If you are a student like me, you know the drill. Wake up, attend lectures, do tons of assignments, focus on research, come back home to find yourself occupied with homework, and then the cycle repeats. It often is a blessing to find a few hours free, let alone an entire day. With such a routine, why am I focusing on increasing my typing speed rather than relaxing or rather focusing on the other skills I can improve on?

Here’s why I am doing it and why I think you should do it too.

  1. I spend a lot of time on the computer. It ranges from time spent doing research to time spent on LinkedIn. A rough estimate would be around 3-5 hours a day. Most of that time is spent interacting with the keyboard. I figured out that if I can improve my typing speed by just 20%, I will get done with stuff 20% faster and free up at least half an hour every day. That translates to more free time!
  2. It does require conscious practice to improve typing speed. I am aware of it. That is the time that I am putting in now to reap its benefits later. What I have figured out is that I can increase my typing speed by roughly 10% for every 5 hours I practice. That way, if I spend 10 hours to increase it by 20%, then the payback period will just be 20 days. In other words, I would recover those hours in under a month of daily work and the skill will remain with me for a very long time (if not forever). Try figuring out if it is the same for you.
  3. The reason I am focusing on it right now rather than any other skill is that I don’t really have to set time aside to learn this skill. I am on the computer for an extended time either way so whenever I want to take a break from whatever I am doing on the computer, I open the typing tutor and spend two minutes practicing. And that is it. For any other skill, I have to carve time out of my schedule so increasing my typing speed is a low-friction activity for me.
  4. One of the main reasons for me to take on this challenge is to boost my creativity. I can usually think way faster than I can type (currently). It means that I cannot document my ideas without having to slow my thinking down and that really hampers creativity. I lose ideas before I have an opportunity to write them down. By increasing my typing speed, I can try to match it to the speed at which I think, making the whole process feel more natural for me.
  5. By being able to type faster, I can take notes in classes quickly. This means that I don’t have to miss out on paying attention to the professor while taking notes. If you are a student who uses a laptop to take class notes, then you will understand. You are focusing so hard to keep up with writing that you kind of don’t take in what is being taught.
  6. I can see being able to type faster as a way to communicate more with people. Often, when I am communicating via typing, I am kind of forced to shorten what I have to say just because it would take me a lot of time to type it. Then there are times when I want to comment on someone’s status but I don’t because the comment is going to be a few lines and I feel too lazy to spend a few minutes. All this can go away simply by being able to type faster.

Lastly, I can write more in the same amount of time. I can post more frequently here on my blog and connect with you guys. What’s better than that? I don’t really want to type at the speed of a professional typist but just fast enough to be able to reap its benefits.

If you want to do the same, you can try out either of the websites: KeyBR or MonkeyType. The first one uses algorithms to make you increase your typing accuracy and is more beneficial if you are trying to learn how to properly type (with all ten digits). The latter one has a clean UI and is perfect to just give it a quick go to improve the speed.