These are some of the things I do in order to be more productive when I translate:
1. Listen to music while you translate
Most of the time I listen to music while I translate, but only music without lyrics. I’m not sure why it helps, but it just changes my environment completely.
I get access to a new energy, and I can get more work done, without getting bored or tired in the same way. I think that it’s the other part of my brain that is fired up, when I start the music.
Mostly I listen to jazz, or electronic music, sometimes techno without lyrics.
2. Use Skype instead of email
Using Skype chat is a great way to get access to more jobs, because sometimes email is just to slow for clients, who are in a hurry. This doesn’t mean that you have to be in a hurry.
If you are just finishing up on a project and ready for a new job, and the terms suit you, then you could also take jobs in via Skype chat. It’s kinda like a mild version of a phone call.
Don’t limit yourself to email or phone communications, but look out for people, who are just looking for attention, and don’t really have any interesting jobs, in terms of deadline, field and word rate.
3. Get 8 hours of sleep at night
My short-term memory doesn’t work very well, when I’m tired. It’s just such a nice thing to have when you’re a translator 😉
4. Get assistance from machine translations
Some clients allow it, some don’t, and some don’t care. It depends on the job.
It can be a help to see, what the great machine thinks. Sometimes it’s just garbage, but occasionally it comes up with interesting segments, that are worth taking into account.
If you’re completely lost on a certain term, it can send you in the right direction.
5. Say no to jobs that you don’t find interesting
It’s easier to feel motivated when it’s an interesting topic that you’re translating. Of course you need to bring in the money you want by saying yes to enough jobs, but after that you can choose the interesting ones.
6. Reuse the existing termbase
If the client haven’t sent you a termbase for the current, you can ask if there is one already. Or perhaps existing translation memories or even translations, if you’re revising a document.
Do you have any productivity tips that you want to share?