As longtime readers know, I’m a tad obsessed with productivity.
And here is what I think is actually one of the most important factors to being productive: typing really freaking fast.
(Curious how fast you type? This is a good site to test it. I’m around 110-120 come at me bro).
Think about how much time you spend typing per day. Then imagine you could write the same number of words in 75% of the time or even 50% of the time.
If you’re languishing in the 30-40 wpm realm (the average typist), just think of what’s possible if you could type three times as fast! Imagine if you could type as fast as your brain can think!!
You could send extra emails, get a few more pages done on your work in progress, and have some more time for chores, just by typing faster.
This is, sadly, not the time where I tell you about my patent-pending typing class available for $19.95 with free shipping and handling. But I would definitely encourage you to think of typing like muscle strength and work on it like you would an exercise regime.
If your typing form is poor, consider a typing class, either online or in person. If you’re good, play speed typing word games to get better.
The faster you type, the more you get done. It’s that simple.
I’m available for manuscript edits, query critiques, and consultations! And if you like this post, check out my guide to writing a novel.
Art: Underwood Standard Typewriter
89 wpm. Better than I thought. Type fast, edit slowly!
i don't think i know anyone who types that fast, dude. pretty impressive. i'm at seventy, which is perfectly alright with me.
Stacy McKitrick says
Sometimes the keyboard is your enemy and I have been known to type faster than it wants to catch (I'm very picky when it comes to keyboards). Still, I managed 94-95 wpm on a keyboard I'm not crazy about (took the test twice–different examples). Not too shabby. 🙂
K.E. Skedgell says
I won't even bother taking the test. I know I suck at typing. For me, it's not how fast I can type when it comes to writing, it's being able to articulate what I have in my head into words onto the screen that makes me so slow. There are times that the words fly through my head and I wish I could type faster to keep up, but most of the time my slow typing speed matches with my slow ability to write what I want to say.
Maya Prasad says
I can't tell if this post is a joke, but yeah…my thoughts take more time than my typing, so improving WPM won't increase productivity.
Joe Kushner says
That's only true if you're typing from an already written document. If you're working the workout as you go, typing speed, while more is always better, is not going to make you magically capable of writing MORE than you have ready to write.
Taking a sample of your energy levels throughout the day, distractions, etc…, is another way to look at improving your output. If you know at X time you're always involved with something, that might not be the ideal time to write for example.
JOHN T. SHEA says
Like several other commenters, I can already type faster than I can think. AND I did not do a 100 best novels list. AND I will not compete in the virtual arm-wrestling test you will no doubt post tomorrow!
But I do like your typewriter pics.
Nathan Bransford says
I'm pretty surprised this post is meeting with skepticism! And here I almost decided against publishing it because I thought it was too obvious.
For creative writing, sure, sometimes ideas come slowly, and there's even some benefit in slowing down (hence why some people write by hand). So fast typing may not vastly increase your productivity, though I'd still argue that you get the benefit when things are really flowing.
But for day-to-day tasks, emails, blog comments, things of that nature, where you're relaying something that's already in your head, how can fast typing not help??
I agree that fast typing can be an ENORMOUS help. Especially after reading the blog, wandering over to the typing test site, taking the test, wandering back, reading the comment, then wandering back a while later to read other comments. Where you gonna make up that lost time??
Nathan Bransford says
You're on to me…
Peter Dudley says
Mid 80s on my tiny Belkin ipad keyboard. The apostrophe in Sheep's really threw me off. I can't imagine 120.
Typing fast may help create more output in shorter time, but it does not necessarily improve communication. I work with a lot of people who would communicate better by using fewer words. Good communication takes attention, not just speed. You, with your training and your intelligence and your education at the Bay Area's best Junior University, probably think with quality. So typing faster is good.
But if you're turning out pure crap, making more crap faster isn't good for society.
I took a typing class in high school. Electric typewriters existed (alongside TRS-80s), but they made us use manual typewriters. Best class in high school because they just let us free type a lot of the time, and I wrote some of my best surrealist free association then.