Stop using that mouse!
One of the least efficient ways you can use a computer is to do everything by pointing and clicking. The mouse/trackball is a fantastic tool, but it is SLOW by comparison to the keyboard.
I often find myself hilighting words or phrases for editing, and until fairly recently I’ve always done this by mouse. Now occasionally I would use SHIFT and the arrow keys on the keyboard to select whole lines (SHIFT-UP or DOWN) or sometimes to increase my selection by a few characters (SHIFT-RIGHT or LEFT), but a friend of mine taught me a trick that is now an absolute staple for me.
By the way this is for Windows users only… Mac users, I’m afraid this isn’t a standard thing in OSX.
Use the Control Key (CTRL) plus the LEFT or RIGHT arrow keys, to move to the beginning of the next or previous word. Combine this with the SHIFT key and you can actually SELECT whole words one at a time. To recap:
CTRL-ARROW (left or right) will navigate to the beginning of words.
CTRL-SHIFT-ARROW (left or right) will SELECT one word at a time.
This is a MASSIVE time saver if you edit or change text with any frequency. Add to this the TAB key for navigating between fields in most applications, and SHIFT-TAB to navigate back in the tab order, plus using the “delete” key (NOT backspace!) to delete characters to the right of the cursor, and you can absolutely FLY on the keyboard without having to resort to the mouse for selecting and editing text.
Keyboard good. Mouse bad! 😉