Solutions 2015: #January and #February

In order to motivate myself to revive my blogging journey I decided that I would try to post a summary of each month focusing on what solutions were found.

For the last year I have been in between different projects and making a living with freelance translations. The translating thing started for me in 2001 after I moved back from my MA Diplomacy studies in Paris to Riga and was not able to afford the luxury to work for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia in a minimum wage job – that was not enough to cover regular living expenses.

I have been doing Latvian-English-French-Russian-Latvian translation jobs on and off since then with a longer break while I was working as the first and only Latvian Science Attaché to the European Union in Brussels (2004-2010). Even then, I did several translations for different science related events, as for example exhibition posters about Nanotechnologies back in 2008. Plus my daily job involved lots of translating too – just to remember French Presidency were documents were coming out mainly in French – and I was the only person that spoke fluent French in my ministry.

To come back to January and February 2015 – it was crazy busy with many challenging translation orders mainly for Latvian – French. I managed to successfully deliver my biggest ever job – 180 pages of an extremely technical and difficult text in the field of IT, telecommunications.

Riga Dome Cathedral - January 2015
Riga Dome Cathedral – managed to take a little Christmas walk break

Solution regarding planning and time management:

  • When you have a bigger project with a deadline that at first seems reasonably long enough in the future, make sure that the planning of your schedule is not only day-by-day, but hour by hour.
  • Figure out a way to make sure that you have results at the end of each day.

In this example – I agreed to deliver parts of translation being done every day by 5pm. Even if at first I did not like this being imposed by the client, it helped me to organize myself and actually be focused the whole month on a regular basis.

Up until now, I had the tendency to meet deadlines with crazy working hours shortly before the end date. We all know how it is – we all have done it.

self-made trouble
Translation of the text on the wall from Latvian: self-made trouble

The solution is to avoid creating self-made troubles.

Make the plan that is reasonable, and stick to it! If you do not have a client (or a boss) asking for a daily update of the project you are working on – make an agreement with yourself that each day you will deliver some parts of the job. Make a short follow-up each day. This will avoid stress and definitely improve the quality of your work, as you will have more time to review and improve your work.

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