Typing 64 WPM And Waking Up At 5:30am
Whenever I set goals I tend to be really hard on myself when looking at the progress (or lack of) that I’ve made. I’m not sure why, but I feel like I should be able to achieve the goals I want faster than what is actually possible. This sets my expectations all wrong which then makes me feel like I’m not doing what I need to do in order to make my goal happen. Frustration then follows and before I know it I’m not making any progress towards the goal was trying to reach in the first place. Sounds crazy, but it happens.
Losing track of my goals really sucks and most of the time it ends with me being disappointed in myself, but I’ve decided to finally make a change and it’s starting to work. It’s nothing that seems mind-blowing, but to me the results have been.
Here are two goals that I’ve recently set and how I’ve somehow stuck with them to the point to where I’m starting to see some real results. These might not sound like life-changers but they’ve already made a big impact on my life.
Learning To Type (and to type faster)
I’m not sure how this ever happened but for some crazy reason I never learned how to type the right way. This means that I couldn’t use the home row and only typed with like five of my fingers. This not only made me a slow typer but it also meant that I always had to look down at my fingers on the keyboard. This was terrible for my posture and didn’t allow me to use a larger monitor along with my laptop. It wasn’t healthy for me (my neck was starting to hurt) and it slowed me down and frustrated me any time I had to type on a keyboard (which is pretty much all the time).
I knew I had to do something about this over four years ago but for some reason two years ago I got more serious about it and spent some time over Christmas vacation learning some of the basics like what finger is supposed to type what letter. I first used a program called GoodTyping and once I made it through that I found another one called TypingWeb that I still use up to this day.
Once I grinded through the initial awkwardness and frustration of leaning to type the right way I started to make some serious progress. I just kept going and even when I felt like I was “good enough” I didn’t stop. The one thing that is keeping my progress moving along is the fact that I practice typing every morning before I start working. It gets my fingers warmed up and my brain thinking in a good way to start off the morning.
How well has all of this worked? At this point I’m typing around an average of 64 words per minute which is over double what I was able to do less than a year ago. I still have a ways to go (I’d like to type around 80 WPM) but I’m going to keep working on it a little bit at a time every day and before I know it I’ll be there.
Going To Bed Earlier (and getting more rest)
Another goal I’ve talked about lately is going to be earlier (and getting up earlier), which has always been a struggle for me. I wrote about some of the structure and boundaries I set up as a way to make this goal happen and I’m happy to report that after only two weeks I’ve seen some amazing results.
The first week that I got to bed earlier I felt energized throughout my 10-12 hour workdays, even when working on things that I didn’t like doing. I didn’t need to rely on caffeine to keep me going and I kept up a good pace of getting things knocked off my to-do list. I did start to feel a little tired toward the end of the week, but I think that’s normal considering that I’m still getting used to waking up early every day and I’m starting to run again.
That first week went great, but the second week (and now into my third) was freaking amazing. Something started to happen to my body during the second week and I got on a consistent sleep schedule that had never happened to me before. Not only did I go to bed early every night but on three of the mornings I woke up at 5:30am without an alarm going off. Yeah, you heard me — I woke up at 5:30am in the morning without an alarm. The first time it happened to me I swear it felt like an out of body experience. I’m not even kidding. I woke up, looked at my phone to see what time it was (my alarm was set for 6am) and I felt wide awake. At that point I woke up, ran and felt great for the rest of the day. Then it happened two more times. Mind blown.
My mood has better, I can think though things better, I get more work done and I’m getting all of my morning runs in without feeling rushed. I would say that it’s working, wouldn’t you?
Now I just need to keep it up.
photo credit: labnol.org