If you’ve never stopped to think about how often your fingers touch your keyboard every day, do it now.
Did you think about it? Good! Were you surprised by how often you touch those keys? Yeah, it’s pretty crazy.
Now imagine how much time you lose when you aren’t typing quickly enough.
Time is a precious commodity for many people, and if typing slow is a problem that you know wastes your valuable time, you need to learn to improve your speed. Here are a few key ways you can train your brain and fingers to type faster and become the master of your keyboard.
Pay Attention to Physical Setup
The first step in learning how to type faster is understanding your body and how it relates to your work space. The fancy term for this idea is ergonomics, and it’s becoming more of a priority for people who want to maximize their computer skills while also keeping their bodies properly cared for.
So what’s the big deal with making sure you sit up straight, keep your shoulders back, and pay attention to your wrist posture? These things all effect your ability to type faster and effortlessly.
Slumping and hunching screw up your back and shoulders, and letting your wrists fall over the edge of a desk will make them ache. You’ll be focusing more on how your body hurts than on your typing, and you’ll be more likely to make mistakes and lose productive time.
Make sure you’re following all proper ergonomic practices when you type. Purchase a comfortable chair that fits your body and a desk that lets your forearms rest at a comfortable 90-degree angle from your body when your fingers are on your keyboard.
And of course, make sure you get a quality keyboard (that one’s a given). You want one with keys that feel easy to press so you’re able to focus on your typing instead of the stickiness of the keys.
Learn Your Way Around the Keys
Once you’ve got your setup configured, start paying attention to the keys themselves.
This is because one of the most common issues with people who type slowly is that they’re not used to where the keys are or keep looking at the symbols instead of the screen. It’s like when you’re trying to learn a second language, and you can’t speak or read a sentence without having to reference a bilingual dictionary.
In the same sense, the sooner you can type without resorting to looking down, the better your typing speed will be. This is known as touch typing.
If you have problems looking at your keyboard while typing, try saying the names of the keys as you push them, which will help you memorize their location. Continue this practice as long as you need to before you’re typing without any vocalization at all. You can also…
Practice Your Butt Off
Honestly, practice is what will eventually help you start feeling more confident around the keyboard (just like practicing a second language more will make you less uncomfortable trying to speak it fluently).
You should set speed goals for yourself by the end of a few months or a year of practice. Pull up a blank word document every day and simply write for 5-10 minutes without stopping. Don’t worry about errors – they’ll become fewer and farther apart the more you practice.
You can also look into typing tests and programs that are offered online (Metadot has a great typing app for you, especially if you like racing competitions!).
Typing faster can be achieved in any number of ways, and these are of course just a few suggestions to get you started. Have you found other tactics that have helped you type faster?