Shortcuts, to save the most precious resource in life: Time

Adriatik Gashi
5 min readSep 30, 2022


“Humans are nothing more than a collection of days!”

I keep repeating this to myself because it makes me think, especially when I notice that I am doing repetitive tasks that might be automated and save me a ton of time. It has been more than three months since I started using Shortcuts, a very helpful tool that Apple launched a while back, a tool which helps you make automations which can be activated by an event reather than manually. In this article I will show my shortcuts, how I created them and much more.


What are shortcuts?

A shortcut provides a quick way to get things done with your apps, with just a click or by asking Siri. Shortcuts can automate a wide variety of things — for example, getting directions to the next event on your Calendar, moving text from one app to another, generating expense reports, and more. — source: support.apple.com

My shortcuts

My primary automations are associated with my job (iOS Engineer), but shortcuts have a ton of other possibilities that may be used for a lot more. I’ll attempt to describe a few of the short cuts I used, how I implemented them, and how much time (and money) you may save by utilizing this fantastic feature business-wise.

1: Focus mode

We practice distraction every day, but we do the opposite with concentration. I’ve read a lot of books and listened to a lot of podcasts about concentration because I believe that’s a problem that we can all relate to. One method I’ve used for a while to improve my concentration is the pomodoro technique. I love it, and since I started using it, it has really helped me to focus more on the current task and finish it more quickly.

I set up my focus pomodoro mode with Siri Shortcuts exactly like a pomodoro app would work: 25 minutes of work followed by 5 minutes of rest. Siri Shortcuts gives you all the options to quit, open apps, show notifications, put do not disturb on or off, delay specific actions for a certain amount of time, etc. I’ll list the actions below.

  • Show notification ‘Focus mode on’
  • Quit Slack, Telegram
  • Turn on ‘Do not disturb’
  • Wait for 25 minutes
  • Show notification ‘Focus mode off’
  • Turn off ‘Do not disturb’
  • Open slack, telegram
  • Wait for 5 minutes
  • Show notification ‘Time to focus again’
  • Repeat


If you don’t know what a pomodoro is please check: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomodoro_Technique

Or you can add my pomodoro shortcut directly by clicking this link: https://www.icloud.com/shortcuts/82fed0c698044bf0bbf638898dd46170

2: Open a link (url)

For me, it is pull requests from my job repos, jira board, confluence spaces, but it can be any website that requires you to navigate through 4–5 steps in order to reach a single page. For instance, if you write Medium articles and want to access write page quickly, you can do this by simply copying the link, making a new shortcut to open urls, and pasting the copied url into shortcut. Please see the gif below for instructions:

Or you can add it directly by clicking this link: https://www.icloud.com/shortcuts/82fed0c698044bf0bbf638898dd46170

3: Open XCode and Simulator

Currently, opening Xcode, choosing the project from the list if you’ve opened it recently, or finding the project in Finder are the three steps required to open an Xcode project, you have then to run it and wait for simulator to show up. However, using Siri Shortcuts, this process can be completed in just 1 action by using a very straightforward bash script that looks like this:


xed /Users/adriatikgashi/{Projects Folder}/{TestProjectName}.xcworkspace
open -a simulator`

Or you can add the shortcut directly by clicking this link: https://www.icloud.com/shortcuts/197f97b94454404f87a8edec71c97ff4 — just change the directory to your Xcode project.

How to run shortcuts

You can run shortcuts via Hey Siri, by adding them in Menu bar or by just searching in spotlight by shortcut name, a simple gif how to add it to Menu bar:

Then you will see it like this:

What about businesses? Yes, let’s see how businesses can profit from this by performing a quick calculation to determine how much money your business will save if it uses this tool

If each of your company’s 120 employees earns an hourly rate of $30 and you save one minute per day by using this feature, you will have saved 120 minutes (or 2 hours) for all of them by the end of the day. By the end of the month, you will have saved 48 hours (for 21 working days), which equates to savings of $1,440 per month and $17,280 per year. Insane, huh?


This feature has proven to be incredibly helpful and simple to set up. It has enabled me to be faster, perform less tasks repeatedly, and save the most important resource of all: time. Because it has benefited me, I felt compelled to share it with you in the hopes that it would also benefit you. Please feel free to share any additional shortcuts you use or have already used with us in the comments section.

Feel free to email me (hiadriatik@gmail.com) if you have any questions, challenging opportunities, or you just want to say hi.

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adriatikgashi. Twitter: https://twitter.com/adriatik_g

Finally, be sure to follow me so that you do not miss any new stories I publish.



Adriatik Gashi

Self-tought pragmatic programmer with main focus on mobile technologies.