Time planning for translators – the ultimate answer to coping with workload


translationRuined nights, tones of e-mails sent to clients with apologies, family life in pieces, no time for yourself, empty fridge, stress overload. How many times did that happen to you? (It must have happened at least once to everybody, so be honest here!)

We’re all busy, trying to meet deadlines and still provide quality translations. How many times last week did you tell someone that you’re too busy/awfully busy/terribly busy? Do you see how negative that became? And we are all envious when we meet someone who is also busy, but can still stuff more things to do every day. Do they sleep less? Do they eat fast food? Do they give up their free time? No. There are translators out there who know how important it is to plan their time.

Time planning leads to proactivity

By planning your time reasonably and carefully, you can take a more proactive approach. Instead of just letting your tasks feast on your time (making you oh-so-busy throughout the week), you can write down everything you have to do and how much time it should take you. You’re no longer just reacting to whatever comes your way, but you’re consciously planning your work. When I first started planning my time, I was amazed that I could do some things in 2 hours (instead of 5) just because that was my schedule. And I can do much more now, with everything planned in my calendar!

Time planning for translators gives you control

If you don’t plan your work, it will plan you. And you’ll end up frustrated and tired, working 12-14 hours a day. Tell yourself that you’ll spend 4 hours doing that translation and just plan something else for later. Believe me, you will spend 4 hours doing that translation. It’s your time, so you’d better act so!

Time planning lets you work on several projects

Well, you can’t really multitask if you don’t plan your time. It is possible to work on 3 or 4 translation projects during the day, if only you make the effort and prepare nice time slots for them. Without time planning you’ll never be able to move on to another project.

Time planning lowers stress

Say bye to tight deadlines and racing heart rate! With all tasks planned, you know exactly how long it will take you to translate, proofread and send your project. No need to panic. As simple as that.

Time planning improves your performance

You’re not that stressed, you sleep better, you eat, go to the gym. You don’t make that many mistakes, you have enough time to proofread. And that’s how you become a good, successful and happy translator!

A bunch of tips

At the end of the day plan tasks for tomorrow
Prioritizing is the key to getting things done
Plan your tasks even it is obvious for you how to get it done

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10 tips for time management in a multitasking world

By Marta Stelmaszak, translator and interpreter specialising in law, IT, marketing and business. Graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science and member of the Management Committee of the Interpreting Division at the Chartered Institute of Linguists and of the International Association of Professional Translators and Interpreters.