Changing Gears… The modern way.

Learning to change gears

Imagine if your taxi driver was unable to change gears. He’d spend all day chauffeuring customers in first gear, unable to get above 20kmh. You’d question his sanity, wondering why he didn’t invest the small amount of effort needed to maximise his potential.

Can you touch type?

For most managers or knowledge workers, we spend at least half our days emailing, writing, and planning on our computers. The keyboard is our gear box, and many of us struggle to get out of first gear.

Three years ago I realised how ridiculous this was, so I finally did two things:

1. I spent about 5 minutes every second day playing some touch typing games. I did this for a few weeks to get the basics.

2. I then bought a cheap keyboard, blacked out the letters, and forced myself to use that (so you can’t cheat and look down).

I’m still about half as quick as my wife, who was fortunate enough to do those lessons in high school. But even at this speed, I estimate I can get through about 20% more work each day.

Imagine being 20% more productive at work… clearing the inbox, getting pay rises, going home satisfied… it makes a massive difference.

You should go and start right now. Like NOW.

Need suggestions for software?

I’m sure the readers will have much better suggestions, but if you’re looking for some free web based apps, here are a couple that are good enough:

Typing Web: This seems to be better for learning the basics, but has annoying ads you need to get past.

Keybr: This is less annoying once you have the basics down pat (but not as good for learning the starting techniques).