As professional legal transcriptionists, we invest a significant amount of time and money to perfect our skills and purchase the latest hardware and software needed to run our businesses. We all share a similar goal; earn a fair wage for the professional work product we produce. Since our earnings are most likely tied to our production, it is essential to stay on task and avoid unnecessary interruptions whenever possible. Here are some of the techniques we use to help us better stay focused.
Prepare a Comfortable and Efficient Working Space
Our workspace plays a critical role in our productivity and efficiency. The ideal space is away from the rest of the house, away from TVs, phones, and other distractions. Your tools for transcription, such as the computer, foot pedal, and headset should be positioned for comfort. Files should be close at hand and organized so that they are quickly located when needed.
Stick to a Schedule
Figure out a workable schedule and stick with it. If you decide you want to transcribe for 30 minutes and then take a 5 minute break, then commit to that schedule and stay with it. Don’t get sidetracked. Set specific time during the day to answer emails and return phone calls so that you can focus on transcription when you are supposed to be transcribing and other miscellaneous tasks when the time is right. You can set a timer to help you to know when to take breaks and when to resume work. Don’t forget to schedule some time for your personal activities. This will help you unwind and re-energize ahead of your next tasks.
Create Work Rules with Friends and Family
It is beneficial for you to come up with rules with friends and family right from the beginning. Let them know you’re working and when they can stop by for coffee when to call or chat with you. If possible, give your family and friends your work schedule that shows when you are available for their calls or visits. You can schedule the right time for your family or friends, for example during breaks or your off days. You should discourage unnecessary calls or visits by your friends during work hours as this will only serve to distract you.
Goal setting is important for you to stay focused on the job at hand. Start with long terms goals of your transcription jobs, then break them down to daily goals and targets. Always review your objectives each day before you start working on new tasks. You can divide each activity into small tasks. Set a plan of action to help you to start and complete each activity to completion. It’s good to track your progress hourly to make sure you’re hitting your goals. This will guide your daily activities and allow you to adjust as needed throughout the day. If you are behind, take fewer breaks, if you are ahead maybe you want to be able to finish up early. Hourly tracking will help you plan your day.
Stay Off Social Media While at Work
Social media is great but can be one of our greatest sources of distractions. Studies show that in 2017 the average US adult spends 135 minutes per day on social media every day. This was an increase from 126 minutes per day in 2016. When working as a transcriptionist, set aside specific time during the day to engage. As you achieve your production goals, you’ll find you are able to balance both work and social media much better. If social media is important to you, then consider installing an app like Buffer to help you manage your social media accounts. It shares your scheduled content automatically and at preferred times, or throughout the day. This will keep your social media audience updated.
As a transcriptionist, staying focused is critical to a successful career. Concentrating on the work tasks at hand improves your performance and efficiency. In the end, your increased production will pay off financially. We hope the tips will help you in your new career as a legal transcriptionist and wish you much success.