At our open day in November 2012, we were delighted that Kate Rudd came along to talk about her tips for increasing your productivity – and hopefully therefore your income.
This was a lively presentation with plenty of interaction and discussion – thank you Kate.
Translators in general want to increase their productivity – to translate more words per day, but without putting in even more hours! Kate believes that with some small changes you can increase your output by 30% at least, possibly up to 50%. And she speaks from experience as this is something she has worked on herself – she’s the proof it works!
In summary: Specialisation, routine and attitude!
Specialisation – stick to what you’re good at! Don’t be tempted to take on jobs requiring research, which are out of your specialist areas. Take on work you know you can practically do with your eyes shut (not that you ever would of course)! You are a specialist translator – so stay within your subject areas, be an expert and work faster and faster on your expert areas.
Routine – Monitor your concentration. What time of day do you work best? Many people do the most work in mornings. Schedule most of your work at your most productive times. Work in blocks of 60 to 90 minutes. Then take a break of a minimum of 15 minutes.
When you are working, have no distractions. No email, no background noise. If you are tempted by Twitter or Facebook, consider disconnection from the internet when you are officially working.
When you have a break – it should be away from your PC. Rest your eyes and your mind. A walk outside (even just around the garden). Some music. Some exercise. Eat regularly.
Kate got everyone’s interest in the Sound and Light Machine she uses – a “Mind Spa.”
And as we all know, we should drink lots and lots of water (and not caffeine drinks).
About Kate: She translates from French and Spanish into English. She’s worked in the translation industry since 2006, and did a placement at Atlas Translations! Kate is a member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, a professional member of ASETRAD and a Proz.com Certified Pro. Her academic credentials include a Diploma in Translation, a Masters in Applied Languages from Université de Provence, France, and a degree in Translation and Interpreting from Universidad de Granada, Spain. Phew!