Time Management for the Productive Online Translator

(Last Updated On: February 13, 2015)

Most freelance translators have the luxury of doing their job right in the comfort of their home but they still need to take some time management measures. This opportune profession is considered by many to be an enjoyable job because: You are your own boss, you basically have time at your disposal, and you get paid more than most employees. Quite interestingly, many have harbored the assumption that freelance translators work when they feel like it, and at their own pace. If this is what most of you may be thinking right now, then you would need to reconsider some things.

Content translation can be compared with any other job, add or change a few things. Sure, you get to stay at home to work and simultaneously perform a full-time family role that can be quite demanding and tricky in terms of time and resources. For most translators, the challenge lies greatly on how to manage time and balance dual or triple roles that may get to a point of saturation, even taxing, for the most seasoned multi-tasker.

Time management to increase productivity

To get the job done, we look at how time management is viewed and practiced in the milieu of content translation. Common among freelance online workers these days is maximizing resources, and keeping sluggish time to a minimum. Idle time is a nonexistent concept for the successful content translator. This strategy allows them to plan ahead and devise content translation that does not take up much of the working hours but, nonetheless, produce quality output that complies with the most stringent standards of trusted companies like ISO Translations. Considering the demands of digital international trade, freelance translators cannot afford to loose valuable time that may increase marketability and career growth. Simply put, lost time is lost opportunity; opportunity lost is profit lost.

Just like in any other workplace, employees are enjoined to device ways on how to go about with their job. Organization makes working less stressful. It allows the freedom to work in a conducive environment and mindset that enables optimal output and quality results.

In order to keep abreast with the variable demands of the industry, the following measures may be useful for content translators. Following through these tips will help you manage your time well so you can accomplish more tasks effectively without having to put up a lot with scheduling and resources.

  • Make a To-Do List. Coming up with an inventory of your daily activities allows you to map out tasks which helps in organizing both your personal responsibilities and your job. List down all activities for the day; include personal chores and errands as no minute detail is to be left out. From this list, identify which tasks require the most time and effort so you can prioritize them better. It is advisable that a planner or a work diary is utilized to enable you to see through all your tasks and, at the same time, check your progress.
  • Set your Goals. Set well-defined and realistic goals that will enable you to drive passion and skills. Having a clear objective helps you steer correctly by making appropriate actions towards the realization of these goals. A contingency plan also aids in effective goal setting.
  • Prioritize. The rigors and loads of digital content translation can be too much for those who do not know how to manage time well. This is where efficiency and effectiveness come into the picture. Efficiency is the ability to do tasks; effectiveness is deciding what tasks to be done first, and how you comply with your to-do list. Prioritizing important tasks ensures that delays and interruptions are avoided. This also aids in keeping you updated with job responsibilities and meeting deadlines before they actually expire.
  • Avoiding Interruptions and Procrastination. The internet—an important tool for the content translator (and other freelance online workers)—is a truly remarkable instrument that provides a great deal of assistance for materials and resources. However, it can also be a source of interruption when you start working. Limit sites to those that you would only need for your tasks. Furthermore, giving in to procrastination can be the start of a downfall as it may become a habit when casually done. To avoid this, immediately start on a task. It is critical that avoiding assignments once it is given to you may lead to more drastic disruptions.
  • Break Down Tasks. When tasks are too complex to be handled, learn to divide them into manageable sections so you can accomplish them consistently and coherently.
  • Organize Your Time. To effectively do this, make a time log or a timetable that approximates each task—either personal or work-related—and adhere to them as closely as possible.
  • Review, Revise and Update. Not everything you plan will be carried out 100%. Along the way, make sure that you check your progress, comply with your timetable and manage tasks according to priority and expected delivery. When things turn out quite different than what you have expected, revise and change (if necessary) your course of action. An effective time management is a working and variable skill that adheres and complies with external and uncontrollable changes.
  • Communicate. Nothing beats an open relationship with your supervisor or project manager. Ask for help if you don’t feel comfortable about an assignment, or if you feel you may come up with a better translation on a particular topic not given to you. Such requests may be accommodated. Importantly, learn to communicate with your project manager or your client to meet demands and provide useful inputs.
  • Reward Yourself. Give yourself a treat for working too hard on a particular assignment. A little pampering helps in boosting morale and keeping your motivation and enthusiasm up and running.

If you apply the time management tips outlined you will be able to do more in less time.