How much has your typing speed improved in the last year? How much did it improve in the first year you started touch typing?
When we build a new skill, we improve rapidly for a period of time. Throughout this process, our brain is working hard to build the requisite connections to make this activity automatic. It interprets where each key lies on the keyboard to reach out to them with a twitch of the correct finger, while occasionally sneaking peeks at the keys.
After those connections are established in our brain, we hit a plateau where we settle down. We type seamlessly and can even converse in parallel. We are now reaping the connections that our brain has already established. Our working memory is freed up to do other tasks simultaneously. However, even after hours of repetition in this comfort zone, the amount by which our typing improves is merely incremental.
This is where deliberate practice makes a difference. The term “deliberate” implies that it has to be a conscious struggle. Improvement is a process of continuous rewiring of the brain and building new neural pathways.
In other words, rather than type out 300 routine work emails and expect to improve your typing speed, try facing off against people at typeracer.com. Or better yet, try typing in a new language.