Time Management Tips for the Busy Freelance Translator
Summer is almost over and you don’t want to find yourself stuck on vacation mode which has procrastination written all over it. Yes, you’ve been staying slightly professionally involved with a couple of freelance translation jobs during your month-long break but let’s face it, that time you took off is now making your time management skills get a little bit rusty! Are your hectic schedules back on track? Don’t freak out, it happens with everyone. I personally consider the following tips to get my life/work balance back and to get both my personal and professional times reorganized.
1- Prioritize: when I have several translation jobs on hand, I make sure to start out with the most urgent. When I have similar deadlines, I opt for the more important. Sometimes I have less important, smaller documents to be translated and I get them out of the way to fully focus on more important and bigger ones.
2- Make To-Do lists: I’m absolutely fond of making handwritten To-Do lists with check boxes. When I’m done with a task, it gets a check. When something hasn’t been done yet, it gets a circle around it. When I decide to nix a task, it gets an “X” through it.
3- Make use of my free time: when I’m waiting for a project approval or a client’s reply, I keep myself busy. Whether it’s sending emails, reading a few blog posts, writing a blog post or even doing some online marketing, I’m glad to get it over with while I wait!
4- Multitask: I actually live by this word! I cannot stress enough on the importance of multitasking, and I cannot begin to describe how many times I saw myself doing more than 3 things at the same time! For example, I would be having a quick lunch, checking and sending emails, signing papers, and preparing invoices all at once!
5- Wake up 30 minutes earlier: it makes all the difference in the world! I might not start working as soon as I get up, but I would definitely finish another task, such as preparing food, doing the laundry or the dishes, or working out. That also leaves me with enough time to enjoy my morning coffee and get my daily social media fix (checking my Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts) or send and read emails.
6- Plan and prep ahead: in the weekend, I take an hour to plan and prep ahead meals for the entire upcoming week, especially when I know I’ll be having very hectic business days. This one hour goes a long way as I get most of the work done, and when it’s time to serve the meal, it’s usually just a matter of either reheating the food or finishing off the cooking in a matter of minutes.
Do you have other time management tips? Please share them in the comments below; I’m always looking for new ways to make use of every second of my day!