank notebook. Plan when you’ll work on your art this week and how long you’ll work on it. Even if it’s only 2 hours a week, plan it out! And make sure not to schedule anything else in those time frames.

3.    Bring an art journal with you everywhere

One of our favorite things to do is squeeze in some art every chance we get. This may mean doing a quick sketch while on the bus or waiting in the doctor’s office. If you can’t fit blocks of creative time into your busy schedule, fit it in wherever you can. All it takes is a few minutes to draw a doodle, sketch, or jot down some ideas. But those few minutes add up to a lot of practice time!

Do this now: Invest in a small sketchbook and quality pens/pencils that you can take on the go. Finding a sketchbook that’s easy to carry around with you is key. Too bulky, and you’ll simply leave it at home.

4.    Attend an art workshop

There’s a magical thing that happens when you COMMIT to something (and pay for it). You actually do it! If you sign up for an art workshop, most likely you’ll pay ahead of time to save your spot, invite a friend to join you, write it down in your calendar, buy all the supplies needed for it, and mentally prepare yourself for that day. You are expected to attend the event and you will end up doing everything in your power to make it happen.

Do this now: Check out our list of art workshops on The Artist’s Corner and commit to one today! (Give us a call at 941-747-2995 to sign up)

5.    Make artsy friends

The people you surround yourself with will shape your habits. You’ll start to pick certain things up from them. So if you spend time with some artsy people, you’ll be more likely to spend more time doing art since that’s what they do. Plus, artsy friends are just more fun to hang out with 🙂

Do this now: Check out your local art clubs, events, meet ups, and groups. Start going to these things and meet new people. Then plan to do art together! It can be nerve-wracking meeting new people but keep an open mind. We’re sure you’ll find someone who you connect with.

6.    What can you do without?

You’re busy, we get it. We also get that life gets the best of us sometimes. There are days when you can’t think of anything better than coming home and watching your favorite TV show. But let’s go back to our priorities for a moment. Is TV time high on your list? If it’s not, replace that TV show with art. Stop and think, what can you do without?

Do this now: Grab your pen and paper again and now make a list of things you can eliminate from your life. Do you spend too much time on Facebook? Too much time glued to the TV? These could be your new times to create. Always remember your priorities when taking things out of your schedule and consider what’s most important to you.

7.    Set deadlines and goals

Maybe you just create for yourself for fun and that’s perfectly fine. Even if you don’t have set deadlines for your art projects, set them for yourself anyway. This will drive you to work on your art more often in order to reach your deadline. Always look at the big picture. Think about what you want to accomplish in the next year and set your deadlines accordingly.

Do this now: Write down a big goal you have for yourself this year. Break that goal down into smaller more achievable tasks and put those in your calendar. Next step is actually taking action on them!

Time is something totally out of our control. It ticks away whether we’re ready for it or not. There’s no pause button or chance to slow down. But one thing you can control is how you spend your time. Are you spending time doing something you’re passionate about? Are your priorities in line? Take some time over the next few days and ask yourself if you’re truly happy. Do you get excited every morning when your alarm rings or are you dreading all the stuff you have to get done? We strongly believe that by adding just a little bit of art into your busy schedule can make a huge difference in your life. Implement these 7 ways to make more time for art and let us know if these tips are helpful. COMMENT below with how this is helping you!

13 Ways to fight procrastination today

By Nicole Tinkham

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When we asked our Facebook friends what they struggle with most as an artist, the overwhelming answer happened to be procrastination. It seems that many artists either have too many ideas they’d like to pursue and just don’t know where to begin or they draw a blank when it comes to a particular project. In these cases, it’s common to start working on something else and ignore what you should be working on. At the end of the day it feels like you spent a lot of time getting nothing done. What a waste of time! Even if you aren’t an artist, we’re sure you can relate. Quit spending time doing the things that aren’t helping you. Here are 13 ways you can fight procrastination and get more productive today.
1.    Choose the most important thing on your to-do list. We suggest creating a to-do list of all the things you hope to get done in a day. Choose the top 3 most important things you MUST get done and put a star next to them. Out of those 3, choose the #1 most important thing and highlight it. This is what you need to work on FIRST! Everything else on the list can wait for later or tomorrow.

2.    Set uninterrupted focus time. The best way to get things done is to eliminate all other distractions. This means your phone should be shut off or on silent. Everyone around you knows you are in the zone and not to bother you. Have only the task at hand in front of you. Don’t start working on a million other things during your uninterrupted time. Get completely focused on that one important task!

3.    Track how long you’re spending on each task. Set a timer when you begin and stop it when you’re finished. If the time spent on the task seems way too long it’s time to reevaluate your focused time. Did any distractions pop up? Did you start working on something else? Did you get a phone call halfway in? Timing your focus sessions will open your eyes as to what you’re really spending your time on and will allow you to improve.

4.    Prep for success. If you know your messy art room will be a huge distraction for you, spend some time the night before de-cluttering it. Don’t spend too much time on this though. Get in, straighten up, and get out. If there are certain supplies you need for your project, get those ahead of time too. There will be no messing around during your focused time!

5.    Break down large projects into smaller tasks. Sometimes one huge project just seems impossible. But if you break that project down into small projects it’s much more manageable and you’ll feel more comfortable tackling it.

6.    Do the most important work during your peak time of day. If you’re a morning person, plan your focused time first thing in the AM. If you’re a night owl, wait to start your project until creativity strikes.

7.    Take a walk. If you sit down and just can’t seem to get anything done, you’re drawing a blank, and there’s no creative flow, it may be time to clear your mind. Try taking a SHORT (emphasis on short) walk and you should come back to your project refreshed and focused.

8.    Find new ways to challenge yourself. If you’re constantly doing the same things over and over again, you’ll bore yourself making it much more difficult to get in the creative zone and be productive. When things get dull challenge yourself by doing something outside your comfort zone. Work with a medium you’re not used to, try out a new technique, or attend an art workshop.

9.    Take breaks when needed. They say the ideal length of focused, productive time is 45 minutes. It’s the perfect amount of time to get in the zone but longer amounts of time can decrease your productivity. Every 45 minutes simply walk away from your project. Fix your mind on something else temporarily and get right back into it. These little breaks should be about 15 minutes long.

10.    Set deadlines for yourself. This will encourage you to push through until it’s done! Also make your goals and deadlines public. Tell a friend about them to hold you accountable.

11.    Get plenty of sleep. It’s so important in your energy and productivity levels. If you don’t sleep well at night (we know all the creative ideas start popping up when you’re trying to sleep), take a mini nap during the day. This will leave you refreshed and ready to go.

12.    Remember why completing this task is important. When things get difficult and you feel like giving up altogether, remember why you started. There had to have been a good reason behind it. Is it really worth giving up at this point?

13.    Don’t be so hard on yourself. It takes time to form any habit just like it takes time and practice to learn a new art technique. The more you prioritize and get focused on one task at a time, the easier and better you’ll get at it. Keep on going. You CAN fight procrastination.

Don’t let procrastination ruin your success! This list may seem overwhelming but just take it one day at a time. Here’s where you need to start today. First of all, determine the most important thing that needs to get done. Get rid of all distractions, and get to work on it immediately. Stay focused, only taking short mini breaks when needed. That’s it! Continue to use this list and put it into action every day to help you fight procrastination for good.

Tell us, has this blog helped you get more done? Leave a comment below with your experience 🙂

10 Ways to get more art into your life

By Nicole Tinkham

10 Ways to get more art into your life

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that most of us are short on time, so when it comes to personal hobbies, they tend to get pushed aside. This is particularly true for those who work full time. Sometimes, it’s nearly impossible to get any quiet time after leaving the office. You rush home after work, run a few errands along the way, cook dinner and start to get ready for bed. So, starting a new creative project is probably the last thing on your mind. Can you relate?

Get ready because we’re about to get brutally honest. Art is your life and it’s important that you do it. It’s about time you make it a priority. You are no longer going to put it aside. There are NO EXCUSES from this day forward. You will fit art into your schedule no matter how busy you are and you will create art every single day. Make the promise to yourself right now that you will do everything you can to bring art back into your life by doing the following 10 things.

1.    Make a list of everything that can be cut from your daily routine that isn’t making any improvements in your life. This could be the 10 minutes of Facebook on your lunch break, the half hour of TV time every evening, reading mindless magazines in waiting rooms, or twiddling your thumbs on the bus. List at least 3 things that you would be willing to give up for the sake of your art.

2.    Use that extra time to take a walk. Clear your mind, notice your surroundings, and be inspired. Take a notebook or sketchbook along with you and jot down anything that comes to mind. This will get you in the creative mindset.

3.    Your daily task: JOURNAL. Do it every single day. It doesn’t matter if it’s a quick sketch or a complete masterpiece. It could even be something written like a poem or short story. Or you can use it as a diary and talk about your personal experiences. All of these are different ways to be creative and you don’t even have to be an artist to do them. Got 5 minutes? That’s all it takes to get an idea on paper!

4.    Read something that inspires you. Instead of reading mindless magazines pick up a really good book or check out art blogs that get you thinking and spark your creativity.

5.    Act like a kid every once in awhile. You still have to be a responsible adult (sometimes) but there’s also a time to be a little goofy and just have fun.  Children have this carefree mindset that we often lose when we grow up and have new responsibilities. Ever hear the quote “Every child is an artist. The problem is staying an artist when you grow up” by Picasso? To get back into that creative mode we must let go and be a kid again!

6.    Repeat after us: “I AM an artist”. Think of yourself first as an artist and second as your profession. Practice saying “I’m an artist who does accounting” instead of the other way around. Never think you’re not good enough. You are! Stop doubting yourself and own up to your REAL title as an artist.

7.    Figure out what you’re afraid of. If you’ve been putting off your art for a seriously long time, chances are there’s something holding you back. In order to move forward, you must determine what it is. We’ve found that many artists have a fear of not being perfect. Do you know how silly that is? The only way you can improve your skill is to give it a try and do it! Figure out the real reason why you haven’t made art a priority and ask yourself what the worst could happen if you just went for it.

8.    Take your art seriously. Whether you’re selling your art for profit, have your art hung in galleries, or just dabble on the weekends it’s important to take it seriously. You ARE a real artist (see and practice #6). Now it’s time to live up to it.

9.    Work in public. You’ve got to work on your art any chance you can get and sometimes that just happens to be in public. Luckily there are many ways to get creative when on the bus, in the Dr.’s office, in the office break room, or wherever you find yourself throughout the day. Here are some artsy things you can do when away from home.

•    Art journal
•    Knitting/crochet
•    Art apps on your phone
•    Photography
•    Writing

10.    Let creativity take over your life. Once you get rolling with your creativity, don’t fight it! The more you use your creative mind, the more the ideas will come to you. Always carry either a notebook, sketchbook, or smartphone with you at all times to jot down your ideas!

Consider this your creative bootcamp. Just like getting in shape, people often push their creative projects to the side when life gets busy. We’re here to motivate you because we know you can do it. We know how powerful unleashing your creative ideas can be. So what will you start doing from now on? You’ll be creative every single day, you’ll welcome new creative ideas and jot them in your idea journal which you will carry with you everywhere, you’ll be proud of your skills no matter where you’re at artistically, and you’ll make the time to do all of it regardless of your busy lifestyle. And don’t think we won’t check in with you every once in awhile to make sure you’re on track 🙂

Head over to our Facebook page and let us know how you’re adding more art into your life!

10 Ways to make the most out of your morning commute

By Nicole Tinkham


Many people find that the worst part of the day is surprisingly the commute to work, not the actual workday itself. It doesn’t matter how you get there or how long it takes, morning traffic is enough to drive you insane. A normal five minute drive could take 20 minutes depending on what time you leave the house. How crazy is that? This kind of frustration can set the mood for the entire day. Instead of letting backed up traffic or the boring bus ride predict how to rest of the day will go, check out these 10 ways to be productive so you can have a happier morning and day.

1.    Podcasts
Ever want to learn a new language or skill but feel like you have no time to get it done? There are podcasts on just about any subject matter you can think of and your morning commute is the perfect opportunity to fit it into your schedule. Listen to it in the car or use your ear buds on the bus or train.

2.    Reading (audio if driving)
Reading is another activity that busy professionals rarely have time for (so they think). Whatever you do, DO NOT read books while driving! Leave that to the bus and train riders. An alternative you can try out are audio books. You have a choice- you can listen to boring morning radio or you can listen to an engaging book. What do you think is the best use of your time? For those that are able to read on the commute, a Kindle will become your best friend. Or you can always use your oh so versatile smartphone.

3.    Organize your inbox
A cluttered inbox leads to a chaotic start to your day. It seems like sifting through emails and sending responses takes up half the morning. This simple task can be done anywhere, even before you get to the office. Use your extra commute time to open up your email and get it organized so you can start your workday as soon as you arrive.

4.    Sing loudly for all to hear
There’s purpose behind this one, we promise! Turn up your favorite song (preferably in your car without any passengers) and sing your heart out. Singing boosts your endorphins which relieves stress. Less stress = better workday. You may also want to do this on your way home on stressful days as well.

5.    Make a mental gratitude list
The commute to work can be stressful whether you’re stuck in traffic or on a crowded bus. Take a deep breath and list off all the great things you have in life. The commute to work is unpleasant but it’s a small price to pay for all the other amazing things a job can bring.

6.    Make a to-do list
We always recommend starting the day with a to-do list. You can either make your list the day prior or the morning of. The important thing is to have an idea of what your day should look like. This will help you stay on track and meet your goals. Sure, unexpected tasks are bound to pop up but having structure will help you stay focused. We recommend getting a to-do list app on your phone so you can reference it at any time.

7.    Catch up with family and friends
Let us know if this sounds about right. You tell yourself you’ll give your family and friends a call once you get home from work when you can actually sit down and relax. Then all of a sudden you have a million more things on your plate with no time to take a breather. Next thing you know, it’s been months since you’ve talked to them last. Here’s what to do: Make those phone calls on the way to or from work. It’ll make your commute go much quicker and instantly put you in a better mood for the day.

8.    Meditate
If you’re the one doing the driving, we don’t recommend meditating. You can take a deep breath and work on clearing your mind but don’t take your eyes off the road! If however, you’re the passenger, close your eyes and completely clear your head. Say goodbye to all the stress, worry, doubt, and drama going on in your life. Putting yourself in a positive mood first thing in the morning will greatly improve your day.

9.    Exercise
Not everyone has the luxury of being able to bike or walk to work but if you can do it, why not? It saves on gas plus you can squeeze in your workout for the day. Another bonus is not having to deal with traffic. Just watch out for drivers when you’re crossing the street! You may want to take the back roads if possible.

10.    Play games
If nothing else on this list appeals to you, we’re sure you’ll be down for this one. Ever hear of the game Candy Crush or Words with Friends?  These aren’t just good (and addictive) time wasters. They actually challenge the brain so they aren’t a complete waste of your time. We do however recommend stopping once you get to work which is extremely difficult to do! 🙂

It’s obvious your time is valuable which is why it’s important to understand how to manage your time wisely and get in as much as you can during down times. You can also use these ideas when you’re waiting in the doctor’s office or anywhere else. Throughout the day ask yourself “Is this the best use of my time”? You’ll be surprised at how much you can get done in just a few minutes here and there.

How do YOU survive the dreaded morning commute? Let us know in the comments below or over on our Facebook page!

46 Keyboard Shortcuts that Actually Save you Time

By Nicole Tinkham

Do you have loads of extra time on your hands and don’t know what to do with it all? We didn’t think so. How do you feel about using keyboard shortcuts to save a little time? Your first thoughts may be #1: It doesn’t really save much time and #2: It’s too hard to memorize various shortcuts. First of all, using shortcuts DOES save time if you sit at a computer all day long. It may only be a few seconds but those seconds add up to create minutes and minutes into hours. Below you’ll find a lengthy list of shortcuts but they won’t all apply to you. For example, if you spend your day browsing the web, you’ll find the “browser” section most helpful. If you work in Word all day, check out the text editing shortcuts. There’s absolutely no need to memorize all of them. Pick and choose the ones that will help you out the MOST and start there. Once you become familiar with those few, add on more!

The Basics

Ctrl + X: Cut the selection and store it on the clipboard
Ctrl + C: Copy selection onto keyboard
Ctrl + V: Paste copied selection at cursor
Ctrl + Z: Undo the last thing you did
Ctrl + Y: Redo the last thing you did
Ctrl + A: Select all (in focused control or window)
Ctrl + P: Print
Shift + Delete: Delete an item permanently without putting it in the recycle bin


Windows + D: Displays the desktop
Windows + M: Minimizes all windows
Windows button: View application menu
Ctrl + Shift + Esc: View task manager
Alt + Tab: Switch between windows


Shift + Tab + Tab + Space: Shut down computer


Print Screen button: Copies the entire screen
Alt + Print Screen: Copies just the current window

Text Editing

Ctrl + Del: Deletes the whole word to the right of the cursor
Ctrl + Backspace: Deletes the whole word to the left of the cursor
Home button: Goes to the start of the line
End button: Goes to the end of the line
Ctrl + Home: Goes to the start of the document
Ctrl + End: Goes to the end of the document
Ctrl + <–: Goes to the previous word
Ctrl + –>: Goes to the next word
Ctrl + F: Use the Find function
Ctrl + B: Turns on Bold
Ctrl + I: Turns on Italic
Ctrl + U: Turns on Underline
Crtl + Shift + L: Makes selected text bulleted
Shift + Enter: Insert line break
Ctrl + K: Insert hyperlink


Alt + D: Go to address bar
Alt + <–: Go to previous location in history
Alt + –>: Go to next location in history
Alt + Home: Go to starting page (defined by user)
Ctrl + B: Show bookmarks
Ctrl + D: Add current page to bookmarks
F5: Refresh page
Ctrl + N: New browser window
Ctrl + T: New tab
Ctrl + W: Close tab
Ctrl + Tab: Go to next tab
Ctrl + Shift + Tab: Go to previous tab
Ctrl + (+): Zoom in
Ctrl + (-): Zoom out
F11: Full screen

The final question is what will YOU use your extra time for? You can send out a few emails. Take an extra minute to stretch out. Grab a cup of coffee. Seriously, tell us what you would do with a few extra minutes in your day. Comment below or connect with us on Facebook!