HAVING THE RIGHT TOOLS CLOSE AT HAND makes any project go more smoothly. When you're getting ready to cook, wouldn't it be great if you could push one button to bring out all of the bowls, utensils, pots, and pans needed to prepare a specific dish? That may still be a dream in the kitchen, but in Photoshop, it's a reality you can enjoy today. Photoshop workspaces can arrange windows, palettes, tools, and menus for you.
Optimizing workspaces isn't just about bringing out the tools you need; you can also use a workspace to hide everything you don't want in your way. With only the essential tools on screen, you can devote more of the available space on your monitor to displaying both the image and your favorite tools.
If you're just getting to know Photoshop, optimizing your workspace will be an iterative process, because you may not know enough about the tools to know which ones you really want up front. As you gain experience with Photoshop, expect to refine and update your workspaces over time. By the time you become an experienced Photoshop user, your workspace will look much different than it did when you were a beginning or intermediate user.
An important key to success is for you to learn how you work. Everyone does things a little differently, so you may need to adapt another person's great shortcut for your own working style. Keep an eye on what tasks you do most often and the paths you take through Photoshop to get those tasks done. If you catch yourself thinking "Man, this is the tenth time I've clicked that button today," you may have found an opportunity to learn or create a shortcut, or to refine a palette arrangement to make that particular task go a little faster.