Work-Life Balance in the Courts

You’re one of the lucky ones who has found a career that is more than a job. As a San Francisco court reporter you have a career that is motivating, challenging, and always evolving.

Each day presents with you a different challenge and opportunity to learn and grow. However, being in the court room day-after-day can take its toll.

The days can be long. Because of your diverse range of skills and knowledge, you’re often asked to help out with other responsibilities. There are times when frankly, it’s difficult to end the day at a reasonable hour and to not take the court room home with you.

This is very common across the legal industry, lawyers, judges, legal transcriptionists, and anyone else working in the court room is subject to long stressful days dealing with heavy subject matter. This is why we want you as a court reporter, or other legal professional to learn how important it is to achieve work-life balance in the courts.

What is Work-Life Balance?

While there is no clear definition of work-life balance, we can tell you that work-life balance is critical to your physical, emotional, and mental health. Work-life balance is the fuzzy term that allows you to keep balance in how much time you spend on, at, and thinking about work.

While, work-life balance means something different for everyone, we want to remind you of the signs that indicate your work-life balance is not aligned.We urge you to share this with your fellow San Francisco court reporters, legal colleagues, and any other court reporters you know – the more people who understand work-life balance, the better.

  • You’re constantly fatigued. You might be having trouble sleeping or have a feeling that you’re just always dragging. You feel like it’s a struggle to get through the day and at home.
  • You’re dealing with chronic pain. From migraines, joint pain, stomach problems, back aches, etc. – your body is giving you a sign that you’re pushing it too hard. When you’re in pain, you cannot rest properly, focus on your job, or focus on your home life.
  • You’re disconnected from your friends and family. You can’t remember the last time you met up with friends for a night out and you’re often canceling on family plans. Instead, you’re spending extra time at work or taking on too many work projects.
  • Your work performance is suffering. It seems like the more attention you pay to the accuracy in your legal transcription services and court reporting documents, the more errors there are. This is a big sign that you’re stressed, tired, and not at your best.
  • You feel overwhelmed. There are going to be days when you would rather not go to work, but when this happens day-after-day, this is a huge sign that your work-life balance goals are suffering.

We want you to know and understand that these feelings and signs are not normal. You cannot sustain a healthy life when you’re dealing with one or more of these signs of an imbalanced work-life approach. It’s important to understand that these signs are also indicators of stress, anxiety, and depression.

There is help available for you, and while we know it’s a challenge, you need to speak up for yourself. Often, you might not recognize these signs in yourself, so listen carefully to what your friends, family, and colleagues are asking you about how you’re doing and feeling.

How to Achieve Work-Life Balance in the Courts

If you recognize that you’re struggling with work-life balance or have a colleague who is struggling, these suggestions may help. Remember, it’s important to get professional help and support when dealing with the physical, mental, and emotional impacts of work stress.

  • Take a break. Yes, easier said than done, particularly because you feel like work is very important. Yes, work is important, but your health and well-being are more important.
  • Talk about it. Talk to your fellow court reporters and other colleagues about how they manage a work-life balance.
  • Change your schedule. Look into switching from full-time to part-time court reporting, so you have a chance to recharge and recover. Or perhaps you need to look at how well you organize your day and reduce the number of top priorities you pack in.
  • Don’t obsess. Yes, accuracy is imperative but the more you’re stressed about it, the more likely you are to struggle. Don’t second-guess yourself, remind yourself that you’re good at your job.
  • Leave work at the office and in the courts. Don’t bring work home with you. Don’t check your work email in the evenings and on the weekends. Take a vacation and don’t think about the court room.

We know this is not easy, particularly when you are surrounded by over-achieving colleagues. But we want you to ask yourself what is more important: getting in an extra three hours of work or spending time with your kids, friends, and family?