If two people are given the same basic data entry task in an office environment, the one who can type the fastest will complete the exercise first. While you may be the smarter person, you may be the more creative person, hell you may even be better looking. If they can complete this basic task faster than you they may end up getting the job in an interview, the promotion that you were hoping for, or the praise of that new boss who everyone is trying to impress. Being able to type quickly is a skill that people need today. There may come a point in the future where keyboards are made redundant by the rise of voice technology or even thought technology but for now, the keyboard is well..key. If you are a slow typer than you need to address this weakness soon. Follow our tips to get it sorted straight away.
The first thing to consider is your working environment. If you like to work with your legs up and sitting on the couch with your computer on your lap, you are already limiting your speed. This is a relaxed position so you won’t be in the frame of mind to type quickly. More than that, it is not the optimum position for fast typing. Instead, you should set up on a desk, with a chair, a mouse, and a keyboard. The larger keyboard that can be used separately is better than the one built into your laptop (for most people). Of course, if you have only ever used a laptop then it may suit you more in the short to medium term.
Once you have set up your desk ensure that you are sitting upright that your forearms are supported, and that you are sitting in an ergonomic way. Sitting in the same position is the best way to improve your speed and you will only survive in one position if it is comfortable and good for your body.
Now that you are sitting correctly and your desk is clear you can start to type. Do you find that you are looking at the keys to know what letters or symbols to type or do you automatically know where they all are? If you know where every key is without looking then you are a touch typist. If you are looking at every key then you need to learn touch typing. This is the single greatest difference between a fast typer and a slow typer. A fast typer will look at the screen at all times while a slow typer needs to look up and down at the keys constantly.
If you have not been typing long then don’t worry touch typing comes with time. After a while, you simply start to know where those keys are. However, if you need to start typing faster quickly then you could try to learn the keys off. Start with your little finger on Q and without looking try to name the key to the right and below. This training will not immediately help your typing but it is a shortcut to becoming a touch typist. There are also many online games that can help you learn touch typing and to increase your speed.
Many people suggest that there is a correct placement for each finger and an optimum finger for each key. This is true but you can achieve high speeds without this level of discipline. Whether you use the ASDF (having each of your left fingers starting on these keys) or the three-finger approach (relying predominantly on a few fingers) is not important. What is important is that you learn the keys, stop looking at the keyboard, and type with confidence without fear of mistakes.