Using keystrokes instead of the mouse is a clever thing to do. Be clever whenever possible. Gmail offers Keyboard Shortcuts that can save you many miles of mouse movement a year, lots of small bits of valuable time and RSI like complaints. First, turn the shortcuts option on in the Settings section.
My favorites are:
c - compose a new message
] - archive the open message/conversation in your inbox and move on to the next one
g - go to; combine this with for instance c (for contacts) or i (for inbox)
y - archive
/ - puts the cursor in the Search field
Of course the Help pages of Gmail offer a complete list of shortcuts. To get a popup-screen with alle shortcuts within Gmail, just type ? (only works with shortcuts option on).