Goal-Setting for Translators - Part 2
A great piece of advice for helping you to achieve your goals is to make sure that you write your goals down.
Another great piece of advice for helping you to achieve your goals is to make sure that you write your goals down: it helps your mind focus and you’ll be more successful in reaching your targets. We know that goals that are written down build confidence and motivate because the process of writing down your goals makes them concrete and real. There are some great online goal-tracking tools out there, such as Goal Buddy, Tooledo and Stikk. Each of these tools has its own unique features and you may find you prefer one tool to another. The one that we’re familiar with is Tooledo, which helps you break your goals down into small and manageable tasks; but certainly have a look at the other as well.
Evernote is another brilliant tool which uses the just-in-time or save-it-for-later concept. The Optical Character Recognition feature is very handy because it allows you to search for text within images. There’s a free version of Evernote available and you may find the free version sufficient for your needs, or alternatively, there’s a premium edition which offers more features.
Group Your Tasks Together
Create effective batches for tasks which, when grouped together, make sense. For instance, let’s say you decide to batch translations for the first few days of the week; the middle of the week is set aside for proofreading while the end of the week is dedicated to contacting clients. Whenever possible, you need to create blocks of uninterrupted time so you’re free to focus on important tasks – this prevents both deterioration of work quality and burnout.
If distractions are a problem for you there’s a great tool called RescueTime, which is very helpful when it comes to understanding your daily habits. It will track the time you spend on apps and computers and provide a report on how you’ve spent your day. There’s a free version of RescueTime available (known as RescueTime Lite) and you can purchase a paid version for more features.
Constantly Review Your Systems
Just because you’ve created a system, that doesn’t mean your work is done. You need to spend a certain amount of time each day, or each week, reviewing the effectiveness of your systems. Ask yourself the following question: ‘Did your expectations of what you hoped to accomplish today with your translation business match the reality’? It’s the answer to this question that will help you fine-tune your processes to the point where it reflects your priorities and your changing business practices. Again, fine-tuning your processes is something that you should be doing on a regular basis because things constantly change. There’s a great tool (free for individual users) called iDoneThis which will help you keep track of both your systems and your to-do list.
Remember that you must celebrate all your accomplishments – both big and small. It’s the small accomplishments that accumulate and result in big changes. An important aspect of goal setting is that we must acknowledge our small achievements and focus on what is actually working, instead of what’s not working. By doing this we create a space for even bigger changes in the future. So, celebrate all your accomplishments, regardless how small they may be, and be very proud of what you’ve achieved.
When you have effective systems in place you automatically know what to do next. It eliminates any confusion. It’s the only way to maximise both your time and your energy, which is perhaps the greatest advantage of creating systems for your translation business. And, of course, it doesn’t really matter what business you’re involved in or whether your goals are of a personal nature – goal-setting using effective systems can be immensely rewarding.