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5 Productivity Hacks for Language Translators

Posted on Fri, Jul 11, 2014 @ 13:07 PM

language translatorThroughout the day, language translators are bombarded by distractions—some of them self-induced, some of them not. Over the years, I’ve incorporated a few productivity hacks into my routine; they’ve served me well, so I thought I’d share some of them with you.

5 Productivity Hacks for Language Translators

Set your priorities and write them down
I like keeping to-do lists for a couple reasons. First, they help me remember and prioritize my tasks; just as important, though, is the feeling of satisfaction I get when I scribble a hard line through the task once it’s completed

Set your iPhone to “Do Not Disturb” mode
My cell phone is one of the biggest sources of distraction, but thanks to “Do Not Disturb” mode, I am able to silence calls, texts, notifications and alerts from every app and contact without blocking a specific person. If you’re unsure of how to activate this feature, click here.

Adopt an e-mail efficiency plan
Email can suck you right into a time warp (as can Facebook).  Keep your communications to-the-point and brief. Use the features your email system provides: highlight emails that need your immediate attention as opposed to those that can sit in the inbox for a little while. Here’s another idea: Log out of your email and only check it at specific times throughout the day.

Much of what you do is boiler plate in terms of rates/deadlines/review/approval periods, etc. Have descriptions typed out and cut/paste them into replies to save yourself from reinventing the wheel.

Rethink the way you spend your idle time
Down time is essential to your health and sanity, but many of us squander it on impulsive (as opposed to substantial) indulgences. Take time-sucker websites like Facebook, Pinterest, Tumbler and YouTube. For many of us, typing in the URL to these sites has become a reflexive act: we don’t even know we’re doing it. What’s worse, we passively spend hours a week on these sites without being able to recall a single moment of it. Why not skip passive activities like this for more quality engagement with family, friends, our pets and ourselves?

Can’t control your Web-browsing habit? There’s an app for that!
If you have trouble controlling your web-browsing habit like I do, give Write Room a shot. Basically, Write Room eliminates every opportunity for distraction by transforming your screen into a green and black basic word-processing page. Although WriteRoom won't allow you to create fancy layouts or insert tables and graphs, it will help you stay on track and get words on the page.

For those of you who REALLY can’t control your web-browsing habit…
Check SelfControl, a free Mac OS X (10.5 or above) app that allows language translators to block websites, mail servers, or anything else on the Internet. Simply set the period of time to block, add sites to your blacklist, and click "Start." But keep in mind that you won’t be able to cheat; once you’ve set the time, it can’t be disabled. 

Stop working beyond the point of productivity
I used to ignore that ache in my brain that was telling me to stop working and take a break. It took me a while to realize this, but productivity and time are not synonymous. In other words, just because I was working for long stretches of time didn’t mean that I was necessarily being efficient or productive. I may “lose” fifteen minutes by walking away to brew a fresh pot of coffee or take a short walk around the block, but when I come back, I’m usually refreshed and ready to get back to work. 

 

Download our exclusive guide:  Translation and the Empathetic Imagination

Topics: Modern Language Translation, Spanish Translation Course, French Translation Certification, Online Translation Certification Arabic, freelance translation, freelance translator, language translator, time management for translators

Procrastination Nation: 4 Remedies for Language Translators

Posted on Mon, Jul 08, 2013 @ 09:07 AM

If you’re anything like the language translators we know, you are bombarded by distractions all day long. Distractions come in many forms, but none is more insidious and time swallowing than the Internet. If you lack the discipline to keep your Internet browser locked away while you translate, we’ve got four apps that will help keep you on the straight and narrow.

Procrastination Nation: 4 Remedies for Language Translators

language translators 1Freedom seems a rather ironic name for an app that locks your PC or MAC away from the Internet for up to eight hours a day, doesn’t it? Nonetheless, this little app has the blessing of writers that include Zadie Smith, Naomi Klein, Miranda July, Nick Hornby and others. Should language translators experience an emergency or feel an uncontrollable urge to cheat their Internet detox, they can always reboot to disable this $10 app.

language translators 2SelfControl is a free Mac OS X (10.5 or above) app that allows language translators to block websites, mail servers, or anything else on the Internet. Simply set the period of time to block, add sites to your blacklist, and click "Start." But keep in mind that you won’t be able to cheat like you can with Freedom. Once you’ve set the time, it can’t be disabled. 

language translators 3Disabling the Internet entirely feels a bit drastic? Then Anti-Social may be your best Internet anodyne. For $15, this Mac app will only block the websites of your choosing. Set Anti-Social blocks for as little as 15 minutes—or as many as eight hours—but don’t expect to cheat once you’ve set your time. Like SelfControl, this app can’t be turned off.  

language translators 4If you’re a language translator who prefers to be shamed into reformation, go with Rescue Time. This app automatically records the amount of time you spend on websites and apps; then it groups data into a digestible report so you can see what you’ve been doing all day. You can also set goals and Rescue Time will show you how close you are to meeting them. You can download the app for free with limited features. 

If you’re looking for other ways to reform your procrastination habits, check out our other blogs, Write Room: A Distraction-Free Writing App for Language Translators, 5 Time Management Tips Every Freelance Translator Should Know and 5 More Time Management Secrets for Translators.

 

Download our exclusive guide:  Translation and the Empathetic Imagination

Topics: Modern Language Translation, French Translation Certification, Online Translation Certification Arabic, freelance translation, freelance translator, Translation Classes Online, language translators, time management for translators

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