To maximize productivity, typing faster is imperative. It’s a skill that is needed in nearly every profession. Typing faster requires the right keyboard, posture, and workspace.
We measure how fast a car is traveling in miles per hour. Similarly, typing speed is measured in words per minute. The average WPM for adults is around 40 wpm.
When you have reached 50 wpm, you are above average. And those skilled enough to hit 100 wpm and above are considered legends. Here are some tools you will need to increase your wpm.
These keyboards are different than the ones you will find in many office settings. They are much more responsive which leads to more accurate keystrokes.
In addition, they have a feature known as N Key Rollover. This feature allows multiple keys to be pressed at the same time and registered by your computer.
Cheaper, non-mechanical keyboards lack this feature. Gamers, software developers, and typists stand to benefit the most from this as we are often hitting multiple keys either simultaneously or within microseconds of each other.
I recommend the Keychron K2 as it has Bluetooth connectivity, 2.4 GHz wireless (USB dongle), and wired connectivity via USB C to USB A cable. The keycaps and underlying switches are also modular. This allows you to customize the sound and look of the keyboard to your liking.
The only downside to mechanical keyboards is the noise they make. I personally enjoy the tactile feedback I get from each keystroke. However, your colleagues may be annoyed by the clacking generated from the email you’re drafting.
If you find the sound too loud for your liking, there are several kits you can purchase to dampen the feedback. Devices like O rings, cushion your keystrokes and substantially reduce the amount of sound generated.
If your workspace is too cramped, you won’t have enough room to rest your wrists. Without proper wrist support, you will experience strain in your joints. Prolonged use in conditions like these can lead to serious health problems.
You’ll also be limited to the size of the keyboard you can buy if you have a small space. Some people type better with a larger keyboard due to their hand size. Others prefer larger keyboards because they come with a number pad.
While a wrist rest won’t necessarily increase your wpm, it will allow you to type longer. The added comfort of a foam or wooden rest allows your wrist to power through long typing sessions. It can also provide a nice aesthetic for your workspace.
Now that you have the tools you need, here are some techniques to master.
Good posture is vital for increasing your typing speed. Slouching or leaning too far back, increases the amount of time your fingers take to hit keys.
As a result, you type fewer words per minute. You will also strain your wrists, fingers, and other body parts this way.
The best way to type is sitting upright, with your back supported and feet planted firmly on the ground or a footrest.
Your keyboard has two notches on the F and J keys. These notches can help you locate your position on the key without having to look down. The home keys on your left are A, S, D, and F. On the right, you have the J, K, L, and semicolon keys.
Outside of programming in languages other than Python, I seldom, if ever use the semicolon key. However, knowing that the semi colon key rests immediately below the P key and diagonal to question mark key, allows me to avoid looking down while typing.
When typing, you will use your space bar consistently. As such, it would behoove you to keep a dedicated digit or two close by. It may be a little awkward at first, but you will notice your speed increase since your other fingers can now focus on hitting the other keys.
The use of hot keys prevents you from having to use your mouse to complete certain tasks. The most common hot keys are CTRL + C for copy and CTRL + V for paste. In addition to these, you can also bold and italicize text, as well as undo or redo typing.
Here is a breakdown of some useful hotkeys to speed up your typing.
|CTRL + B
|CTRL + I
|CTRL + Y
|CTRL + Z
|CTRL + S
Each functional digit on your hand should be used when typing. This includes your pinky finger. It’s small and awkward to move with any precision.
However, it is strategically placed to strike the SHIFT key (which you need for capitalization) and the enter key (for line breaks). Having 10 digits operating on your keyboard will allow you to type much faster than if you only used 8.
If you write a lot about finance, stocks, or cryptocurrency, you will find yourself typing a lot of numbers. This is where having a number pad comes in handy. The row of numbers situated above your main keys is horizontal.
This makes it extremely difficult to type multiple numbers in rapid succession. Typing multiple long numbers using those keys will probably result in a hand cramp.
Caps lock is not helpful when it comes to increasing typing speed. Most documents and messages you send in a professional setting will not contain many consecutive capital letters.
Most of the time, you’ll forget to turn the caps lock off and end up having to re-type words. This is not only frustrating, but it diminishes the number of words you can write per minute. Unless dexterity issues prevent you from holding the shift key and a letter key simultaneously, stay away from the caps lock key
To master any skill will take hours of practice. There are tons of typing test available online that can assist you on your journey. It may be boring at first, but writing long documents help you train your muscle memory and familiarize yourself with your keyboard.
Type as often as you can for as long as you can, and soon you’ll see your productivity skyrocket!
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