Many studies have shown that when both sides of the brain work together, neural communication is improved and your mind works faster. They’ve shown that this right-brain/left-brain connection helps improve memory, for example, and even math skills. It makes sense that when your mind is functioning at its highest level, both the mental and physical efforts controlled by your brain when you’re typing will be performed at the highest speed as well.
You can stimulate your brain to increase the left-right interaction by simply moving your eyes back and forth from left to right. Other physical tricks work too, like walking or pacing back and forth, swinging your arms alternately left and right, but if you’re sitting at a desk at work or in a study cubicle at the university library, you’ll probably find it easier to use the quieter eye movement technique. This will prompt your brain to start the communication flowing between its two hemispheres, and with that increased communication all of your mental functions will start to pick up speed. Since your brain controls the muscles in your body, you’ll find that your fingers move faster too. What’s more, you can use your fingers to signal this communication process back to your brain, by typing words that use the left and right hand alternately.
Here’s an exercise for you to do, so that you can see the difference in your typing speed. Call up a blank document and adjust the document window so that it fits to the right of the screen and you can still see the list of words below. Without doing any of the brain-stimulating exercises we talked about in the previous paragraphs, check the time (or start a timer) and type the following words:
How long did it take you to type those words? How many spelling errors did you make while typing? Make a note of the results.
Next, take 10 or 15 seconds to do the left-right eye movement exercise. Check the time or start your timer again, and type this next set of words:
Did you notice a difference in your typing speed? Because the increase in speed might be small due to the shortness of the list of words, and because you were trying to time yourself, it could be hard to see the difference right away. Keep using this technique, however, and you’re sure to notice a difference over time.