It’s not about time management.

Do you feel like you make a to-do list and somehow the day escapes you? Are you left asking yourself what you did all day? You might think you’ve got poor time management skills but it’s not about time management at all. We all have the same number of hours in the day. It’s how we use them that matters, especially if you’re a court reporter with a full schedule of client work.

Time Block

Rather than moving from task to task on an endless to do list, try a technique known as time blocking. One hour for email, one hour for social media, three hours on one client account, an hour break, and so on. Focus only on one task at a time. Work that one client and ignore emails and social media, at least for that block of time. You will find you’re more efficient and can actually get more done than in a traditional time management scenario.

Plan Ahead

You get up the morning of a client meeting or deposition and aren’t sure what you’re going to wear or what you need in your briefcase. You spend the night tossing and turning worried if you have the right location for the meeting or if your phone is charged enough to get you there with GPS. Stop worrying and plan ahead!

Pick your outfit, including shoes and accessories, pack the briefcase, confirm location, add the location to your phone for GPS, charge the phone, and get a good night of sleep. You’re more valuable to your client if you’re well-prepared.

Realistic Expectations (Life Happens)

The kids get sick. The dog gets hurt. The spouse needs a ride to work. It’s called life and we know it happens. Rather than squeezing your schedule so tight there’s no room for changes, set realistic expectations of what you can accomplish for your clients, friends, and family. Allow travel time for client appointments. Don’t overwork yourself. Most importantly, don’t forget to play.

Taking Care of Yourself

For far too long we’ve been telling ourselves we can have it all. There’s an expectation that we can work into the wee hours of the night, sleep for a few hours, and get up to do it all over again. Over time, that lifestyle leads to health issues like obesity, exhaustion, stress, and fatigue. It’s simply not a healthy plan. Regular exercise, just 30 minutes on most days, and a balanced diet, will decrease stress so make it part of your daily regimen. You can’t take care of anyone else or be productive if you’re sick.

As you’re thinking about your Nevada court reporting business, think about the lifestyle you desire. Create that vision by setting clear expectations, planning ahead, and time blocking while taking care of the first person who matters – YOU!