Stress is inherent in almost every job in one form or another and a court reporter’s job is no exception. A court reporter is a rewarding career choice, but along with those rewards are high levels of stress because of the position of responsibility to which the stenographer is elevated.
Complete accuracy, confidentiality and having to listen to testimony or depositions that are uncomfortable (to say the least) add to the stressors a North Carolina court reporter can regularly face. Performing your job without allowing the job to impact your physical and mental health is a delicate balancing act.
How Can North Carolina Court Reporters Handle Stress?
Court reporters need to develop ways to handle stress, release feelings of panic and operate in a more zen-like state.
- What is on your desk today that you can prioritize and what can wait? Making certain you meet all deadlines is crucial, but you simply can’t do everything at one time. Prioritize tasks and know how long each job will take so you’re not putting additional pressure upon yourself because a deadline is looming.
- In addition to prioritizing tasks, take the time to create a daily, weekly and monthly schedule. If you’re a contract stenographer, it may be difficult to know when you will have a job or when you will have free time, but it’s important to know what jobs you can take on which jobs you simply don’t have the time for. When you’re planning your day, week and month make space for small breaks during the day and between jobs to give yourself a chance to de-stress.
- Leave your work at the door. It’s easier said than done, but leave your work at the office. Much of the work a court reporter does is confidential and that may make it easier because you can’t talk about your work once you arrive home. Focusing on your family and your free time will help you enjoy both time in the office and time away from the office. Live in the moment.
- Are there tasks you can delegate to other stenographers on the team? If you’re a contractor and every job is on your plate, you may need to delegate in other areas of your life or work. For example, can you delegate bookkeeping and other tasks to an outside contractor? How about hiring a house-cleaning service so you don’t have to worry about working on the house once you’ve put in a full day at the office. Delegating is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign that you are focusing on the important tasks that only you can handle and hand off those tasks that don’t need your full input.
- Step away. It may seem counterproductive, especially if you have looming deadlines, but you will feel better and be more productive if you simply walk away. Get up from your desk and take a coffee break, pet a dog, take a walk, call a friend, do yoga or stretching exercises. When you give your mind and your body a break from what is causing you stress you can return to the work refreshed and renewed.
How do you handle the stresses of being a court reporter? We’d love to hear how North Carolina court reporters handle stress.