Are you a translator who works from home?
How long have you been staring at this screen?
Even better, how much of today have you spent sitting?
Stand up and shake it off!
Then read this article on how to have the best life as a work-from-home translator ever!
Working from home can be a dream come true. You can wear pajamas all day, make your own schedule, set your own hours, and procrastinate as much as you’d like. But working alone, with total freedom, makes it easy to cut corners. Admit it…. How many of us pay attention to how we are sitting let alone to giving our eyes a break from the computer? At a shared workspace or office there are lunch breaks, small side conversations with coworkers, meetings to attend, and other small events that break up the day and make you aware of your current well being. Working as a translator from home is a blessing, don’t make it a curse! Here are some tips to help keep you on the right path:
Movement is important! Do you sit all day? Maybe try standing at your desk for half of the day or every other day. Not into standing? Put a timer on your cell phone for small stretching breaks every other hour. Get inspired with some daily stretches here. If you can, step outside and take a deep breath every now and then! It may seem small, but it makes a difference in your mental health.
2. Rest Your Eyes
To prevent any complication with your eyes from prolonged screen exposure, be sure to take a 20 second break from all screens every 20 minute by looking at something at least 20 feet away.
We all know we should practice good posture but its important is overlooked by many. Try to be conscious of how you hold your body up, supporting your neck and head. Bend your knees at a 90 degree angle and rest your feet flat on the floor or on a small stool. Try not to cross your legs. Stretching exercises and yoga can also help develop your habits of maintaining correct posture.
4. Create Your Space
Set aside a place in your home that is just for working. Put up your favorite art work or translation inspired decor in the area. Make that area your work area, a place that is not just another part of your home. Working and living in the same place can wear on many of us. Avoid this by making your designated work area inspiring to your translation process..
Also, did you know that you can file a Form 8829 with your taxes to receive tax deductions for the part of your home that is your work space? Many people, unfortunately, don’t know how to go about this or are afraid to claim a percentage of their home as their office. But you should! You work hard, you deserve it!
If working at home doesn’t suit you, you can also rent a hip shared workspace or check out your nearest remote-worker-friendly cafe. Make sure you love wherever it is you sit down (or stand) to work.
5. Avoid procrastination
Procrastinating can be hard to avoid when you translate from home but making a schedule can help keep you on track. Schedule tasks with deadlines, as well as breaks, to keep your life balanced. Log your hours, set limits, and don’t let yourself drag the work day out due to procrastination.
6. Eat Well
Stock your work area with healthy snacks. A daily diet of coffee and sugary snacks can offer a short term spike of energy but when you’re working at home, you cant let that turn into a habit. Physical health is as important as mental health, so make you sure you have both sides covered.
Photo: Brandon Wilson
7. Keep Learning
Now that we have covered tools for staying healthy and happy while working remotely, what about making sure your career is healthy too?
Never stop learning, keep that brain active!
Research trends in industries you translate for, as well as in the translation industry itself. Keep on top of new slang, idioms, and pop culture for the countries associated with the languages you translate for.
What about considering diversifying your translation abilities? Could you become certified to translate in the medical field or in court? Learn more vocabulary in the languages you translate. Watch TED talks and take note of the transcripts available in the languages you know. Note their translation and ask yourself if you would have translated it in the same way. If not, why?
8. Build Your Translation Community
Without coworkers at a set office space, we lose that community from our lifestyle. Studies say companionship and community can be as important to health as a good diet and exercise.
Don’t miss out just because you are translating remotely. Become active in the translation community and find people who share your same love for language.
This can also go hand in hand with #7: Keep Learning. These communities can introduce you to new trends, ideas or opportunities.
What other tips and tricks do you use to have a successful life working from home? Share in the comments below!