Science Says My Quirky Work Habit Actually Makes Me a Better Writer
Whenever a co-worker tries to nonchalantly comment on my one-handed, two-finger (index and thumb!) typing, I’m ready with my spiel. Even after doing it for years, I’m still a little self-conscious about it.
Laughing, I say, “Yeah, you know, I’ve been typing this way forever. I took the required classes in school, but it just never stuck. I’m actually really fast though! Got through grad school writing 20 page papers like this.”
In spite of that slight boast, my one-handed typing obviously isn’t a skill I list on my resume, and it’s not something I call attention to. Of course, in an open-office atmosphere, I don’t actually need to call attention to it. It’s pretty hard to miss.
And thanks to a new study, I now have another line to add to my spiel: one-handed typers produce higher-quality work.
The research team at the University of Waterloo in Canada found that this habit led to slower writing, which results in “more time for an internal word search,” which leads to a greater vocabulary.
Certainly not me. My one-handed typing is simply something I’ve come to accept (and maybe now something to embrace). The researchers suggest that people try typing with one hand if they want to improve the quality of their writing. And if you’re looking to improve that skill, it’s certainly something you could try. After all, I think a lot can be said about slowing down if you want to create more careful, thoughtful work in general (quality over quantity, right?). But, I also think that there’s a greater message here: Own your quirks.
Know what strategies work for you. Use a standing desk or sit on a medicine ball. Take phone calls on your feet or lying on your back. Handwrite your to-do list each morning and then transcribe it. Instead of being embarrassed or anxious about your preferences or practices, own ’em. You never when a study will back up your “weird” habit.
Photo of one-handed typing courtesy of LDProd/Getty Images.
Stacey Lastoe is the Senior Editor/Writer of The Muse. She started writing short stories in the second grade and is immensely grateful to have the opportunity to write and edit professionally. Her work has appeared in YouBeauty, Refinery29, A Practical Wedding, Runner's World online, and The Billfold among other publications. She enjoys running and eating in equal measure and lives with her husband and dog in Brooklyn. All three of them are avid New York Mets fans. Say hello on @stacespeaks.More from this Author