11 Secrets to Typing your Way to Productivity

Wouldn’t it be just great to finish that report half an hour early? Learn how to conquer the keyboard and beat your deadlines faster with these 11 techniques.

by Marella Castro, 20 June 2017

Add up your typing lag and think of what better things you could do with your time. Longer breaks and going home early sound good? How about a vacation for a job well done? That last one may sound unlikely just from typing fast, but think about it. If you have your typing down pat, you can focus on improving quality and maybe earn more to pay for that getaway.

1. Don’t Hunt and Peck

Hunt and peck typing is when you look for the keys before you press them. Try visualizing the letters in your mind and let your hands roam free. The traditional way is to use the Home Row as the base position. These are the ASDF and JKL keys in the middle of the letter keys, with F and J under your index fingers. Reach keys using the nearest finger from this position.

2. The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over the Lazy Dog

If you need to choose one sentence, let this be it. All the letters in the alphabet appear exactly once! Typing it repeatedly is the simplest way to build muscle memory.

3. Use All 10 Fingers

Being able to utilize all 10 fingers not only makes your typing more efficient, it also reduces the strain on your hands by distributing the work equally among all your digits.

4. Pay Attention to What’s Next

Don’t just look at the word you’re about to type. Retain whole phrases or sentences if you can.

5. No Peeking

Touch typing is when you don’t look at the keys—fine, you can peek for the first few tries. But if you really can’t help it, put a light cloth over the keyboard to stop the habit. Did you know that for accomplished typists, looking at the keys actually slows them down?

6. Don’t Rush the Learning Process

Muscle memory takes time. Focus on your accuracy first and speed will follow. Otherwise, correcting typos will be the death of you.

7. Optimize Your Equipment

The equipment you use can have an impact on your performance. Concave keys that cup your fingers can help reduce errors, as you increase your speed. If an office chair that mimics the natural curve of your spine may be too much to ask, get a pillow for your lower back. Are you distracted by discomfort, or have an existing condition that makes it hard for you to type? Look for ergonomic equipment that meet your needs. Reading up on keyboard shortcuts won’t hurt either..

8. Breaking Speed, Not Breaking Keys

Don’t take your anger out on the keyboard. Heavy typing is bad for your joints AND it slows you down. Remember, spirit fingers!

9. Maintain Proper Posture

Tilt your head forward when facing the screen and center your keyboard directly in front of you. Bend your elbows at a right angle. Make sure your keyboard is at the right height. If your desk is too high, adjust your office chair and rest your feet on a stool. Never put your weight on your wrists and keep them in a neutral position. It’s normal to type fast if you just got started. But what enables you to do it for long hours, day in and day out, is good posture. Bad posture will bite you in the bum sooner than you think, if you don’t straighten your act back now.

10. Good ‘Ole Practice

There’s just no way around it. Review your error-prone keys and customize your exercises. Typing software can do this for you.

11. Be Competitive

When you’re ready to speed things up, track your rate or words per minute (wpm). If you want something different from online typing tests, try racing with your officemates on who gets to type their reports the fastest!

Typing faster not only gets you to do more, it gets you to do better. Practice consistently and see how you are faring each day!