You write things every day. From messaging your friends to writing reports.
Do you want to write faster?
Do you want to get your job done quicker?
The fastest typist types at 216 words per minute. The average typing speed for most adults is 41 words per minute.
So, if you aim to double your current writing speed, that’s perfectly doable.
You might say, why not just use the dictation tool?
Just speak on your computer and you’ll have your speech written down because everyone speaks faster than they type.
Yes, using a dictation tool is a faster alternative to typing. But, it has its limitations.
You can’t use the dictation tool in public unless you have a monstrous confidence and don't care about bothering other people enjoying their coffee in a cafe.
I’m sure you wouldn’t feel comfortable sitting next to someone shouting monotonously at their laptop.
Yes, it’s annoying.
More reasons for you to learn to type faster.
Get your mindset on just writing, and edit later
First things first, you’ve got to put yourself in the right mindset.
You might notice this — you’ve been wearing two hats at the same time, a writer and an editor.
As you write, you edit your writing, back and forth.
That’s inefficient when you want to come up with your first draft.
This is what you need to do instead.
Focus on just writing. Yes, throw away the editor hat for a moment.
Imagine your writing process as a waterfall. Let your mind flow into your fingers as you type, and let go of your judgement on what you’re writing.
When you put on your editor's hat, this is what your mind is focusing on:
The grammatical structure
The rhythm of the words
The right flow
With an editor hat on, you’re constantly rewriting your first draft like an indecisive old lady picking apples at the supermarket.
Having these mental burdens is going to slow you down.
Keep only your writing hat on.
That’s all you need for your first draft.
Turn off your spelling check
Okay, now you’ve put on your writing hat. You set your mind not to worry about the spelling and the grammar in favour of speed, you only going to edit them later.
But, as you write, you see this bright red squiggly line underneath the word that you just typed. It irritates your vision. It triggers that perfectionist muse inside you.
You're going berserk.
Your perfectionism drags you and slows you down. You want to correct your spelling just to get the red lines off your screen.
Sounds stressful, right?
Here’s how you can remove the stress:
Turn off the spelling and grammar check on your word processor.
If you’re using Google Docs.
Go up to tools.
Hover on the spelling and grammar
Uncheck both ‘show spelling suggestions’ and ‘show grammar suggestions’.
Now, you have yourself some peace of mind to write like water gushing out of the faucet.
Type like a wizard with Touch Typing
If you google “how to type faster”, the first page is going to be filled with this fast typing technique called touch typing.
I’m sure some of you are familiar with this, and some of you don’t. I don’t.
You might be wondering how touch typing work.
These are the fundamentals of touch typing:
Utilise all of your 10 fingers to type
Rest your fingers on the "ASDF" and "JKL;" keys as the default position
Focus your eyes on the screen
Don’t look at the keyboard.
You’ll type faster than your current speed since you’re probably typing only with your index and middle fingers now instead of using all ten.
The goal of touch typing is to anchor how you handle the keyboard into your subconscious.
This method uses a specific finger-key combination to reduce the mentally taxing process of hunting for the right key.
Oh wait, this is not going to be rainbows and butterflies right off the bat.
When you first start touch typing, you’re going to type really slow and you’re going to make lots of typos.
That sounds counterintuitive because you wanted to write faster, right?
Yes, it’s going to be awkward and frustrating as you’re starting to implement this technique.
But, it’s going to increase your speed over time.
Here’s a story about Adam.
He started touch typing at the age of 29 years old. It goes to show that you’re never too old to improve your writing speed.
He’s a programmer, so he types on a daily basis.
Adam naturally types with both his index and middle finger.
For all his life, his speed averages at around 40wpm.
He decides to learn touch typing to be more efficient at typing.
The first week that he tried touch typing, his speed was 15wpm. Sad. He couldn't use the technique yet for his work as it costs him his productivity.
So he allocates 30 minutes a day to practice this technique with a free typing training online tool like TypingClub.
In only 4 weeks' time, he increases his speed up to 46wpm.
Almost 12% increase in speed.
If he types for 15 hours a week, he’s saving almost 2 hours worth of typing every week.
Today, his typing speed keeps on increasing week by week.
Of course, he’s going to hit a plateau with his typing speed. But his plateau is going to be significantly higher with touch typing compared to his old typing style.
Be like Adam.
Shave 30 minutes off your daily time on social media and use it to learn touch typing.
You’ll save the extra hours from typing to spend time with your friends and family.
Turn your screen off
Okay, if the thought of having to write slowly for the first couple of weeks discourages you from getting on the touch typing ship, then here’s an alternative for an instant gratification seeker like you.
Do this in order:
Dim your screen to pitch black, or cover your screen with a piece of cloth.
Look at your keyboard and just type as fast as you can. It doesn’t matter if you hit the right key or not.
Yeah, sounds like the opposite of touch typing.
And it works. It works instantly.
How does it work you may ask?
Well, simple. You’re cutting off the visual distraction when you can see your written word on the screen.
And you're only focusing on getting your ideas to flow through your fingers. An extreme version of free-flow typing.
Imagine a tsunami wave rummaging through an island. That’s your speed and efficiency in getting all your ideas out of your head into type.
You’ll notice a lot of typos once you look back on the screen. I mean, you’re typing like a blind person.
And, that's okay. You're doing your job as a writer.
Once you’re done writing, pick up your editor hat from the floor, and start editing all the spelling, grammar and structure of the whole piece.
There isn’t only one way to increase your typing speed. If you explore deep enough you'll find plenty of ways to approach this. Touch typing is not the only technique that can increase your typing speed. However, it’s an excellent starting point to boost your typing speed. Over time you’ll either stick with the technique or you’ll modify it to suit your typing preference. So, what are you waiting for? Start typing.
Knock knock. I’m sending an owl to your bedroom window with a personal letter on how to deal with anxiety, self-development, and some light bulbs on marketing and entrepreneurship, every week. If you’re interested, then: Show the owl where to drop these letters.