Learning to type faster means that you’re able to draft your academic research papers in less time, leaving more space in your schedule to take care of other obligations or even have a bit of fun. It also provides benefits that extend beyond schoolwork, such as being able to respond to personal emails with greater speed or finishing documents at work more quickly, increasing your productivity.

Improving your typing speed and accuracy is even more beneficial as it means less time spent editing what you’ve written to ensure that it doesn’t contain spelling or grammatical errors. If this is your goal, here are a few tips that can help.

1) Learn the proper hand position on the keyboard.

The key to learning to type faster is making sure your hands are in the proper position on the keyboard. This involves resting the left pointer finger on the “F” key, then resting each subsequent finger on the keys directly to the left of it—the left middle finger on the “D”, ring finger on the “S,” and the pinky on the “A.” The left thumb rests on the space bar or hovers slightly above it.

The correct position for the right pointer finger is on the “J” key. Again, the other fingers rest on the keys just to the right of this—the right middle finger on the “K,” ring finger on the “L,” and the pinky on the semi-colon. Like the left thumb, the right thumb also either rests on or hovers above the space bar.

The best way to remember and find this hand position is that each pointer finger rests on the key with the elevated horizontal line (—). By keeping your fingers in these positions, you have easy access to all the other keys on the keyboard. Each finger is responsible for the keys directly above and below the one it is resting on, with the pointer and pinky fingers also responsible for the keys around them.

2) Keep your eyes on the computer screen.

While it may be tempting to watch your fingers as you type, this can actually slow you down. Instead, keep your eyes on the computer screen and avoid looking down. If you find this difficult, taping a piece of paper so it lays over your hands while typing can help you break this habit.

Some people will go as far as shutting off their monitor completely when learning to type faster. This isn’t an option if you use a laptop or an all-in-one desktop. But if it is an option for you and you want to try it, you may find that it can go a long way in improving your typing speed and accuracy because you must rely on your abilities versus constantly checking how you’re doing.

3) Practice Regularly

At first, typing this way might feel uncomfortable. However, as long as you stick with it, your fingers will begin to learn where each letter is. Before you know it, you’ll type almost without thought. Your fingers will seemingly go where they need to put the desired words in writing, making this a more automatic process.

There are a few online sites that allow you to test your typing speed and accuracy, also providing exercises to improve both. Using these types of platforms helps you gauge your progress. It can also be a great way to see if you’re making the same mistakes over and over again.

For example, you may notice that you tend to type “teh” when you intend to type “the.” Recognizing this gives you something to work on when learning to type faster and with more accuracy.

4) Aim for progress over perfection.

If you are used to typing with only one or two fingers, pecking away at the keyboard to get your thoughts and ideas down, it can feel completely foreign to use proper hand position—especially without looking down. This may cause you to want to give up, resolving yourself to the fact that you’ll never be able to type quickly and without mistakes.

One way to avoid this is to aim for progress over perfection. Start slowly and seek to improve a little bit each time. If you can only type five or 10 words per minute at first, that’s fine. Continue to practice, striving to increase by one or two words per minute at each typing session.

It also helps to remember that improving your typing speed and accuracy takes time. At the same time, keep in mind that the ultimate goal is to get more done in less time. Learning to type faster will get you there, making it more than worth the effort in the long run.