Typing is an important skill that can be useful both in your personal and professional life. The faster and more accurate you type, the more efficient you will become. Initially, learning how to improve your typing skills may be frustrating and seem more difficult than using your current method, but if you persist and practice, your speed, and skill will see significant improvement! The best way to improve your typing skills is to learn touch typing where you can type without looking at the keyboard. The more you practice, the better your hand muscle memory becomes.
This may seem like an odd place to start, but the better your starting posture, the less strain you will put on your body while typing. Keep your back straight, your elbows at a right angle and face towards the screen with your head tilted slightly forward and down. Relax your hands, wrists, and shoulders as much as possible. Avoid putting weight on your wrists or having them at odd angles.
If possible, get a keyboard that feels best for you. See how the keys feel for your fingers while typing and how your wrists feel when in the correct position. Once you have a keyboard that works well for you, begin learning its layout. The goal is to avoid looking at the keyboard while typing, so the more familiar you are with the standard keyboard layout, the easier it will be to use it.
Once you know the layout of your keyboard, learn which fingers should hit which keys. At rest, your hands will be over the ASDF and JKL; keys, your pointer fingers over F and J. Practice moving your fingers using the proper finger for each key while looking at the keyboard. The more you keep to the proper hand positioning at the beginning, the easier it will be to learn touch typing without looking at the keyboard.
After practicing proper hand position while looking at the keyboard, begin typing without looking at the keyboard. It is okay to look occasionally if you are stuck, but do your best to look at the screen as you type. With enough practice, your fingers will know where the keys are through muscle memory.
At first, touch typing will be a slow process, especially if you are used to an alternate style of typing. Focus not on speed, but instead on how accurately you type. Slow but accurate typing to start will set better foundations for your typing skills, and your speed will grow with practice.
Practice makes permanent. The more you practice your new typing skills properly, the better your typing skills will become. Practice in your work setting if applicable, and practice more challenging sentences to continue to push your skill higher. Work on sentences that include all the letters on the keyboard like, “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” and “sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow.” Along with practicing the letters, practice using the punctuation and numbers. The more familiar you are with uncommon letters and punctuation, the faster your typing will become.
Now that you know how to type better and are practicing, set goals for yourself. These goals can be about increasing your typing speed, your accuracy, improving your posture, or anything else that will help you improve your typing. When you meet your goals, feel free to reward yourself with something, and then set another goal to continue improving.
A great way to practice your new skills is by using typing games and tests. There are simple tests that test your accuracy and speed, whereas other typing exercises are set up more like games. No matter what age you are, it is usually more fun and less frustrating to practice a new skill like typing through a game setting. Some games will focus on helping you quickly use individual keys whereas others will focus on improving your speed and accuracy while writing full words and sentences. Find a game or test that works best for you and use it to improve and help meet your goals.
Typing, especially when you are working to improve speed and accuracy, can be surprisingly stressful for your body. Remember to take a moment every 15 minutes or so while practicing to examine your posture. Shake your hands out, flex your fingers, and maybe take a short walk. When you start again, make sure that your posture is relaxed and comfortable again. Also, remember to occasionally look away from the screen for at least 10 seconds to let your eyes relax.
It may seem easier at first to revert to old habits such as only using one finger on each hand or looking back down at the keyboard, but as much as possible, stick to the newer habits. Though it may be slower than your old methods at first, the more you practice properly, the faster and more efficient you will become. Continue checking in with your goals, and with practice and patience, you will soon be able to show off your new and improved skills!