Getting better at what we do: Typing Faster

Few months ago I published a story about the basics behind getting better at what we do. That article covered my motivation to talk about that, what do I mean by basics and some brief ideas on how to get better at those.

There are two main basic areas when it comes to do our job more efficient: writing and reading.

Sounds trivial? Yes. 
Is it? No, it isn’t.

This article will be focusing on how typing faster, which is one of the key areas in which we can improve ourselves, can help us get a better performance.

Why should I bother typing faster?

Writing is part of my daily work as I need to communicate my analysis to other people, communicate findings to stakeholders, communicate learnt things to other researchers. Truth is, I spend a big portion of my week writing, whether I like it or not. If I want to spend more time doing other things, writing faster is one cheap way how to do it.

When your fingers can keep up with your thoughts, typing becomes a very different experience. It feels more like an extension of your voice rather than a hinderance. And once typing starts to feel like an extension of your voice, you might be more likely to use the computer to express your ideas, to communicate them, and to use written language to achieve whatever goals you seek in this world. (http://madebycontinuum.com/the-great-payoff-of-improving-your-typing-skills/)

I also enjoy the challenge of improving what I do. There’s always chance to make things a bit more efficient, a bit better, so the end result -whatever that is- in overall has better quality.

Find how fast you currently type

Source: http://www.typingtest.com/

The first step on the quest to improve your typing skills is to find where you currently are and what room is there to improve. Typing faster has a different meaning to each of us. For some of us, being average typists will be enough. For others being fast typists would be the desired goal.

The website www.typingtest.com is really simple and doesn’t require to have an account registered on the site. There are many other sites where you can do this, pick your favourite. The typical test will last 1 minute and will assess the amount of ‘Words Per Minute’ (WPM) and Accuracy.

Find what you want to improve

Based on the results you get, you can focus on different things:

  • Reducing mistakes: you may want to type slower until you get zero mistakes and from there start to get faster.
  • Improving your technique: you may type fast but without 10 fingers, which leaves room for improving your technique. Imagine how much faster if you actually use both hands in full.
  • Improving your speed: if you got the technique, you may want to slowly try to type faster until you get where you want to be.

Each area will take time, as everything, until you master it. Once you are there, the benefits of it will come more clear (hopefully).

Practice

The final step once you are all set for your quest, is to actually start practicing. There are many online tools for doing this but it took me a while to find something that fit to my requirements. My requirements were not that complicated: I don’t want to register an account, I don’t want to store my profile, I don’t want to give my personal data; I also want something simple, with help if needed and that the keyboard is visible on screen.

Source: https://www.keybr.com

The best website that I found that fit my requirements was www.keybr.com. The view can be customised, the keyboard layout can be changed, it has dark mode and other settings to tune it for your needs. You can create an account if you feel like it, or you can train as an anonymous user. The website has also a section with high scores (https://www.keybr.com/high-scores), where you can peak and compare yourself with other users.

Conclusion

Reading. Writing. Communicating. Observing. These are basic activities that fill our days and are the core of our daily work and life. Dedicating time and effort to get better at these skills is the path to stay competitive in any area. Everything else is build on top of these ones, thus they are key to building a strong self.

Typing, as any other basic skill, can be improved a lot if we just focus on it. Once you learn how, you will never forget it. As with any other skill, the only way to improve it is to practice. Identify your typing speed, find which are you want to improve and practice.

Once you nailed this down, you will be able to focus the extra time in other things more fun!