How to handle stress during your translation work
The translation profession, with its irregular hours and and its frequently tight deadlines can be really stressful. Here are a couple tips to help you handle stress during your working hours.
How to handle stress as a translator
There are various ways to deal with stress and you should be able to find plenty of advice on the internet, however, here are some proven ways to better handle stress when working as a professional translator.
Create a pleasant work-space for yourself
Try to avoid glaring colors, noises, inappropriate temperatures, disorder and anything that could stress your eyes, your body or your mind.
Organize your office
Tidy your office so as to avoid wasting time searching for documents, dictionaries, pens, whatever you’d need. Do the same for the virtual space of your computer: your sites and reference files should always be easily accessible.
Plan your work
Plan your work in order to avoid work overload: a huge challenge for a translator who so often is subject to unpredictable times and schedules. While sometimes this is unavoidable, planning your current jobs will help you to handle stress during your work.
Anticipate the workload, as much as you possibly can, so you don’t get stressed in the last minute “rush” when the deadline approaches.
Learn how and when to say “no”
Say no to a customer, a boss or a translation company when the workload looks too overwhelming. Make it in a way that doesn’t offend the client, eventually propose another deadline that fits your timing. If there is too much on your to-do list, prioritize ruthlessly and make a new list. This is a great idea and doing so you will better handle stress.
Accept that you’re going to make mistakes. This sounds weird, but it’s not. A specific amount of perfectionism is an asset to a translator, but it’s also essential to own up to your failures. When a grumpy client has a point about an error in your work, apologize, offer to make it right, and move on.
How can I create work space at home?
- Start by choosing a good chair and desk because you don’t want to work on your bed
- Pick a room with good light for your workspace
- Decorate your workspace with objects related to your field
- Get tools that can help you stay organized during work
- Keep enough space on your desk for important papers
How do you create a workspace?
You can create a workspace by:
- Choosing a room in your house that gets natural light
- Removing all distractions from that room
- Picking a good desk and chair for your work
- Decorating your desk with objects that can help you stay motivated and focused
- Keep one drawer of your desk empty for the tools you don’t need everyday
How do I create a workspace in my bedroom?
Although working in your bedroom is not a good idea, you can create a workspace away from your bed and try to be productive. Pick a good desk and chair and place them near a window to get natural light. Keep the bedroom door closed whenever you are working to avoid distractions. Get organizing tools and decorate your workspace a little bit.
How do you create a productive work environment at home?
- Choose the best location in your house for your workspace
- Put all the distractions out of that room
- Gather all of your computer equipment at once and put it on your desk instead of leaving for things again and again
- Keep important tools in your desk drawers so you can get to them easily
- Don’t put any unnecessary objects on your desk so you have enough room for your computer and files
Be mindful and learn to see recurring patterns and take steps to keep stress at bay.
Take real breaks
Taking breaks will increase your productivity. Ten minutes may be enough, if you can manage to disconnect from your work completely. Try to take that break away from the computer, your phone or your tablet, otherwise you’ll only replace one thing with another. Learn to handle stress or it will handle you.
Avoid other things that take time
Focus on your work and don’t pay attention to emails, social media notifications or phone calls that could disturb you.
Avoid coffee if you can
Avoid coffee as well as other stimulants. Coffee is good in the morning, maybe another one during the day, but not more than that. On the long term, the only benefit of too much coffee is extra stress and a bad stomach.
Have a cup of tea
Drink some tea, for example; it can be a great way to relax while looking outside the window (not the Windows window).
Say no to salty foods or sweeties
Instead, find an alternative with antioxidants that you can find in tomatoes, watermelon and beetroot which offset the effects of oxidative stress. While this is hard to believe, it’s a good way to handle stress.
Your body needs exercising
Set it in motion by playing sports or do some jogging, this will relax you, your brain will be more oxygenated, and you will sleep better.
Take a walk
If you’re more of the sedentary type, a simple walk around the block can help.
Remember to breathe
You’re just a human being, you need to breathe slowly and deeply with your abdomen.
Get it out of your head
We believe that knowledge workers who are in the system for several hours a day need to get disconnected when work is done. In addition to making your body moving, give your brain a little sweet mainly if the documents you work on are very dense. This will help you handle stress in a better way.
Put on some music
Listen to music, just make sure it’s not too relaxing otherwise you may deal with re-opened projects later on.
Call a friend
Have a short, nice conversation with someone over the phone like a friend or your sister. Maybe not your mother as you’ll be stranded on the phone for the next half hour or so.
Take a nap
One good way to handle stress is to take a nap, even if it’s only half an hour, it will do you good.
Sleep well at night
Banish screens from the room, stick to your rituals, and treat yourself to a really good great night sleep.
That about sums it up. Following the above you’ll be able to better handle stress during your working hours. You’ll become more productive and a lot more attentive to details.