Prioritizing and time management are two very important aspects of a freelancer’s life.
Dealing with many clients at the same time can adversely affect your life, meaning that you’re always stressed, your time management goes out the window, and sleeping peacefully at night is something you vaguely remember doing in the past! It’s simply not worth it! Try to find one or two clients with larger projects, instead of having 10 clients with very small projects.
Prioritize Your Projects
Prioritizing and time management are two very important aspects of a freelancer’s life. It’s very easy to get caught up in busy mode and forget that there are only so many hours in a day and that you have families who would love to spend some time with you. Being committed to time management is very important when you become a freelancer: you must stick to a regular work schedule and refuse to take projects that fall outside that schedule. Obviously, there will be times when a preferred client requires an urgent translation, but you mustn’t put yourself in the position of trying to please everyone all of the time. Remember that an urgent translation is only urgent because that’s what the client tells you: most clients have a built-in buffer for their projects, but they demand instant service from their translators to ensure that they themselves are working well within their own schedule. You must stand up for yourself: tell your clients that quality work requires a certain amount of time to complete, and you’ll find that most of them will understand and give you the time you require.
Creating a Home Work Environment
If you’re going to be running your business from home, then you need an area where you can concentrate on your work in privacy. Some people don’t have a separate area in their home to create an office space, so whatever area you decide to work in, even if it’s just a table in a corner, other family members must respect that this is your workstation and that you require privacy and quiet when you’re working. You will already know that if you’re going to work at home there are going to be distractions, so there will be times when you have to turn the television down or off or ask the children to play quietly, and it’s important that your children understand and respect your work time. Some translators invest in earmuffs to block out some of the noise, but that’s entirely up to you.
Follow a Work Schedule
Create a work schedule for yourself as if you were working as an employee, and follow this schedule at home. Create a timetable for yourself that allows time for your family, shopping, and other important aspects of your life. Just because you’re a freelancer it doesn’t mean you have to work every waking hour of every day!
Working from home as a freelance translator can create problems, but there’s certainly nothing that can’t be worked out. With the support of your family, some time management skills, and your own determination to make it work, you can definitely create a very happy work/life balance.