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5 Ways To Boost Typing Speed And Accuracy

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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.

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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.

More by this author

Jon Negroni

An author and blogger who shares about lifestyle advice

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Last Updated on October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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