You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be!
Before we begin, I have something I would like to share with you that I am ashamed to say. As I write this article I am in my late 20’s, it is only now that I have finished all of the Harry Potter books. It’s not that it took me over fifteen years to read, it’s just that when Harry Potter came out I wasn’t really into wizards and witches, I couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about. Was I the only one?
After being bored with the endless amount of self-help books, I decided to read something fictitious. Enter in Harry Potter and all 7 of the books!
After a good few months I can finally put the Harry Potter series to rest. I can now understand any Harry Potter reference thrown my way, it’s just a shame that I’m fifteen years too late. Oh well!
You’re probably thinking to yourself,
Why on earth is he talking about Harry Potter when the headline is about increasing my touch typing skills?
Firstly, I wanted to share with you my achievement – it took me ages to finish those books! Secondly, it occurred to me that during her time of writing each book, J.K. Rowling had to type each word out. All 1,084,170 of them, and that’s not including her drafts!
If she were to type at an average speed of 40 words per minute (WPM), it would’ve taken her approximately 19 days of typing without ever taking a break. Of course, it would’ve taken years for Rowling to invent a story, let alone type all the words out. It took Rowling 6 years just to finish the first book.
I realised that the ability to seamlessly pour all your thoughts out onto paper without any friction is undervalued, it’ll save you time and effort and it’ll allow your creative juices to flow. I’m not expecting to create a masterpiece within 19 days, but if I don’t have to worry about where each letter is positioned and simply focus on the creating itself, it’ll make the process of writing a more creative and enjoyable experience.
Recommended Reading: What Is Touch Typing and How Will It Benefit Your Life?
Alright, alright, I understand, let me get to the good stuff. You’re here because you want to know how to improve your touch typing skills. You want to know what quick fix I implemented to increase my WPM by an astonishing 42%. If you don’t believe me, check out my test results below.
This was my score when I started the project:
This was my score 2 weeks after:
The photos above aren’t enough you say? Below is a graph which shows my improvement over the two weeks using one of the typing resources, I’ll share with you which one later on. This photo shows a 166% speed increase!
What’s that you say? You still don’t believe me? Check out my video that visually shows my improvement, you can see that my technique has improved and that I now position my fingers differently.
Recommended Video: How to type faster
Your humble beginnings
The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.
To know how much you’ve improved over the past 2 weeks, it’s important for you to know your base level. Before I started working on my touch typing skills, my average speed was around 45 WPM, which was slightly above average.
I recommend that you find out your current WPM rate, when you eventually get faster typing, you’ll be able to take note of how much you’ve improved.
You can check your speed using one of the tests linked below:
Memorise each position of the letters on the keyboard
The true art of memory is the art of attention.
I already knew where each letter was positioned on the keyboard, it was ingrained into me at an early age. I guess all those hours spent playing World of Warcraft made me subconsciously memorise all the positions of the letters.
However, If you’re constantly looking down at the keyboard whilst you type, I would recommend studying the keyboard itself. Pay attention to where each letter is, make a note and test yourself.
One of my go-to techniques for memorising anything is the use of flashcards, it’s highly effective and it’s such a simple process. I came across a useful online flashcard system that tested the positioning of each letter on the keyboard. I strongly recommend you take time out memorising where each letter is, otherwise it’s going to hamper your progress.
Recommended reading: How to Improve Your Memory
Use the correct technique
If you are playing with technique, it is a big mistake. Big, big mistake!
Memory wasn’t the issue for me. I was struggling using the correct positioning for all 10 of my fingers. I never used my right pinky finger for any keystroke, nor did I ever take advantage of the right Shift button. I was limiting the amount of ground I could cover on the keyboard.
Growing up, no one taught me the correct method for typing, I created my own technique. It was relatively fast, but I plateaued quickly due to bad technique.
I knew I had to relearn everything and start from ground zero. Thankfully, I came across a free online resource that not only taught me the correct positioning, it also gave me several different exercises to strengthen each finger.
Recommended reading: An In-Depth Review of TypingClub
No quick fixes
It’s not how fast you can do it. It’s how slow you can do it correctly.
From the headline, you might’ve guessed what this next section is about, but let me repeat myself so that it stays with you. There are no quick fixes.
I know 2 weeks sounds short, but in those 2 weeks I was practicing up to 2 hours every day. I had to dramatically slow down my typing and work on my weakness’ first before I could continue, as I got better I was able to speed everything up again.
If you want to get good at learning any new skill, it requires time in deliberate practice, there is no way around it. You have to adopt the same mentality with your touch typing skills if you want to see an improvement.
Recommended reading: What Is Deep Practice?
Long-term consistency trumps short-term intensity.
If you don’t have 2 hours to spare every day, that’s fine, but try to be consistent with your deliberate practice. Consistency is one of the key ingredients that is needed to improve any new skill and help you attain mastery.
If you can only spare 15 minutes on your touch typing skill that’s great, but make sure you don’t miss any days. If you find yourself missing one day of deliberate practice, say to yourself that you will not miss practice two days in a row. Try to get back on track as quickly as you can.
If you find that you don’t see an improvement as steep as mine within the two weeks, I would be far happier that you remain consistent in your practice than forget everything. These things take time and every one different, just put in the reps and you will see a difference.
Recommended Reading: How to Be Consistent
My typing schedule
Professionals stick to the schedule; amateurs let life get in the way.
If you’ve never heard of the Pomodoro Technique I recommend you take some time out to read about its methods and benefits.
Recommended Reading: What Is the Pomodoro Technique?
Here’s a brief overview:
- Step 1: Place a timer for 25 minutes and work distraction-free during that period.
- Step 2: Once the timer is done take a five-minute break.
- Step 3: Repeat step one.
- Step 4: After the fourth 25-minute timer take a 15-minute break
- Step 5: Repeat step one.
As you can see by the fourth timer, 2 hours have gone by. If you studied distraction-free you would’ve learned a lot in that allotted time.
Here’s an example of how I broke up my 2 hours:
- 1st 25-minute timer: Flashcard Memory training
- 2nd 25-minute timer: Exercises on TypingClub.com
- 3rd 25-minute timer: Exercises on TypingClub.com
- 4th 25-minute timer: Practiced typing on 10FastFingers.com
Immediately after the 4th timer, I would test my WPM using TypingTest.com to see if I was able to increase my speed, I was seeing improvement almost every day. This wasn’t a strict schedule, I would move things around depending on my mood, but within every 25-minute slot, I was making sure that I would deliberately practice my touch typing skills with no distractions.
Recommended Reading: How to Take Control of Your Time
- Find out your current WPM rate
- Memorise the position of each letter on the keyboard using flashcard techniques
- Use the correct finger positioning on the keyboard
- Be patient and remain consistent
- Create a schedule and plan your time for practice
Everything I’ve outlined in this article is pretty simple and straightforward, anyone can follow the advice and increase their touch typing skills. What it does require is discipline, consistency, and patience.
Perhaps you won’t see the same improvement as I did within 2 weeks, but I assure you, if you can stick with it, you will see a difference with your touch typing skills in no time.