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New Years resolutions

The New Year is coming and every year people are thinking to make their lives better starting from January 1st. All in all, every day can be the first day of your new life, because every day is the first day of the rest of your life.

We would like to help you to make your New Years resolutions list:
1. Take a pen, a piece of paper. You definitely have to be in a good mood. You can’t design your future being grumpy or sad.
2. Concentrate. Think of the things, people and events that have made you happy.
3. Start writing down. BUT! Be careful what you wish for, because you might really get it.
4. Be precise in writing down your wishes. If you wish to have much money, then I suggest you to wish for a well-paid job or a good luck in a lottery, otherwise the great amount of money may come, for instance, as a heritage.
5. And since you are in the blog of Typing Study, write the first point as follows:
“I want to develop my computer skills, so I want to touch type fast and efficiently.”
“ I want to acquire new skills by informal education, for example, by using a touch typing tutor” . :)
6. Remember - everything is possible. Even the craziest things in your mind can get real if you follow your dreams.
7. Positive thinking is the most important factor of your future success.

After seeing the most important steps of writing new years’ resolutions, I’d like to suggest some of the most common new years’ resolutions there are:
*) Lose Weight and Get Fit
*) Quit Smoking
*) New Job
*) Learn Something New (Let it be touch typing, for example :-) )
*) Eat Healthier and/or Diet
*) Get Out of Debt and Save Money
*) Spend More Time with Family
*) Travel to New Places
*) Be Less Stressed
*) Volunteer
*) Drink Less

All in all, this wasn’t meant to be as a post with advanced technologie news or expert level knowledge demonstration. This is to inspire you. To inspire you to be better, look higher, dig deeper, jump further and… to know more.

QWERTY isn’t fast enough for you? DVORAK is here to help!

Most probably the greatest part of the touch typing community is familiar with the QWERTY keyboard layout. It was first designed to be used on the old-school typing machines, so it had to be developed in a way that the person couldn’t type in with the speed of light. Why? Because the typing machine wasn’t designed to be able to deal with great hyperspeed touch typing. However, QWERTY even nowadays is very comfortable and convenient for us. But what if I want to type faster…?

For those who want to type faster, DVORAK keyboard was developed. You may have never heard of it, because it hasn’t become popular and widespread. However, a lot of programmers and other people who benefit from being able to type very fast, are very much familiar with the layout.

The good news is that you can easily learn to type with DVORAK keyboard layout. First, you have to download the layout and install it on your computer. When it’s done you might feel a little awkward, but remember - you can change the layout whenever you want.

After, we suggest you to take the Typing Study course adjusted for DVORAK keyboard layout. Start from lesson 1. You might feel frustrated at first and you can stop doing it whenever you want, but remember - only practice makes perfect and being annoyed at first is an absolutely normal reaction on trying new and difficult things. When you feel safe enough, continue with the lesson 2. You might also practice by playing some touch typing games - it may be a bit more fun after the harsh learning process. But remember - if you complete lesson 1, we suggest you to take level 1 in the touch typing games, if you complete lesson 2, take the level 2 and so on.

You will notice - after short period of time you will start to adjust and find the DVORAK keyboard layout absolutely normal. Why? Because muscles have memory and they will start to memorize the location of each and every letter or symbol on the keyboard.

Efficient learning process – how to learn in the best possible way?

Many of our users are often asking – how should I learn? Indeed, being able and being good at learning is undoubtedly an important question. Learning to touch type is in no way different process of learning than any other – it consists of 7 parts:

1) Deciding that you are willing to learn touch typing
2) Scheduling your lessons
3) Checking your current speed
4) Doing lessons 1 by one
5) Checking progress
6) Being persistent
7) Loving the results

And now let’ s go through all the parts of the process step by step:

1) Decision that you need to develop your skills (either it’s learning to touch type, to learn to swim fast or to even studying English history) is the beginning of your journey. You have to state to yourself – why you need it and what will the benefits of it be? What is your goal?
Why are these questions important you may ask? Whenever one is starting a new hobby or, for example, starting to study a new subject at school, he or she may feel some frustration or anxiety, because the beginning might not be easy. You may be happy you are starting something new, but you might also get sad when experiencing the first difficulties. That is normal!
Also, setting a measurable goal (for example, words per minute*) is very important in every field – business, sports or education.
So if you have written down your aims and benefits, you can read them through again and again when losing motivation. Yes, you can be the best help to yourself!
*Words per minute in the speed test means – how many words can you write per minute. 1 word = 5 letters including space and symbols.
2) Set up a schedule. Unless you establish a schedule for learning, it is very easy to find an excuse for not practicing.
Be your own mentor and supervisor.
Many schools are using touch typing tools in their everyday work. They also have a schedule which they have to strictly stick to. Imagine you go back to the days you were a kid and take the schedule you have made seriously. So stick to it!
Before you start your studying process, decide upon some funny punishment you can do, so you wouldn’t want to miss a lesson anymore.
3) To find out if you are progressing, you first have to find out where you are currently standing.
Take the speed test and do it as good as you can. Don’t worry if you aren’t happy for the result. You are here to learn! And remember the worse results you are having, the more there is space for your growth!
Write down the results of your speed test or make an account in TypingStudy so you could follow your progress by checking the history of your activities.
4) Do your lessons one by one. It is recommended to do 1 full lesson a day. After every lesson you are recommended to take the speed test.
If you feel like you can’t do so much per day, you can choose typing games to make the learning process more fun. If you choose to play typing games, we suggest you to choose the level according to the lesson you are doing i.e. – if you are doing lesson 1, choose level 1 in the gaming section, if you are doing lesson 2, choose level 2 and so on.
Please, make sure you have at least 30 minutes for each lesson.
5) Measure your own progress. Do you feel more safe than in the beginning? Can you type without looking on the keyboard? Are the results of the speed test getting better? Is your muscle memory working already? If you can answer YES to all of the questions, you are doing great. If NO, keep practicing.
6) Persistence. Only practice makes perfect. There is no magical way to make type perfectly in 5 minutes or 5 days. Being persistent is what good makes excellent! Try to invite your friends or family to join you in this. You may even compete with each other in a speed test or the available typing games! The choice is up to you. However, don’t look for reasons to stop your own progress. Even if nobody wants to join you, it doesn’t matter – you are the digger of your own happiness.
Remember, you in touch typing you can also learn by doing – use social networks or Skype to chat with your friends and family. You will notice that the progress comes in no time.
7) Nothing is sweeter than the taste of victory!
When you see you have reached your goal, you know it has been worth all the trying. However, if you have reached your goal, but you still don’t feel happy about the results, you may set new goals. Challenging yourself!

Now, you have theoretically gone through all the steps. It’s time to get practical!
Good luck!

Ergonomics – for your own good

Before you start touch typing or doing any other work on your computer, you should first take care of yourself. What do I mean by that? Ergonomics.

Ergonomics is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance.

Some tips for you, when working with a computer:
1) Stretch your wrists and fingers before starting some serious touch typing exercises or work.
2) To reduce your risk of developing overuse injuries you should follow best practices in posture, technique, workstation set-up and take regular breaks.
3) Your wrist, elbows and keyboard should be on the same horizontal plane and at a 90 degree angle to your upper arms.
4) The top of your screen should be near eye level. Make sure your back is straight and the computer is not too near to your eyes.
5) Check your distance from the keyboard. Adjust your chair to avoid a common problem - sitting too close to the keyboard. Adjust the angle of your monitor to minimize glare.
6) If typing causes you pain, stop immediately and take a break. See what you can do to adjust the working space to your health needs.

Take a break after every 30 minutes of serious work. Here is a relaxing exercise:
1) Hold your arm outward, with the palm facing down.
2) Drop the hand downward at the wrist.
3) Using the palm of the opposite hand, apply pressure to the back of the dropped hand.
4) Hold pressure for five seconds, then relax.
5) Repeat three times per hand

And another exercise:
1) Stretch both arms outwards with fingers together and draw a circle with your hands, rotating them at the wrist.
2) Five circles in one direction, then five in the opposite direction.

Aaaand another one:
1) Spread the fingers of both hands far apart.
2) Hold for five seconds, then relax.
3) Repeat for a total of three times.

Make sure you are following your own health. If you are a teacher, make sure the kids are getting the best environmental circumstances they can and please take into account if they are complaining about hurting fingers, wrists or even eyes.