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The Art of Professional Shortcuts

By Dr. Rick Jetter

It took me years to remember and use “Ctrl C” and “Ctrl V” on my computer keyboard for copying and pasting stuff into my documents. I’m very proficient with a computer mouse and I am known as a race-car-like-right-clicker. It seems so rudimentary, but this quick shortcut helped me to paste text when I was stranded on an island without my typical, home, computer, a desktop arrangement to fall back on. And, no, doing work on a beach isn’t a professional shortcut, it is just sheer ridiculousness. My mind races even in the quietest, most serene places. So, I feel the need to jot down my ideas. That leads me to have Post-it Notes all over the place, scrap paper with scribbles all over it, and shards of index cards all over the place. This system certainly needs revamping, I know.

Some people think that professional shortcuts are a form of “cheating,” but we all know that the art of making shortcuts is something that can save loads of time if learning takes place and carrying out responsibilities are still completed with efficacy.

Shortcuts come in all shapes and sizes, all sorts of needs and desires. What you make for dinner tonight could save you time for what is next on your list to enjoy in life. Maybe even a simple recipe can save you loads of time and in this case, I urge you to not bother boiling the pasta tonight, but rather try this:

We are all working extremely hard, indeed. You have "to-do" lists and set priorities over other tasks each day. "You need to create some balance in your life," everyone tells you, but the clock can, realistically, be both friend and foe. We struggle to get stuff done and when we don’t, we beat ourselves up for not completing the overscheduled “to-do” lists that we shoot ourselves in the foot by creating, in the first place. Our professional appetites are larger than our stomachs.

If helping one another to learn about some shortcuts can save our lives (not by asking you to now do more because you have more time, but to enjoy more in life because you have more time), then maybe balance is a positive by-product driven by the art of making professional shortcuts.

If I can share one more shortcut, then here it is: Chromebook Keyboard Hacks

But, now . . .

Can you share one shortcut with our audience? Can you make it a PD experience for your staff? When the message of health and wellness becomes second nature, maybe our realization of the basic, shortcut-ways-to-save-time will become the new discourse in our schools. Students and teachers can learn strategies to save time so long as it means not fooling ourselves into overzealous, speed-reading traps or wiring carelessness that leads to faulty electrical work in your house. In that case, our shortcuts would truly get the best of us. No house fires, please!

Rick Jetter, Ph.D.

@RickJetter on Twitter and “Rick Jetter” on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Dr. Rick Jetter is a National Consultant, Author of seven books with two more on the way in 2021, a NY Education Policy Fellow, and Asst. Head of Schools.

Books can be found here:

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