People are always telling me that they couldn’t do my job. They say they wouldn’t be able to spend all day translating in front of a computer screen. Don’t do it then! I love my job. Of course, there are difficulties. Running a business is tiring, stressful and challenging. This business is no different. If you work on your own, you are also responsible for motivating yourself and for protecting yourself from procrastination, a serious problem for many.
One potential drawback with some translation assignments is boredom. Translating heavy excel sheets full technical jargon or long lists of repetitive words can be excruciating. If you know a particular type of job is going to send you to sleep then it is hardly surprising if you keep putting off doing it. What can you do about it? One solution is to divide it up into bearable chunks. Assign 50-minute periods to the job, turn off your phone, disable Facebook, set an alarm and get down to it. Create a schedule and stick to it. The relief you feel when you finish will make it all worth it.
Another factor that can make a project look like a nightmare is fear. One translator’s dream is another translator’s nightmare! If you don’t think you are expert enough in a particular subject then you should take action immediately. Your customer will soon find an alternative translator and will be grateful to you for being honest.
What if don’t think you can meet your deadline? Perhaps you’ve overestimated your ability or it has turned out to be an especially time-consuming job for some reason. Face the problem head on! Contact your customer immediately or, if you have been procrastinating, cut it out and just do it!
Lastly, a to-do list takes only a few minutes to maintain. Spend ten minutes writing a list first thing in the morning and you’ll save time during the day. Another effective policy is to put the hardest task at the top of that list and to do it right away. You may be amazed that the horrible task isn’t as bad as you thought it would be and accomplishing the task will encourage you to do all those easier jobs.