I first learned to touch type when I was 10 (I'm now 23). When I was 18, I switched keyboard layouts, so effectively I did not know how to type again. Not only was I super slow, but I could barely create sentences.
However, with 1 hour of committed practice every day, in 2 weeks - just 2 weeks - I was able to touch type in a new keyboard layout, after having used the old one for the past 8 years, all day every day. That's a drastic change but it shows the power of typing.
Typing is hard when you first start but it will be the essential way of communicating when you are older. Incidentally, learning how to type will also help you get your work done faster.
It's taken me about 2 minutes to type this response, so you get a lot faster when you type a lot, and the limiting factor for me is now thinking and structuring this answer, not typing.
Agree with the above poster, it just takes a lot of practice. In high-school I had a hard time typing but then I took a typing course and learned how to type without looking at the keys. You should be able to google practice typing skills or tests and that should give you a way to practice on your own.
It also might help you to write your work and ideas on paper and then once you have your hand-written paper finalized, you can just concentrate on typing. It may seem like double work, but you can also take it as an opportunity to re-read what you wrote.
Make sure you clearly understand the task upfront. If you don't, it will take a lot longer to redo the work until it's done right. Part of this is making sure you ask the right questions to get clarity and to ensure that your interpretation is consistent with what is expected.
I think it's important to define the challenge you're facing. Is it that your typing skills are in need of some help? Or is it coming up with the right words, grammar, punctuation? Or do you need help thinking through what actually needs to be typed?
Once you know what the real challenge is, there's an answer! If it's about typing skills, talk to your teacher about whether you might be able to attend another class or get a tutor who can help you practice typing. If it's about grammar, spelling and punctuation, your teacher should be able to provide you with some great resources for learning this. If it's about thinking through what needs to be typed in the first place, I think this also could be helped by talking to your teacher.
Big point is know what the real thing is that you're struggling with, and then you can get specific guidance on how to work on the challenge!
Even a little bit of up front planning can help you get through your work faster, better and more efficiently. Before you leap into your task, take a few minutes to plan out what you need to do. This can be as short as a series of bullet points with a few words each, or a flow chart scrawled on a piece of scrap paper. If you want to get fancier, there are a number of free brainstorming programs available to help (I like Freemind myself).
Divide your work into tasks. Write them down in the order you need or want to do them. Then explain to yourself what you need to do to complete the task. This could be a quick list of things you need to look up, a summary of a longer answer you need to write, a formula you will need to use throughout the work, anything that can help plan out the work ahead.
By doing this, you are saving yourself the wasted time of wondering "what's next?" as you make your way through the tasks. The simple act of writing out the plan in advance helps keep a clear picture in your head. It also prevents you from getting hung up on one element of your work. Every task goes faster when you know where you are going and how to get to the finish line.
The short time you spend planning can save you a ton of time down the stretch and you'll likely have a better result on completion.
Make a list. Jot down everything you have to do in no particular order. Sometimes it helps just to get it all down on paper. You may realize you have less to do than you thought - or it just may seem less overwhelming once you see it all written down. From there, I like to tick off the easiest, quickest tasks first. I find it gives me momentum and energy to put toward the harder tasks. Once you get in the groove, it's amazing how much you can accomplish in a short amount of time.
The reason for not working on paper is by typing something it is easier to distribute and make copies. The advantage of living in a digital age is you are able to make efficient back ups and quickly send things via email and other avenues to other people. It is more efficient and productive to type things meant for a group. There are collaborative tools like google docs that make team work much easier for remote and local teams.
Agree with the first poster. There are awesome resources out there to help you become more efficient at keyboarding. Investing the time now will pay huge dividends down the road. Additionally, I would recommend learning keyboard shortcuts for the operating system that you'll most likely be using, your internet browser, and any other applications that you expect to use on a regular basis (for me, Microsoft Office shortcuts are incredibly helpful).
Here is a fun, free game that could help you get your keyboarding speeds up: http://www.holywowstudios.com/teachestyping/
Zac recommends the following next steps:
A key to getting things done is to take time to plan ahead, it actually saves time to take the time to stop and focus and plan before you just start to rush to get things done. Organized work happens faster
My thoughts on typing are.. the future will hold more speech recognition technology and less focus on old fashioned typing.
You should focus on organizing your time and allotting specific times to things rather than worrying about if paper or typing are faster
Creating your own deadlines and working to make them happen is incredibly helpful as well
Everyone has said it really well here, practicing skills like typing will definitely help you in the long run. I’ve been typing for over 20 years and I can tell you that your work speed will greatly improve!! I do sometimes still take handwritten notes because I find it helps me absorb the material better, in some cases. So you’ll have great use for both skills later on.
I also minimize distractions in my environment and, depending on what my task is, I find a quiet place where I can really focus when I need to. If I find myself slowing down, it’s usually because something’s distracted me – thoughts of Hawaii or a different thought about something else I need to be doing. If outside thoughts are persistent, I take a quick time out, write down my thoughts, then quickly get back to my task. Keeping myself on track helps me get the immediate task completed.
Everyone has a different process, the key is finding what yours is and that will take experimenting. I hope that using a combination of all the great tips you’ve heard so far proves helpful!
In order to get work done in a short amount of time, I would suggest eliminating all distractions in your room. This could be anything from phones, to sounds, etc. Doing work in a short time requires a lot of concentration.
I had taken typing class in high school but my typing speed really improved when I started chatting with friends online! If you need to get your work done while learning how to type, first write everything out on paper so then you only have to type it in later. Great that you are making lists as prioritizing what you need to get done will help you as well. I usually prioritize the most important things, but if I get stuck, I'll go take care of something else and come back to what I was stuck on with a fresh mind.
Typing is a flat-out necessity. It's just something that has to be a skill in your arsenal. You will get better the more you do it. If you would have asked me when I began typing that I'd be good at it, I would have never pictured that- but now I spend most of my work day typing something and it's second nature. Working on paper would drastically reduce your money-making potential in most cases and give you a lot fewer options in your career. The more efficient you are in your career, the more success will come, and there's just so much more efficiency potential that comes from hitting one key on a computer than writing a letter on a piece of paper. Bite the bullet and develop that skill. The you in 5 years will be so happy that the current you developed that skill!