We’re all busy translating, but self-employment requires effective strategies for self-management and productivity. Here are a few tips for making the day go smoothly.
Start your day the organised way
Spend the first fifteen minutes of each day planning your schedule. Allocate and prioritise your tasks so that nothing slips your mind. Of course, things are bound to come up during the day, but it’ll be easier to work them into your schedule if you have your existing commitments written down.
Keeping a paper diary may sound like an old-fashioned idea but making a note of outstanding tasks can take a weight off your mind. When you are stressed and have a lot of things to remember, you are more likely to forget something when surrounded by random pieces of paper and notebooks with reminders. Get yourself a work diary and get into the habit of jotting everything down in one place.
Clean up your work environment
Spend a couple of minutes treating yourself to a dust-free desk and computer screen. It’s so much more pleasant to work in an organised setting with everything within arm’s reach.
Schedule time for essential tasks every day, week and month
Checking your bank account every day and making a note of incoming and outgoing payments will save you a lot of time at the end of the month or the quarter. Try to keep your books up to date at all times or at least consistently and regularly.
Automate recurring tasks
Have you noticed that a lot of the emails you receive with translation orders seem automated? Well, that’s because they are! Why not set up templates to reply to the template emails you receive? I’m sure you receive a lot, so if you have something ready to shoot off, then you’re going to save a lot of time. Even if you can’t be bothered to set them up in your email client, there’s nothing to stop you from creating an Excel or Word document with some pre-composed messages that you can copy and paste into your emails or replies. Instead of just shooting a quick “OK” back, you could paste in:
Thank you very much for your email. I confirm receipt of the instructions and am pleased to accept the job.
Please find attached my invoice for October. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any queries.
They’re just small ideas, but every little helps!