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5 Ways To Boost Typing Speed And Accuracy

5 Ways To Boost Typing Speed And Accuracy

Want to become a typing pro?

Back in my day, the old-school way to increase typing speed was in the hands of a vertical book with gibberish scribbled all over it. That book still haunts my memories, reminding me of a time when my words per minute (WPM) scores were measured against other students’ and posted for everyone to see (I’ll defeat you one day Taylor Kidd).

Anyway, I didn’t realize it then, but typing fast and correctly is a skill that has proven absolutely invaluable for every job I’ve ever had. It has allowed me to finish my assignments a lot quicker than I otherwise would have, giving me more time to edit and produce better writing. Improving this skill has also given me way more time to write for myself during my free time.

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That said, boosting your typing speed is a skill you should always be improving, especially if it’s part of your job description. Thankfully, there are tons of fun and useful ways to elevate your WPM above the Taylor Kidds in your life.

1. Only perfect practice makes perfect.

You’ve probably heard that practice makes perfect, but that isn’t always the case. If you’re not practicing the correct way, then your practice could do more harm than good. That’s why I always say that “perfect” practice is what really makes perfect, so before you start typing away, ensure that you’re practicing the best habits for keyboard input. This means you need to start using both hands instead of two fingers, and one thumb needs to be on the space bar at all times.

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It takes time to adjust, but you honestly can’t have a high typing speed if you’re still typing one key at a time. If necessary, take some classes online or at a school where you can learn how to do this from scratch. I’ll also be providing a link below that can help with this.

2. Be comfortable.

It should go without saying that you work better when you’re more comfortable. The same goes for typing. Make sure you’re sitting up straight, but allow your wrists to rest while your fingers are on the keyboard. Having them in the air inhibits your speed and is just plain uncomfortable.

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Additionally, keep both feet on the floor and take breaks when needed. If your fingers or hands start to hurt, take a break! Straining yourself gets you nowhere, but pacing yourself will improve your strength. It takes time, but eventually you’ll need to take fewer rest breaks.

3. Don’t look at the keyboard!

Once you’ve gotten a decent feel for where the keys are laid out, eliminate the habit of looking down while you type. For one thing, it prevents you from visually editing your copy in real-time, meaning more mistakes and more time wasted editing in the end. You’ll also learn the layout of the keys a lot faster, since you are not taking any mental shortcuts.

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4. Use online resources.

One of the easiest, free ways to advance your typing speed and precision is to have fun with it. Mashable put out a list of some great resources online that are all free to use (including games!) Pick the one that matches your current level or style of learning and start practicing!

5. Keep striving for improvement.

The worst thing you can do is become complacent. Your typing skill can always get better as long as you’re balancing how fast you type with how correctly you type. Test your speed routinely and set goals for the WPM you want to reach.

Once you’ve reached it, aim higher! Some of the resources above are great for keeping track of this, and nothing is a better motivator than competition. Consider getting some coworkers or friends in on it and see who will reach the farthest.

Whatever you decide to do, remember that typing is like any other skill out there. It requires practice, patience and time. Commit to improving it and you’ll get fantastic results.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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