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How To Save 21 Days Per Year By Typing Fast

How To Save 21 Days Per Year By Typing Fast

Did you know that typing fast can save you up to 21 days per year?[1] This might sound unbelievable, but it’s totally possible.

The average person spends at least three hours a day using a keyboard while doing work, writing emails, messaging, using social networks, etc.

If you increase your typing speed by 20%, you can save up to 35 minutes per day. That equals a phenomenal 213 hours per year. Considering that most people have about 10 hours of active time per day, you could be saving up to 21 days each year!

Nowadays, we spend so much time typing on a keyboard that typing seems like nothing special; so much so that we seldom give any thought to this survival skill, let alone try to improve our typing speed.

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However, bringing your typing speed from the average 41 words per minute (wpm) up to 70wpm or above can actually make a difference.

Slow typers are commonly seen as less capable.

A large part of our day is spent typing. Indeed, not having the right technique can cause more trouble than looking awkward in front of friends or co-workers. For instance, a slow typist may be considered less capable and therefore less suitable for a certain job.[2]

Although almost everyone can type, typing fast is a valuable skill.

Now you might be wondering how to improve your typing speed. Here’s some good news:

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To type faster, professional and expensive training is not necessary.

A Finnish research found that people who had not received training in typing, e.g. those who typed with only 2 fingers, could also achieve higher typing speeds of over 70wpm, although trained typists could reach 120wpm.[3]

Which is to say, you can also type fast — you just need practice, the correct type of practice.

The main factor influencing speed is the stillness of the palm, not the number of fingers used.

Researcher Dr Weir from Aalto University in Helsinki suggests that keeping your palm still while moving only your fingers to reach for the keys is “the secret”.[4]

Keeping your hands relatively steady and only using your fingers to move forward for the keys is the secret, so another finger is reaching for the next key, even before the first one is pressed.

This helps maintain a consistent finger pattern, allowing you to type quickly and effortlessly for longer periods of time.

Now that you know the secret of typing fast, what’s next?

Measure how fast you can type and set a goal for yourself.

The first step is to measure how fast you can type currently so you know where you are now, and to keep track of your progress as you learn to type faster.[5].This should help you set your goal for improvement, and track your progress as your typing speed increases.

You can do this via a quick speed test here.

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Typing can be fun, you don’t have to always take the serious courses.

While there are plenty of free online typing courses, you can make practice fun for yourself by playing typing games online. Here are a few suggestions:

Remember, fast typing does make a difference — it’s 21 days that you can save!

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

[1] Ratatype: Typing speed research: how to save 21 days per year while typing
[2] John D Cook: How much does typing speed matter?
[3] The Guardian: Is touch-typing no quicker than doing it with two fingers?
[4] The Guardian: Is touch-typing no quicker than doing it with two fingers?
[5] Life Optimizer: Save Time by Improving Your Typing Speed

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Wen Shan

Proud Philosophy grad. Based in HK.

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

Why Working 9 to 5 Is Outdated

Why Working 9 to 5 Is Outdated

Bristol is the most congested city in England. Whenever I have to work at the office, I ride there, like most of us do. Furthermore, I always make sure to go at off hours; otherwise, the roads are jam-packed with cars, buses, bikes, even pedestrians. Why is that? Because everyone is working a traditional 9 to 5 work day.

Where did the “9 to 5” Come From?

It all started back in 1946. The United States government implemented the 40 hour work week for all federal employees, and all companies adopted the practice afterwards. That’s 67 years with the same schedule. Let’s think about all the things that have changed in the 67 years:

  • We went to the moon, and astronauts now live in space on the ISS.

  • Computers used to take up entire rooms and took hours to make a single calculation. Now we have more powerful computers in our purses and back pockets with our smartphones.

  • Lots of employees can now telecommute to the office from hundreds, and even thousands of miles away.

In 1946 a 9-5 job made sense because we had time after 5pm for a social life, a family life. Now we’re constantly connected to other people and the office, with the Internet, email on our smartphones, and hashtags in our movies and television shows. There is no downtime anymore.

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Different Folks, Different Strokes

Enjoying your downtime is an important part of life. It recharges your batteries and lets you be more productive. Allowing people to balance life and work can provide them with much needed perspective and motivation to see the bigger picture of what they are trying to achieve.

Some people are just more productive when they’re working at their optimal time of day, after feeling well rested and personally fulfilled.  For some that can be  from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m; for others, it could be  2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

People have their own rhythms and routines. It would be great if we could sync our work schedule to match. Simply put, the imposed 8-hour work day can be a creativity and morale killer for the average person in today’s world.

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Productivity and Trust Killer

Fostering creativity among employees is not always an easy endeavor, but perhaps a good place to start is by simply not tying their tasks and goals to a fixed time period. Let them work on their to-do list at their own pace, and chances are, you’ll get the best out of your employee who feels empowered instead of babysat.

That’s not to say that you should  allow your team to run wild and do whatever they want, but restricting them to a 9 to 5 time frame can quickly demoralize people. Set parameters and deadlines, and let them work at their own creative best with the understanding that their work is crucial to the functioning of the entire team.

Margaret Heffernan, an entrepreneur who previously worked in broadcasting, noted to Inc that from her experience, “treating employees like grown-ups made it more likely that they would behave the same way.” The principle here is to have your employees work to get things done, not to just follow the hands on the clock.

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A Flexible Remote Working Policy

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer famously recalled all her remote workers, saying she wanted to improve innovation and collaboration, but was that the right decision? We’ve all said that we’re often more productive in a half day working from home than a full day working in the office, right? So why not let your employees work remotely from home?

There are definitely varying schools of thought on remote working. Some believe that innovation and collaboration can only happen in a boardroom with markers, whiteboards and post-it notes and of course, this can be true for some. But do a few great brainstorms trump a team that feels a little less stressed and a little more free?

Those who champion remote working often note that these employees are not counting the clock, worried about getting home, cooking dinner or rushing through errands post-work. No one works their 9-5 straight without breaks here and there.  Allowing some time for remote working means employees can handle some non-work related tasks and feel more accomplished throughout the day. Also, sometimes we all need to have a taste of working in our pajamas, right?

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It’ll be interesting to see how many traditional companies and industries start giving their employees more freedom with their work schedule. And how many end up rescinding their policies like Yahoo did.

What are your thoughts of the traditional 9-5 schedule and what are you doing to help foster your team’s productivity and creativity? Hit the comments and let us know.

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