Do you look at your resume and feel that it’s too bare? Or you simply have too much time to spare? Well, you’re not alone! Phineas and Ferb too had a hard time deciding what to do in their 104 days of summer vacation. Fret not though, I will be introducing skills you could pick up in my new series – Get Skilled 101. I’ll share my experiences, including how difficult it is for you to jump right into it!
Most, if not all skills, can be categorised into two categories – soft skills and hard skills. Soft skills are related to how you work while hard skills are acquired abilities that allow you to perform a certain type of work. Examples of soft skills include communication, leadership and teamwork while examples of hard skills include photography skills, marketing skills and even analytic skills.
After much consideration, the first skill I’d like to hone in this series is my typing skills. You may be wondering, what on earth would I ever need to have good typing skills for? As we live in a technological age, we are surrounded by the presence of mobile phones, PCs and laptops. They have many things in common, particularly a qwerty keyboard. Since a faster typing speed would reduce the amount of time needed for you to have everything typed out, mastering the ability to type fast gives you an advantage in texting, taking minutes and even getting your essays done.
Basics of Touch (speed) typing
Image 1: Colour coded diagram
This diagram depicts which fingers you should use for the respective keys on your keyboard. Ensure that all your fingers are being used and that you follow the colours as shown. Although it may not be easy, I’m sure with about 30 days of practice and being disciplined about using the right fingers for the various keys, you’ll be a master of touch (speed) typing.
Why learn touch (speed) typing?
An average American speaker speaks at 125 words per minute (WPM) . Hence, we need to have a similar typing speed in order to notate fluently. For reference, the average typing speed is 50 WPM. Some workplaces may require workers to have above average speeds to perform certain duties. Professional typists can have average speeds exceeding 120 WPM.
Your typing speed is inversely proportional to the amount of time you require to get something typed out. If doubling your typing speed will halve the time required to get your essay done, why not start learning today?
A quick search online will provide you with various typing tests you could take to gauge your typing speed. Having personally taken a few typing tests from various sites, my results were slightly less than 100 WPM. Decent, but could be better. My goal? 120 WPM.
How do I go about learning more?
After some research, I came across sites promising more targeted exercises to improve your typing speed for a certain fee. But are these necessary? The answer is no.
As shared above, touch typing is no rocket science! You need to ensure that you are not cheating yourself and falling back to your old habits. Familiarise yourself with using all 10 fingers when typing and that you are hitting them with the right accuracy. No matter how busy you are, try to spare 5 minutes a day to practice touch typing and you’ll be amazed at your results at the end of a month!
There are many online typing tests available for you to test yourself or even compete against others to keep improving your typing speed. It’s even better if you’re in our main discord server (RF main hub) or in one of our other bigger servers that have Rebel Bot. Rebel Bot has a typing competition function enabled and in such big servers, you’ll be able to find other people to join you in the friendly typing competition. Practicing on your own can be good for you to hone your skills, however I believe that for you to truly be breaking your typing records, it is best to have friendly competitions with others whenever possible.
As a touch typist, going from 100 WPM to 120 WPM was no small feat. I was limited by the cramping of fingers after a while (yes, I’m still working on this) and my ability to sight read (you might have to read fast as well since your fingers are moving so fast). However, I believe that anything is possible only if you put your mind to it. The road to learning anything new or even trying to improve your skill is not easy but persevere and you’ll get to see the results you desire!
Image 2: After practicing some touch (speed) typing, I did a type race using Rebel Bot and hit my desired 120WPM!
Feel free to contact me (Guinz) if you have some skills you’d like to suggest for me to pick up!