Macs are some of the most reliable and powerful machines you can use to improve your productivity while working from home. However, most Mac users haven’t don’t fully utilize their devices to increase their work efficiency and save time.
Whether it’s your first time using a Mac or you’ve had one for a while, we’ve put together a few tips and tricks to make your remote work more productive.
Customize Your Mac’s Dock and Menu Bar
You’ll agree that the default setup for your Mac’s Dock is not the most ideal for productivity and efficiency. You want to eliminate all sources of distractions while working from home, and this includes removing unnecessary clutter from your Dock.
To quickly remove any random apps and icons from your Dock or Menu bar that aren’t essential for your work:
- Click and hold the app or icon you want to remove.
- Drag it off the Dock until a Remove symbol pops up on the screen.
- Release the mouse or the trackpad button.
And don’t forget to turn on “Automatically hide and show the Dock” to reveal the Dock only when you need it.
Quickly Close Problematic Programs
Sometimes, some of the apps or software you use for work might become unresponsive, especially if you’re using an older or less capable Mac. If these programs keep crashing or freezing frequently, your productivity will be severely impacted.
To deal with such problems, Mac’s version of Task Manager can come in handy. To use it, press down the [Command ⌘] + [Option ⌥] + [ESC] keys simultaneously. On the window that opens next, you can force quit any misbehaving application.
Save Time with Keyboard Shortcuts
Your Mac device comes with a few preset keyboard shortcuts, such as Command + tab (to switch between apps) or Command +X/C/V to cut, copy or paste. But did you know Mac lets you create personalized keyboard shortcuts to match your workflow preferences?
All you need to do is open System Preference > Keyboard > Shortcuts. Click on App Shortcuts, select the + button, and add the apps you want the shortcut to apply to.
You’ll also see a box that lets you add a key combination that you want to use to perform a specific command. Just be sure to use key combinations that aren’t already in use.
Monitor and Track Your Work Time
Nothing is as important as managing your time when working remotely. Oftentimes, freelancers become focused on their work so much that they hardly remember to take breaks. That’s why it’s crucial to monitor and track your time.
Simply find the best time tracker for Mac to start collecting data on your work habits and time management practices. After a week or two, you’ll have collected data that shows how you spend your time working and how much time you actually spend working.
You’ll get useful insights about the apps or websites you use the most and discover those that are productive and those that aren’t.
Keeping track of how you spend your time at work can help you improve your time management skills and become more efficient at work.
Use Spotlight Search to Quickly Find Documents
You can save a lot of time if you know how to quickly locate apps, documents, applications, and more. The Spotlight Search feature makes this possible. It works across the entire system, making it easy to find anything.
Simply press Command + Space to bring it up and start typing the name or description of the item you need to find. Say you want to perform a quick calculation. You can use Spotlight to launch the calculator – press Cmd + Space, type calc, and hit Enter. It’s that easy.
Customize Trackpad Gestures
The Mac’s trackpad is an awesome productivity feature that lets you scroll, zoom, and rotate content on your desktop for ease of use or navigation. What makes it even more useful is that it’s customizable, meaning you can set up gestures that will simplify your work.
To personalize the trackpad, head to System Preferences > Trackpad, and set up your preferred gestures.
For example, you can use the three-finger gesture to open all notifications or set the pointer to launch Mission Control when you move it to the lower corner of your desktop. Mission Control allows you to see all open windows on your screen, making it easy to switch between applications.
Record Screens with Ease
When working remotely, you’ll need technical assistance every once in a while, to resolve bugs and other technical issues. The ability to record your screen makes this fast, easy, and convenient. (welloflife.com) Instead of trying to find words to describe whatever error you’ve encountered, simply record your screen showing the error and send the recording to the concerned team.
To record the screen, use the Command + shift + 5 keyboard shortcut to open the Screenshot Toolbar, which will appear at the bottom of the screen.
You can then configure the settings of your recordings using the Options button. For example, you can choose where you want to save your recordings. Click Record to start recording and Stop Recording to stop recording.
Use QuickTime to Screen Record on a Mac
If you’re using an older version of Mac, you can use the QuickTime Player for screen recording:
- Find the QuickTime Player app on your Mac and launch it. You can do so quickly using Spotlight.
- Click File tab > New Screen Recording.
- Click the red record button and click anywhere on your screen to start a fullscreen recording, or drag your mouse to record only a specific portion of the screen.
Use Your iPad as a Second Monitor
Another cool productivity hack for Mac users is the ability to connect your iPad to your Mac and use it as a second display. We all know that using a multiple-display setup can immensely improve your productivity.
If you don’t have a second monitor, you can use the Apple Sidecar feature to attach an iPad with iOS 13 as a second monitor. The feature even supports wireless connection via Bluetooth, so long as you stay within a 10-meter range.
Block Out Distractions Using Focus
Focus is a top priority when working from home if you want to get things done on time. Mac comes with a built-in feature called Focus mode that gives you more control over notifications.
You can access the feature from the menu bar and select one of two options: Do Not Disturb or Sleep. You can then customize each setting in System Preferences to choose the exact type of notifications you prefer.
You’ll also be pleased to learn that you can schedule Focus. For example, you can set it to automatically turn on at a specific time of the day, say during meetings or in the morning, when you want to focus on deep work, and turn off in the afternoon. This will help you avoid distractions and boost your remote work productivity.
Apart from limiting distractions, you can also block out noise using noise-canceling headphones. You can use them to listen to music that helps you focus while working. From classical music to video game soundtracks to epic cinematic music or just ambient music, studies show that music can help us concentrate.
As you’ve discovered, these simple tips and tricks can take less than a minute to apply. You just have to experiment with the productivity tricks that suit your line of work the most.
Lastly, always keep your MacOS updated. This ensures it’s always optimized for performance, security, and other factors that may interfere with your productivity.