Let’s face it, from time to time you have a translation job that you might not really enjoy working on. It could be a financial translation (a report with very dry data) or a document with a topic not very appealing to you. So you will end up in a situation where you have to keep yourself productive throughout the day and complete the job as soon as possible. Sometimes you procrastinate and that, of course, is not a good thing not only because you delay your task but also because it interferes with the other things. You can’t for example read a book because the fact you have that translation to work on keeps coming to your mind. So here are some tips and tricks that have been tried and tested:
Have breaks, but not too often
It is very important to concentrate and keep moving on without interruption. I personally find it harder to start than to keep pushing on. On the other hand, it is clearly not advisable nor healthy to work 5 hours without a break. When translating documents, I take a 5 to 10 minute break every hour or so. I use this time to walk or to stretch a bit. It is always better to do some physical activity as translating documents doesn’t require much. Keep away from reading news online, as they can easily absorb you for a long time before you realise it. The key is variety and to mix mental and physical activity as much as possible.
Stay away from the TV
TV is a real distractor. Having a TV in your office (study/ room) is not a good idea, as it can suck you in for a long time. I prefer having a radio playing low in the background. It gives me a pleasant atmosphere to work in.
Plan and prioritise: important tasks first
It is essential to plan your day first thing in the morning, but don’t spend more than 5 minutes doing that. The most productive period of the day is the morning. Make sure you schedule all your important tasks before lunch time and start with the important tasks first. Keep the meetings and appointments for the afternoon.
I simply cannot imagine a linguist working efficiently without proper sleep. Of course, sometimes you might need to stay up and translate late into the night to meet a tight deadline. But this is definitely not the way forward. You shouldn’t make a habit out if it. If you go to bed early, thenyou wake up early so you can do more of your work during the most productive hours of the day – in the morning.
Think about the outcome
To keep myself motivated, I usually use this trick as well. I have the end result in mind. This is, most of the times, a cheque. We all have to make a living after all.
If you have any tips or tricks you would like to share, please leave a comment.