Overwhelmed? Court Reporters Can Make Small Changes to Ease Stress at Work
A few things can be said of all court reporters: they are perfectionists, they are excellent listeners, and rely on themselves to get the job done. While most of the time it’s an asset to be self-driven, it can be a major deterrent when it comes to handling stress. You may wonder why you can’t just do everything yourself, think that other people tend to “get in your way,” and believe that you are most productive when people leave you alone.
The problem is, stress will still find you even if you don’t have any coworkers.
Court Reporters Can Make Small Changes to Ease Stress at Work
People who take on enormous workloads without regular breaks are bound to become overwhelmed. They become irritable, depressed, withdrawn, and eventually less productive at work. They may start making mistakes that would never have escaped them before, and eventually suffer health problems and emotional difficulties.
However, a few small changes can help relieve the daily pressure in a court reporter’s life:
- Eliminate self-imposed stress. Are you pushing yourself to make unrealistic deadlines, or rely on the praise you think you deserve for a job well done? Your lack of coworkers may be a boon to your productivity, but it also means you have nobody to blame for yourself when something goes wrong—and your perfectionism may blow that blame out of proportion. Try to focus on the work that you are doing rather than how your work (or even yourself) is perceived. A negative attitude is a large contributor to stress, both in the workplace and at home.
- Identify your triggers. Do you hate to be interrupted when you’re “in the zone?” Do you reread an transcript five times if you find a single typo? Learn to identify things that cause a knee-jerk reaction, and then retrain yourself to react differently. Pause for a second, breathe, and then react. Remember that you are in control of the situation, rather than submit to feeling powerless.
- Avoid mood-altering chemicals. Too many overworked reporters rely on depressants to unwind and stimulants to wake up. While a glass of wine in the evening can temporarily reduces anxiety, it’s not a long-term solution to chronic work problems. Similarly, relying on caffeine every morning after weeks of sleepless nights is only a way to physically make it to a deposition, not perform well when you arrive.
- Learn to let go. It can be hard to accept that some things are out of your hands, but trying to control everything is a futile exercise. Identify what you can control and what you can’t (for example, you cannot control how you feel, but you can control what you say). This will help you hone your stress responses, rather than focusing on things you have no control over.