It’s happened hundreds of times: you sit down to transcribe, check your email, and click a link to a Facebook post—but when you look at the clock, an hour has flown by. It can be hard to keep a court reporter’s mind from wandering, especially if a case is full of dry technical details—but sticking to your daily work schedule is the only way to make sure you meet your deadlines.

Here are a few ways court reporters can avoid distractions and keep on task while working from home:

  • Unplug. Technology is an amazing asset to our work lives, but it also has a way of keeping us plugged in to our favorite news and social media sites. While you are working, you should create a strict technology “diet” to keep you focused: turn off your cellphone, close your social media windows, and sign out of any online chat programs.
  • Outsource. Often the person working at home has other non-work responsibilities, such as grocery shopping, picking up the kids, loading the dishwasher, etc. If you’re in a particular time crunch, consider whether some of the more time-consuming tasks can be delegated to other family members (older children can load the laundry, your husband can pick up groceries on the way home) or even outsourced completely (have food delivered instead of cooking).
  • Treat yourself. Try to separate your work into smaller tasks that each have their own realistic deadlines. Every time you accomplish one of these smaller tasks, treat yourself with a moment of free time: a snack, a phone conversation, or a walk around the block with the dog. These small rewards will make you feel as if you have earned a break, as well as keep your productivity moving when you go back to work.

Do you use social media-blocking software to keep you focused during long hours of transcription?

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