Are You Lacking Motivation?
All translators have experienced that certain translation project that they simply don’t enjoy working on.
All translators have experienced that certain translation project that they simply don’t enjoy working on. It could be that the topic is just not appealing, or maybe it’s a document full of very dry (boring) content, but irrespective of the text, the translator is still required to stay productive and continue working on the project until completed.
Procrastination often seems like a good idea, but we all know that doesn’t work! All it does is delay what has to be done anyway, and builds the project up in your mind to be much larger than it actually is. And, because you can’t think of anything else and can’t move on with anything else, you need to find a way to simply get on with the job. But how?
Schedule Small Breaks into Your Work Day
Obviously, you can’t (and shouldn’t) sit at your desk for hours on end without taking a break. You need to take breaks in order to stretch your body and keep your circulation going, plus you need to get up from your desk from time-to-time to make yourself a nice healthy drink or snack to consume while you work. On the other hand, when you’re translating you really need to concentrate and keep moving with the project without interruption.
Try to take at least a 10-minute break every hour, on the hour, and use this time to stretch your body or even take a brisk walk. You need to get some exercise in during the day anyway, because, as you know, translating requires very little moving around and a lot of sitting at your computer. Turn off all your social media sites so you don’t get distracted by news pop-ups and other interesting pieces of gossip: we all know how time-consuming the Internet can be! When you have a desk-bound job, the trick to staying healthy is to create a workable mix of mental and physical activity.
Don’t Go Near the Television!
Like the Internet, television is a huge distraction. It’s not advisable to have a television in your office or room where you work; however, having a radio playing softly in the background can be quite therapeutic for some translators.
Prioritize Your Day
Before you start working, plan your day, and prioritize important tasks first. Don’t spend too long working out a plan, but do it first thing in the morning, with the aim being to schedule all your important tasks to be tackled before lunchtime. Appointments and meetings should be scheduled for the afternoons.
Make Sure You Get Sufficient Sleep
Freelance translators can very easily fall into the trap of not getting enough sleep. You only need a rush job, or a challenging job, to find that you’re working long hours into the night. Staying up during the night to meet a tight deadline is fine, as long as it’s a one-off and those hours worked are replaced with hours of rest or recreation. Don’t make a habit of working late hours. Ideally, you’ll wake early and get your important work done during the most productive hours of your day, which is in the morning.
Think about Why You Work
Possibly the best motivation of all is what you yourself will gain from completing a difficult or boring translation project. For most people, the gain is payment at the end of the job. Let’s face it, most of us have to make a living support ourselves, and translators just happened to choose to translate as their means of financial support. So, if payment at the end of the project is the motivation you need, then think about depositing that money into your bank account. Now, let’s get to work!
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