Typing a document doesn't have to be a time-consuming, dreadful task. With just a few changes in your posture, placement of your fingers on the keyboard, and practice you will have your WPM up in no time.
Here's some advice coming from someone who can be described as a sufferer from "text neck," you can thank me later! Proper ergonomics are often overlooked when improving your typing. To avoid the most strain on your body:
Sit upright with a straight back
Position your monitor at eye level, so that you're not tilting your head down
Plant your feet flat on the floor, with your legs bent at a 90-degree angle
Bend your arms at a 90-degree angle to your keyboard
Keep your wrists parallel with your mouse and keyboard, so they're not bending too far up or down
Of course, this is a difficult position to hold for an extended period of time — let alone an 8 hour work day — but with practice you can improve your posture AND your typing.
The 10-Finger Method
If you were blessed enough to be born with ten fingers, why not use ‘em all? You were probably taught in grade school — whether you learned how to type on a typewriter or personal computer — to use the “home keys” and type with all 10 fingers... but what adolescent wants to listen to their elders (amiright?). Well, sorry to say, your teachers were on to something.
When correctly using the 10-finger method, you will be able to type with your eyes closed (or blind-folded if you're ever in a hostage situation...). Here it goes:
On your left hand, place your index finger on the 'F', your middle finger on the 'D', your ring finger on the 'S', and your pinky on the 'A'. On your right hand, place your index finger on the 'J', your middle finger on the 'K', your next finger on the 'L', and your pinky on either the ';' or '?' — depending on which is most comfortable for you.
Once you have it down, the muscle memory in your fingers will take over, and you can significantly lower your error rate and increase your typing speed at the same time.
Get Your Game On
Playing typing games, like this one from Master Typing, can help you improve your typing speed and lower your error rate without the monotony of just practicing your typing in a blank Word document. At the same time, who doesn't like a little healthy competition? There's a leader board with high scores, see if you can beat the top WPM!
Improving your typing skills is one thing, but it's also nice to know other ways to work smarter, not harder. Keyboard shortcuts are a great way to speed up any task rather than switching back and forth from typing on your keyboard to clicking your mouse.
For example, copying and pasting can quickly be accomplished by pressing "CTRL + C" to copy a highlighted text, and "CTRL + V" to paste in your desired location. If you're thinking, "Wow... you save one millisecond with that one, what are you going to do with all of your free time!?" Well my answer for you is that maybe you have noticed that in certain forms online right clicking to paste ISN'T an option. However, with the keyboard shortcut "CTRL + V" you just found the golden ticket of pasting without having to retype everything. That especially comes in handy when prompted to re-type your password.
Sometimes when you copy and paste from the internet, the formatting from the website will carry over. If you don't want to waste your time changing the typeface, color and font size to match your document, press "CTRL + SHIFT + V" to paste without formatting.
For a longer list of keyboard shortcuts, visit our previous blog post, "The Best Windows Shortcuts to Save You Time (and Impress Coworkers)."