I like to occasionally bake and it's always better to have your ingredients at room temp. I very often decide to bake at the last minute and a hard stick of butter will not cream right so here is my quick tip on how to soften butter.
This really is so simple and will have you baking in under a minute. Just put your sticks of butter in a microwave safe bowl. Put them in the microwave and set it for 15 seconds. Don't pay attention to my dirty old microwave just look at the butter.
Check it by pressing your finger into it. If you have more than 1 or 2 sticks you may need to put it back in. Only set it at 5 second intervals, you don't want melted butter. You can see below after 15 seconds my butter is perfect for baking!