Do you love having too much work but suffer from freelancer’s guilt, overwhelm and burnout at the same time?
I know I sometimes panic and feel like there is no tomorrow for me as a small business owner – and as a translator – that there are not enough hours in the day and that I’m constantly running behind.
As this is not a stress I want in my life and I want to be really free as a freelancer, I have developed 5 small but hugely effective productivity tips that save me when I’m overloaded with work.
- Plan your week: If you have a huge project, it helps if you divide it in chunks and calculate beforehand how long it will take you. Try to be realistic and allow time for unplanned phone calls, customer visits, the odd migraine etc. This way you know what to expect each day and you will not end up trying to do 60% of the project on the last day (as I often did when I was first starting out as a translator).
- Finish each project and then move on to the next. If you have many smaller projects, allocate them in the course of the week so that you will be able to tick them DONE. Don’t do half jobs or pause one project to take up on another: this will leave you with many unfinished tasks (and a lot of stress).
- Trust the experts: do not attempt to do your accounting yourself if you have no idea where to begin, especially if tax season happens to coincide with the deadline of one of your largest projects. You will end up with a mess in both. Trust an experienced accountant, your business partner or take some time during your low period to acquire and acquaint yourself with a simple accounting tool.
- Schedule your phone calls during your coffee or lunch break. It is more effective than browsing Pinterest for wedding gowns or reading about productivity hacks and it will take your eyes (and your mind) off your screen for a while. It will be a true break from work so that you can continue feeling fresh and energized (Just keep your calls short and to the point – no detailed discussions of your latest drama here 🙂 )
- Know when you are more productive. Is it in the morning? Then take advantage of an early start to tackle as many tasks as you can. Do not leave your most demanding projects for just after lunch (when you might be feeling sleepy or just before your dinner as you might be sloppy rushing off to meet your date 🙂
What do you think? Will these hacks work for you or do you have any other productivity tips to share with us in the comments? I love how supportive our translator community is, we are really #strongertogether. Happy Translating!