No matter what you’re writing, you don’t want to spend days on just one piece. However, this occurs to most of us: we set unrealistic deadlines, type slowly with no goal, procrastinate to finally give up on our work or cause a last-minute rush to finish it. This way we’ll never succeed.
If you’re ready to change your unproductive habits and type faster, let’s dive into the ways to improve your writing speed so that you spend time more efficiently and finish your writing a lot faster.
Use Techniques for Faster Typing and Play Typing Games
If you are always looking for a letter on a keyboard while typing, it’s definitely time to make some changes and start practicing. Write every day and eventually, you’ll notice improvements. Research suggests that people who type faster than the average typing speed (41 WPM) train 3 times as much as those who type slower than that.
Practice is undoubtedly crucial, but to type even faster the practice should involve the best typing techniques. Learn how to put your fingers on a keyboard to train your muscle memory and repeat exercises regularly.
To hone your writing skills with some fun and consolidate results, play typing games. There are so many various games that are developed to improve your typing speed. Apply the techniques you’ve learned earlier and enjoy writing speed.
Make an Outline
It’s nearly impossible to write fast about something you don’t know. Spending additional time to outline major points may seem redundant, but believe us it’ll save your time.
Analyze what you want to include in your writing, get your ideas in order, highlight key points and so on. Thus you don’t need to stop and think about what comes next as you’ve prepared it in advance.
Your outline doesn’t have to be detailed or time-consuming. The main purpose of it is to make sure you don’t get distracted by searching for ideas and know for sure that you don’t miss anything important.
Your outline should also include relevant statistics, facts, quotes from research papers you’ve found. This will again save the time you otherwise would spend on recalling or searching for the information you’d like to mention.
Conducting research in advance is critical for faster writing for one more reason. Task switching is a procedure when we switch our attention between two or more tasks consciously or unconsciously. A good example is switching between writing and researching.
The hard truth is it takes more time to get tasks completed if you switch between them than if you do them one at a time. It not only increases the amount of time spent but also makes you tired faster as task switching involves several parts of your brain.
Moreover, you make more errors when you switch than if you do one task at a time.
Therefore, make sure you’ve done your research beforehand so you don’t get distracted by switching between writing and researching.
We often call our brains lazy. In fact, the human brain prefers to expend as little energy as possible. And yes, writing anything is energy-consuming. Not surprisingly, we sometimes choose reading celebrity gossips over writing an article. This results in productivity loss and frustration.
The good news is that you can adjust your environment and get rid of distractions. Pay closer attention to your notebook and smartphone. Turn on focus mode on your gadgets, close unnecessary browser windows and email apps, take everything you need in advance and start working.
You may experiment even further and turn off your Wi-Fi if it’s possible. For example, Google Documents has an offline mode.
Set a Timer and Take Breaks
Setting a timer during your work has significant advantages. First, you’ll be aware of your average completion time which is important when you start new challenging tasks. Second, it’s too hard to procrastinate and waste time when you know the clock is ticking.
When it comes to purposeful breaks, let’s turn to science. A study showed that short breaks help concentrate better, fight cognitive boredom, increase energy and productivity.
Experiment and find out whether you need shorter and more frequent breaks or longer ones after two or more hours. You may begin with the Pomodoro technique:
Work for 25 minutes, then take a 5-minute break. Repeat this cycle 4 times and take a longer break (15-25 minutes). Repeat a bigger cycle again. There are multiple Pomodoro apps you can install on your smartphone. Learn more about the science behind the Pomodoro technique here.
Set a deadline
Do you know about Parkinson’s Law? It’s usually expressed as “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” It generally means that if you decide to finish the task in a year, you will. If you believe you’re able to do it in three months, you will.
Under no circumstances do we imply that you should set unrealistic deadlines. Instead, think of the shortest time you’ll be able to finish your writing without sacrificing your life and the quality of the piece.
The first draft rarely becomes a masterpiece and it’s totally fine. Let’s recall the task switching we mentioned earlier. You probably guess that our advice is not to edit your copy while you’re writing. Let typos occur, it doesn’t matter right now. What matters is that you do a single task at a time and save your precious time.
After you’ve completed your draft, start editing. To eliminate errors as fast as possible, use Linguix’s Grammar and Spell checker. To make your writing even more eloquent, you can also use a built-in thesaurus and paraphraser. Download the Linguix browser extension and enjoy your personal AI-based writing assistant.
There are so many ways to improve your writing speed. Practice one at a time, make it a habit and then add one more hack into your writing routine until your typing speed is enough for your purposes. Good look!