7 Ways to Stay Focused and Make Money as a Transcriptionist

how-to and resources Oct 23, 2017

Truth bomb: Running a transcription business from home isn't for everyone.

Some people simply can't handle it. If you're already a student of mine or have looked into starting one of my transcription courses, you know I make a very, very clear point: if you don't want to put in the work to learn the ropes, don't enroll.

Working as a transcriptionist from home requires a tremendous ability to focus. If you get distracted or interrupted a lot and can't find a way to fix it, I'd recommend figuring that out before diving headfirst into a new career path. I'd go so far as to say if you can't focus, you really shouldn't consider transcription as a way to earn income.

But that doesn't mean you should toss in the towel now! You can learn how to focus for a long period of time -- it just takes practice. Just like our bodies need conditioning to run a marathon, our eyes and brains need conditioning, too. Speed and focus come with practice.

Check out the seven things I do to help me stay focused and make money as a transcriptionist!

1) I start my mornings off on the right foot.

This is going to look different for every person, but starting your mornings off right can make a huge difference in how your day turns out. We've all had those mornings where one thing after another goes wrong, and before we know it the day has flown by and we feel like we accomplished nothing. There's no way to prevent that from never happening, but a few simple changes in your morning routine can make an impact.

Setting a morning routine/ritual is a great first step. That could mean waking up at a certain time, getting dressed, and reading a book until it's time to start work. Or maybe you prefer rolling out of bed and getting right to work in your pajamas. (I personally wouldn't suggest this, but whatever works for you!) Staying consistent is key.

Another great life-changing resource for "making over" your mornings is the book The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. Check it out!

2) I meet my own basic needs.

Before I sit down to get to work, I make sure all my human needs are met :-) That is, I make sure I'm not hungry or thirsty and that I don't have to use the bathroom! I keep easy snacks nearby, like pretzels or dried fruit, that I can munch on if I need to. I also keep a glass of water at my desk so I don't need to get up and go to the kitchen for anything.

3) I turn off all other electronic distractions.

This one is admittedly very hard to do. We all have the urge to constantly check our email or social media accounts... but those things are mega distractions (not to mention complete time-wasters). I try to only check other accounts sporadically in case something urgent comes through; otherwise, the phone/email/Facebook go away so I can focus.

4) I write down everything crossing my mind at the moment.

This is one of my favorite ways I stay focused! Sometimes when I sit down to work, that's when I start thinking about the million other things that I need to do other than work: chores, errands, gifts to buy, etc. What I've found is that if I do a big brain dump on paper (or screen) right before I start working, my focus is loads better. Why? Because my mind isn't cluttered with unnecessary things that I can't handle at the moment anyway. And if something pops into my head while I'm working, I simply take two seconds and add it to my list so I don't forget, and then I get back to work. Game changer, folks!

5) I set a timer.

This one might seem a little strict, but trust me -- it works. I calculate the amount of work I need to get done, and then I work until the timer goes off. In theory, I'll have finished the chunk of work I set out to do!

Now, I don't always set a timer, but I find it helps when I have a less busy day ahead of me. I'm more likely to drag out my work because I know I have all day to do it... but that's not the greatest game plan. Knowing that, I set the timer to make sure I get what has to be done out of the way so I can do other things with the rest of my day.

6) I move! 

No matter how old you are or what physical condition you're in, working from home can take a toll on your body if you don't take care of it. It's SO easy to sit down to work and not move for hours at a time because you get too focused or too in the zone.

So in addition to staying hydrated and eating healthy, make sure you get up at least every hour to walk around, stretch, and get the blood flowing. Even five minutes of light exercise is better than nothing. The better shape your body is in, the better you'll be able to do your job -- and make more money :-)

We only get one body, so make sure you take care of it!

7) I reflect at the beginning and end of the day.

Regardless of whether I get the laundry done or run all my errands, I make time in my day -- just a few minutes -- to reflect. Sometimes I do this in my head, but other times I write down my thoughts. Keeping a journal is a great place to do this. It can help you gauge your mindset and give you perspective over a period of time. In the morning, write down a couple of things you're grateful for and what your goals are for the day. In the evening, reflect back and see if you accomplished those goals and any other thoughts or emotions you have.

Our Take

Staying focused is one of the best ways you can make more money as a transcriptionist. It takes time and practice, but once you get the hang of it, you'll notice a big change in the amount of work you can produce.

Your Turn

How do you focus while working? Have you tried any of my tips before, and did they work? Leave me a comment below and let me know!

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