There are a number of things that you can do if you want to improve your productivity as a translator. If you want to work for a professional translation company, you have to make sure that you manage your time and schedule well. Here are some tips that will help you out.
Dedicate a space in your house as an office
Working from the bed or the armchair of the living room can be very tempting at first, but you will see that over time it can play against you like causing back pain or a tendency not to perform as you want. It is important that when you decide to dedicate yourself to being a freelancer, you take your time to choose a specific space in your house, with good light, circulation and the artifacts you need. A large desk next to a window and a good chair or office chair is the perfect combo.
Make sure your workspace is separated from the rest of the house so that your family’s routine does not interfere with your work.
Start your day early
Being a freelancer has its pros and cons. Undoubtedly, one of the main advantages is that you can manage your schedules at your own will. This does not mean you can get up at noon and go to bed at 3 in the morning – at least not always! It is important that you keep your routine as if you are working in a regular office. This helps organize your days and optimize your performance.
Get up, dress as if you were leaving home (under no circumstances you stay in pajamas … well, OK, at least be the exception and not the rule), have breakfast, sit in your home-office and start the day.
It is important to organize your work day. Setting daily or weekly goals, depending on the work you have, is essential. From there you can also organize your leisure time, time for friends and family or to pursue your hobbies.
“I have to deliver this translation on Wednesday, so I will have to translate so many words per day and then have time to review.”
Goals like these will also help you stay one step ahead of your deadlines, taking away the stress and pressure of falling behind schedule. At the end of the day you will have fulfilled everything you set out to do, and this will reduce your stress level, improve your self-esteem and you can focus better on what awaits you the next day.
Add small goals to overall goals
If, for example, you are translating a text of 3000 words and your goal is to finish it by the end of the day, consider not getting up from the chair until you have translated, for example, the first 1000 words. You will continue to move forward by reaching these small targets, and ultimately, this will contribute to your overall growth.
In case the text is complicated, you can try to apply productivity hacks like the famous Pomodoro Technique. Within this technique, you must work with your greatest effort for 25 minutes and then rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Each batch of ¼ hour is known as Pomodoro, and every three pomodoros includes a more extensive rest of between 20 and 30 minutes. Apply it and you will see that your productivity increases and your fatigue decreases.
Begin your day with difficult tasks
It may serve you for more than one aspect of your life and not just for work. Perform the most complicated tasks that need your utmost attention at the beginning of the day, with all your energy, and the simplest ones at the end.
Many times, no matter how much you love your job, there will always be tedious tasks to be taken care of. How would you feel if it is not noon yet and you have already accomplished that cumbersome task? Doing this will definitely take the pressure off you and help you sail through the rest of the work day easily.
Set a work schedule
Do not work at odd times; always make sure that you create a schedule so that you can divide your time accordingly. If you do not have a work schedule, your productivity is going to be affected by a significant margin.
Following these simple steps can really go a long way in improving your productivity and making your work as a translator an enjoyable experience.