In this blog post, I will guide you through the most important productivity hack to save time if you are working daily on a computer. What is it, how to learn it, and how much time will it take.
After 5 years in college and now 2 years working as a software developer, the single most productive skill I ever learned is to type fast.
Why Fast Typing is Essential
Let’s say you are studying a lecture and you want to take notes. If you don’t know how to type fast, you probably have to pause the lecture, look at your keyboard, and slowly type what you have to write. If you know how to type fast, you can take notes while watching the lecture and not even have to look at your keyboard.
The Numbers Speak
To make things more concrete, let’s use numbers.
The lecture is 10 minutes, and you have to stop the video every minute to write a note.
Every note takes you 30 seconds.
You will need 10 X 30 = 300 seconds or 5 minutes.
If we take into account the length of the video, you need 10 + 5 = 15 minutes for the whole process.
In the other scenario, if you type fast, you just need 10 minutes.
It will take you 50% more time for the same process if you don’t know how to type.
Handwriting vs Typing
If you try to write it by hand, it will take you even more.
The average handwriting speed is 8wpm (words per minute)
The average typing speed is 30wpm.
With practice, in a short amount of time, you can write with a typing speed of 60+ wpm.
That's an 8x increase over your handwriting speed and 2x over your average typing speed. That means you will complete the daily tasks that need you to write in half the time if you previously typed and in a quarter of the time if you wrote by hand.
How To Learn to Type Faster
The best and most necessary thing you need to do is learn to type using all of your fingers. There are plenty of websites that help you do that. My favorite and the one I used to learn to type with 90wpm is keybr.
Here is a simple and fast introduction video to watch before you use the website.
There are also websites where you can do typing races with other people or with your friends. My personal favorite and most famous one is typeracer.
Here is a screenshot of my typeracer profile that I hardly use anymore.
How Long It Will Take
You just have to practice it consistently for 10 to 30 minutes a day. Time frames can vary depending on your current skill and learning capabilities. But here are some references:
In a week, you will be able to type with 10 fingers.
In a month, you should be able to surpass your current typing speed.
After 4 months you should be able to type without looking at the keyboard.
I would suggest practicing toward the 30-minute mark (or even more if you can) the first days until you can fully type with 10 fingers. There are also websites where you can do typing races with other people or with your friends. My personal favorite and most famous one is the typeracer.
Learning how to type fast is one of the best time investments you can make. It's free, fast, and simple to get good at compared to other skills. It will save you valuable time and make you more productive. If you type regularly, it is a game changer. I have tried every single one of the “productivity hacks” on the internet and this is by far the best one.