7 Tips for Court Reporters on Handling Stress
Read this before you lose your mind
Imagine being tasked with accurately recording every word spoken by every person for hours at a time. For court reporters, this is just another day in the office, so it’s no wonder that many of them experience high levels of stress. Add to that the fact that their job often requires them to sit for long periods without a break, and it’s easy to understand why court reporters can struggle with physical and mental exhaustion. It’s time we all learn to manage that pressure:
1. Cut yourself some slack
You’re anything but a slacker, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give yourself a break once in a while. Court reporters often bully themselves into believing they need to be perfect. But everyone makes a hiccup once in a while, and when this happens, it’s best to learn from it and move on.
2. Set yourself up for success
Make your work day smoother by prepping everything you need the night before—such as your clothes, lunch, and steno gear. Doing this eliminates rushing around and reduces the risk of forgetting anything.
It may even free up some of your morning time so you can enjoy a cup of coffee before heading out the door.
3. Create a what and when to-do list
Having hundreds of pages of depositions to transcribe can be absolutely overwhelming. Instead of letting all that you have to do weigh down on your mind, create a list that outlines what you’ll do and when. By mapping out a plan, you are freeing it from your mind—try it, it really does help!
4. Use breaks to move, stretch, and get out of your head
As a court reporter, your day will often include a lot of sitting and deep concentration. Even with a short break every few hours, it can be challenging to focus on something other than what’s in the next deposition, trail, or meeting. But if you can take a short walk, do a few stretches, or even head outside for some fresh air, you’ll find yourself better equipped to manage the rest of your day. Clearing your head, even if only for 15 minutes, can do wonders for your stress level.
5. Think about your progress not about what’s left
When there’s a monumental amount of work to be accomplished, it’s all too easy to stress about how everything is going to get finished. Instead, feel satisfaction by checking off tasks as you complete them and focusing on the progress you’ve made. Shifting your focus eliminates those feelings of self-doubt that you’ll get it all done.
6. Let it go
When your work day is done, leave it at work. Even on the days where you need to catch up after hours, letting it go after you finish (and not anticipating what you have to do tomorrow), allows you to de-stress, unwind, and enjoy some relaxation. Remember, the work will still be there tomorrow, so tomorrow is when you should focus on it.
7. Exercise, eat well, and get your ZZZ’s
Yes, it sounds trite, but living a healthy lifestyle is a key way to relieve stress. Because your career as a court reporter requires you to be sedentary, getting in exercise, eating lots of veggies and protein, and getting a good night’s sleep are crucial to staying physically and mentally fit. Also, don’t forget to drink your H2O!
Being a court reporter takes a keen eye for detail, a great deal of focus, and the gift of speed—it’s not for the weak! But if you follow these tips, you’ll find that your days will be less stressful.
For more helpful suggestions, check out our blog. And if you’re looking for a real-time court reporter, fill out our request form or give us a call at 954-467-6867.