Life as a court report is busy, there’s no doubt about it. Between juggling transcript deadlines, court appearances, deposition appointments, and all of your other daily to-dos, staying organized with your time and priorities is imperative for success in this career.

While it can be ever-so-easy to procrastinate, do yourself and your career a favor by boosting your time management skills.

Below are a few tips and tricks we’ve learned over the years that have helped us be more successful court reporters and happier more productive people. We hope they are also helpful for you.

  • Make a to-do list (and stick to it!)– Everyone organizes their time and tasks differently, but when you’re juggling multiples projects at once, it behooves you to write down your tasks each day. Some people like to keep a running to-do list that spans from day to day, while others prefer to start fresh each morning. Find a routine that works for you and stick to it. When possible, try to estimate how long each task will take you and organize your day around that.
  • Prioritize – Most people feel most productive first thing in the morning when other distractions haven’t had a chance to creep in and take over their attention. Keep this in mind as your prioritize your to-do list and make sure you bump your most important tasks to the top of the list.
  • Get organized– Your calendar should be your best friend if you are a court reporter. Plug in deadlines and appointments and work your schedule around those events. As you create your daily to-do list, your master calendar will guide your priorities. You can even block out time to work on specific tasks, like edit a transcript from 1-2pm. When you have an appointment on your calendar, you’re more likely to feel held accountable to accomplishing the task.
  • Minimize distractions– Listening to music, getting up for another cup of coffee, going for a short walk with a friend – these can all be tempting distractions, and when planned for accordingly, are useful distractions. But when you’re on a deadline, you have to nip them in the bud and focus. Find a quiet place to work where you can be as productive as possible. Then, give yourself a break to recharge.

Improving your time management skills will not only make you a more productive court reporter, it may also make you a happier person as you will no longer stress over how you are going to get everything done. Armed with a plan, you’ll be checking things off the to-do list in no time.