One of the best parts of the freelance lifestyle is being your own boss. You are free to work the hours you prefer, engage with only the clients you choose and set the rates you want. Of course, one of the worst parts of working freelance is also the fact that you are your own boss. There’s nobody else to take care of the invoicing, or boost your motivation when you’ve had a tough day or to cover for you when you’re sick. All of this can feel like a drag at times and act as a distraction from doing the work that you are passionate enough about to do freelance. As such, we’ve thought about five ways that you can improve the way you work freelance, so that you have more time to spend focusing on – and enjoying – translation.
There’s so much technology available that automating parts of your freelance career can create a significant time saving. From social media tools that find followers for you to apps that type out entire sentences or paragraphs when you key in just a few letters, automation is your friend when you work for yourself.
It’s also well worth exploring which apps can help you to be more organized. Communication tools like Slack can enable superfast connectivity with clients, while the noticeboard-style Trello app is one that you keep finding more uses for, the longer you use it. Find the right balance in order to enhance your workflow efficiency and suddenly you’ll be spending less time on freelance admin and have more time to translate.
Hire an accountant
Life is too short to spend doing tax returns. Unless you really love doing tax returns, in which case perhaps a career in accountancy might appeal. But for all those who would rather be translating than juggling numbers, hiring an accountant can be a sound move. Basic accountancy services don’t cost the earth, and an accountant could even save you money with some savvy advice.
Never stop learning
Keeping your working day varied is a great way to stay motivated and ensure that you enjoy freelancing, and the great thing about it is that you can use translation itself to make your day more exciting. If your staple workload consists of financial translation, for example, why not work towards offering legal translation services as well, by spending a part of each day familiarising yourself with legal concepts and phrases in the languages that you use? Or perhaps marketing translation might appeal more? Or video translation? Whichever subject you choose to tackle, spending a little time each day learning a new skill can be a powerful motivator. It can also be a way to diversify your skills and boost your income.
If you worked in an office before freelancing, you’ll likely remember the days when colleagues brought in treats for everyone because it was their birthday, or a charity bake sale day, or just a Tuesday that needed brightening up. A sweet treat here and there can be a great way to keep yourself cheerful during the working day, so make sure you reward yourself from time to time and keep the spirit of camaraderie alive!
Jump up and down
Exercise has a profound effect on the brain. When you move around, your body produces more energy. That energy leads to clearer thinking and faster working. Studies have shown that exercise can improve your level of focus for as much as three hours afterwards. Exercise has also been shown to improve memory function, help impulse control and lift the spirits as much as some antidepressants. It will also help to negate the impact of all of those sweet treats!
So jump up and enjoy a few star jumps from time to time during the working day and you’ll be left more energised and even able to translate better.
What are your top tips for freelancing better? How do you make sure you have more time, energy and enthusiasm for translation? Leave a comment to let us know.