As the year draws to an end, a translator’s workload slows down as rather than churning out documents for us to translate, the business world focuses on Christmas parties and eating the mince pies in the office kitchen. This makes this couple of weeks at the end of the year a good opportunity for some digital housekeeping, which will keep us busy and hopefully stop us from tucking into the mince pies in our own kitchens.
Of course, we ought to be doing these tasks on a regular basis, but when you are up to your ears in projects, it’s hard to find the time.
The best way to start, of course, is by writing a ‘to-do list’. You could start by organising all your stray files in a logical manner, in folders and subfolders for documents, pictures, etc. Then make sure that your data back-up arrangements are in place. I have an external hard drive programmed to make copies of all my files, all the time, and it has saved my life more than once (when I have been over-zealous deleting things). If you don’t have back-up arrangements, sort out something in the cloud or purchase and set up some kind of system. If you still have a DVD drive, you could save everything onto disks and free up some space on your hard drive.
Clean up your desktop, getting rid of all the unwanted icons and emptying the trash from the recycling bin. Why not treat yourself to a nice new background to greet you in the mornings when you turn on, while you’re at it?
Uninstall the unused programmes hogging your hard drive and run updates for all your apps and drivers. It is essential you upgrade everything to take advantage of new security developments. While we are on the subject, ensure that your security software is up to date.
Another task we all like to put off is going through our email inboxes and deleting things we don’t need. If, like me, you receive emails with massive attachments, you really should get rid of all the messages you have no reason to keep. Even though gmail offers enormous free storage capacity, if I don’t get onto it on a regular basis, I actually run out of space. When was the last time you emptied your spam folder? You should be deleting this junk email, which can contain malicious files or viruses, straight away.
Once you have finished organising and updating everything, defragment your hard disk to get your PC working more quickly… like it did when you first bought it, before you installed all those programmes and saved all those files.
Then treat yourself to a couple of mince pies. You deserve them.