November 6 2015

The Brain’s Natural Battle Of Speed vs. Accuracy

Speed and AccuracyIn his book, “Brainblocks,” clinician Dr. Theo Tsaousides discusses the brain’s natural give-and-take tug-of-war of speed vs. accuracy. His expert rendition of the brain’s conflict between speed and accuracy makes what we do as stenographers seem even more amazing! Here’s what he had to say:

“Your brain can process things fast or it can process them accurately. These two qualities, speed and accuracy, are always is competition. As one goes up the other goes down. You can do things fast or you can do them well. Under normal circumstances, it is impossible to increase both your speed and your accuracy.

Efficiency is the ideal balance between speed and accuracy. It refers to the highest speed at which you can process information without making mistakes. Imagine that you’re reading an interesting article in your favorite magazine. Efficiency is the length of time it takes you to finish reading the article and to also understand the content. If you read it faster than your brain can process, you will miss some of the information in the article, you will not pick up some of the details, and you will forget it faster. If you slow down and read it at a more leisurely pace, you will process, understand, and remember the information in the article much better. But you may be late for work!

Impatience happens when you favor speed over accuracy. Instead of taking your time, you choose to do things quickly. Instead of waiting for things to fall in place, you want things to happen faster. But inevitably, doing things faster increases the chances of making more mistakes, which you have to go back and fix.”

After reading that passage, how amazing is it that we train our brains to master both speed and accuracy?! Awesome!

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August 24 2015

Steno Fun Fact: How Many Words Are In The English Dictionary?

I Love Steno Logo (Cropped)The unabridged Webster’s dictionary has a reported 470,000 enteries. However, states: “There are about a million English words, maybe more. It is hard to see how even a conservative estimate of English vocabulary could go much below a million words. If you allow all of scientific nomenclature, this could easily double the figure. For example, there are apparently some one million insects already described, with several million more awaiting description. The two largest dictionaries – the Oxford English Dictionary and Merriam-Webster’s Third New International Dictionary – each include around half a million words.”

Dictionary-building from my Webster’s dictionary made me look this information up. I wanted to know how far I had to go. Lol.

Love, Speed and Accuracy,

Elsie Villega

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July 23 2015

I Love Steno Fun Fact: When Productivity Peaks

I Love Steno Logo (Cropped)The July 2015 issue of Money Magazine contains an article entitled, “How To Unplug From Work.” In this article, the author, Daniel Bortz, opines that due to technology, people are able to communicate with each other with ease 24 hours a day. He cites the following statistics: “Smartphone users spend five hours on work email each weekend.” “61% of people have worked during a vacation.”

With the modern-day workload, or work overload, depending on how you view your work responsibilities, it is important to take breaks. The Money Magazine article also states, “Productivity falls sharply after a 50-hour workweek.” Therefore, do yourself a favor on a professional level and a personal level, take time out to “recharge your batteries.”

Love, Speed & Accuracy,

Elsie Villega

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March 4 2015

Steno Fun Fact: The 90-Minute Focus Peak

I Love Steno Logo (Cropped)Under a sub-heading entitled, “Time Your Breaks,” the March 2015 issue of Money magazine states: “Research shows your brain losses focus on a task after about 90 minutes.”

Based on this information, it wouldn’t hurt to take a 5-minute break after an hour and a half of practice to get a focus reboot.

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August 30 2012

Steno Fun Fact: Charles Dickens The Stenographer

At the age of 18, Charles Dickens reportedly became a professional stenographer. He used his verbatim skills for the newspaper, the Mirror of Parliament. He worked there for about half-a-decade before launching a career as a novelist. His work as a stenographer clearly influenced his writing. He made one of his most popular characters, David Copperfield, a parliament stenographer too.

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