PRODUCTIVITY

Slice Time Off Your Learning With Touch-Typing

Abby Weng, English Coach & Consultant

The gun goes off

And the next thing you know, there’s a sharp clink — that’s the sound of Isao Machii’s sword slicing through a BB gun bullet that was traveling at 200 miles an hour. How did the modern-day Samurai accomplish this feat?

The truth is, he does not bother to locate the bullet with his eyes. Looking slows him down. Instead, years of warrior training enables him to sense the bullet and react to it almost automatically.

Fact: the computer is an indispensable tool as you learn English

Mastering Touch-Typing is the equivalent of attaining the samurai’s instinctive swordsmanship.

In this article, I’ll answer the following questions:

– What is Touch-Typing?

– Why should we learn it?

– Where can we learn Touch-Typing?

My purpose is to convince you that you can shave a significant amount of time off your learning by picking up the art of touch-typing.

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1. What?

Even though sight is really important, it can actually slow us down at times

When we type, for example, if we have to look away from the screen to find letters on the keyboard after every input, we waste a tremendous amount of time switching back and forth. Every time we cannot locate a letter, we end up wasting more time on searching for it; this is time that adds up, and it is definitely time that we can put to better use.

Touch-Typing is the perfect solution to this problem. In a nutshell, it is a method of typing that relies on muscle memory. It completely skips the use of our eyes as we type. In fact, we can even type blindfolded just because our fingers remember where everything is on the keyboard

2. Why?

Touch-typing was an essential part of my education

To this day, I still feel really grateful that when I was in elementary school, my school included typing classes every week in our curriculum. I really enjoyed the time we got to spend in the computer lab, with those bright, colorful Jolly-Rancher iMacs that we had in the 90s. We played typing video games and tried to beat each other’s scores.

Those competitions in childhood gave me an edge at school because I could spend less time on figuring out the location of letters and more time on the learning what really mattered. Because I could type so rapidly, I was able to spend more time on finding information for my papers and revising them.

Nowadays, I always recommend my clients to pick up Touch-Typing because the dramatic increase of speed in typing can free up so much more time in their learning.

To give you an example

The accepted average typing speed is 41 words per minute (WPM). A quick test online reveals that mine is 97 WPM thanks to the skill of Touch-Typing. Essentially, I can do twice as much on the computer as someone who doesn’t have this skill — whether I’m doing research, writing, transcribing or chatting in English.

3. Where?

The best part is that you can easily learn Touch-Typing for free online

My favorite Touch-Typing program, which is available for free online, is the TypingClub.

It takes you step by step to familiarize you with where each individual letter sits on the keyboard, then gradually it combines everything to help you improve your speed until you can reach the average typing speed with Touch-Typing.

From there on, you can do more practice with the following services:

– Keybr

– 10 Fast Fingers 

What if I don’t use the computer all that much? Do I really need to learn it?

It’s undeniable that we live in the age of the Internet. Computers are so indispensable in this modern life that we should learn English within the context of our technology in order to fully bring it into our lives.

Besides, if we live in a country that doesn’t use English as its primary language (like I do — I currently live in Taiwan), the internet is often the best way to gain exposure to the language. And even if we do live in a place where everyone speaks English, the internet is still the greatest treasure trove of knowledge!

But it’s hard to work on typing when I need the time to work on my English!

Yes, it’s tempting to put off Touch-Typing time and time again because always, there seems to be something else that will help you make more progress in English.

But don’t forget: the faster we can type, the more we can accomplish, and the more easily we can access relevant resources to help us grow. Becoming more efficient at using our technology will free up tremendously more time and energy down the road. It’s really an investment worth making, and you won’t have to give up working on your other material; you just have to slow down enough so that you can get better at this one thing. In time, you will be able to accelerate way beyond your current speed.

So let’s do a quick review:

You should learn Touch-Typing as soon as possible because the astounding amount of time it will help you save can be better invested in your learning. Moreover, it’s totally free to pick up this skill!

You can be a Samurai too

As you become more familiar with Touch-Typing, the keyboard will gradually become a natural extension to your body. Like the modern day Samurai, you will not let the search for visual clues slow you down. Instead, you’ll be able to make the best use of your time and focus on what’s truly important.

Next Step

In this article, we covered an important tool that will enhance the way you use technology to learn English, thereby increasing your productivity.

My online membership, English Ever After is a community that leverages the power of the internet to help intermediate to advanced learners make a breakthrough and really start to use English in real life. Click here to find out more about the program.

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