It’s 11 pm and you have a 2000-word paper due at midnight.

If you type 50 words per minute, you could finish your paper in 40 minutes. But if you type at 25 words per minute, you wouldn’t make the deadline.

Or…

It’s 30 minutes before your weekly meeting and you need to write a team update – fast.

If you type 50 words per minute, you could get a 500-word update done in 10 minutes. But if you type 25 words per minute, those same 500 words would take twice as long.

Regardless of your career path, typing accuracy and speed are some of the most important skills you can possess. Keep reading to learn how to improve your typing skills, whether you’re working on your company blog or writing a report for university.

Follow Proper Typing Position

Whether you’re a smart student working on a term paper or a working professional sending emails, you should always type with proper hand placement. Your left fingers should be placed over the A, S, D, and F keys, while your right hand should rest on the J, K, L, and ; keys. This starting point is known as the “home row.”

Your fingers will reach the surrounding keys in what is known as the “touch typing” method. In this method, you’ll train your hands to type without having to look at keys.

For instance, say you have to type the word “plan.” You’ll reach your right pinky up to type the letter “p,” your right ring to type “l,” your left pinky to type “a,” and your right index down to type “n.”

When you’re reaching the keys in the rows above and below the home row always return your fingers to their starting positions. Once you’re more comfortable with the keyboard, you’re free to adjust your starting position to what’s most comfortable for you.

The majority of people find the traditional home row placement to be the optimal choice for typing more quickly and accurately.

Maintain Good Posture

It’s easy to get comfortable in a slouching position and then begin typing a long project without realizing that you’re straining your hands and body. But without good posture, you lose both typing accuracy and speed.

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When you begin typing, start with your feet flat on the floor and sit up straight. Sit in a chair with a slight curvature so your back is supported. A cushion near the bottom of the backrest will give extra support to your lower back, a common sore spot after typing for long periods of time.

Next, adjust your computer screen so it’s at the optimal distance and height away from you. Place the screen about 2 feet away from your eyes and just a few inches below eye level. You shouldn’t have to squint or crane your neck to type.

Bend your elbow at about a 90-degree angle. Keeping your elbows bent will reduce long-term strain on your elbows, arms, and wrists.

Don’t forget the 20-20-20 rule. After 20 minutes of looking at your screen and typing, spend 20 seconds focusing on an object that’s about 20 feet away. Re-focusing your vision on something other than the screen directly in front of you will reduce strain and give your body a break.

And you can find the perfect timer at https://setapp.com/.

Embrace Learning By Touch

If you often find yourself looking down at your keyboard while learning to type more quickly, you’re not alone. Research has found that almost 70% of the population are visual learners, so it’s natural to want to use your eyes to adjust your fingers.

But the more you look at your hands, the slower you’ll learn how to type more quickly. If you’re always looking down, you won’t be able to focus on your screen.

It will be difficult at first to look up at your screen instead of looking down, but try to embrace this process. Looking at your screen will improve your accuracy because you’ll be able to stay on task and catch typing mistakes as they happen.

Soon enough, your hands will get accustomed to the keys and gain muscle memory. If you’re stuck, move your index fingers around until you find two small tabs. These two tabs are located on the F and J keys, which will help you to re-align the rest of your fingers.

It’s okay to occasionally look down at your hands if you keep making the same error or to double-check where the keys are. But if you’re constantly looking down at the keyboard despite your best efforts not to, consider using a cloth or cover so you won’t be able to see the keys.

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Practice Without Distractions

The more frequently you practice your typing skills, the better they’ll become. But the environment in which you practice is just as important as the practicing itself.

Recognize that it will take a few minutes to establish an efficient working pace. When your first sit down, it will take a few minutes to get comfortable. After a bit, though, you’ll establish a rhythm and find yourself typing faster as you come up with more ideas.

Become focused and maintain that focus by eliminating distractions when you’re typing. Work in a quiet room so outside noises don’t affect your speed or accuracy. Use a timer to remind yourself to take breaks so you don’t have to consciously check the clock.

Most importantly, turn off electronics. This includes off-task notifications you receive on your computer while you’re working as well as other electronics like cell phones and tablets.

Half of the students admit to using technology for purposes unrelated to learning while in the classroom – imagine how much focus could be gained by putting them away!

Build Your Typing Accuracy & Speed

By mastering your typing accuracy and speed, you can become your most productive self yet. Get the most out of your typing practice by challenging yourself and staying focused.

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