Working as a freelance translator may appear to be very enticing for an outside observer. Certainly it can be a great opportunity to readdress the work/life balance, and being able to be your own boss is obviously a massive perk. However, while many enjoy the benefits that working from home, the life of a freelancer can often be challenging and stressful.
Being your own business is tough, as some find it a problem to completely switch off from work. Then, before you know it, you are working 15 hour days and 7 days a week. Being a freelance translator does have its ups and downs, but here are 5 tips that can help you maintain sanity during particularly difficult periods:
1. Get your working environment right
Personally speaking, I have never been able to effectively work in a cluttered and messy space. Therefore, I try to make sure that my desk is inviting and comfortable with plenty of natural light.
If you suffer from back pains, it may be wise to invest in a decent chair as you are probably going to be sitting on it for many extended periods. Finally, for those who like to listen to music while working, like I do, remember to set your desk up with a decent pair of speakers.
If anyone is particularly proud of their working environments, why not send us a picture on Facebook.
2. Take regular breaks
I honestly can’t stress this point enough. Recently, health officials advise workers to take a 5 minute break every hour, even if it is just to get up and have a walk. Seriously though, consistent breaks do help to boost productivity and energy levels.
So if you are currently not in a habit of doing so, try to take regular breaks.
3. Go outside
A daily dose of sunshine is good for you. When working from home, I always make an effort to go outside and breathe in that fresh(ish) suburban air, even if the sun isn’t shining. Still, I find that there is nothing worse than climbing the walls after a full day stuck indoors.
So my advice is go out and stretch your legs, even if it is to do something trivial like buy a bottle of water.
4. Book Holidays
Always try to have something to look forward to when freelancing, particularly when you have huge workloads and tight deadlines. Also, when you are away, leave the laptop and mobile at home so that you are able to completely recharge.
Exercise is proven to reduce stress levels. I always like going to the gym during my lunch hour, as it helps to re-focus me for an afternoon of work. However, if being surrounded by sweaty individuals who like to pose in front of mirrors is not your thing, then go for a bike ride instead.
If anyone else has any other tips to that help boost happiness while freelance translating, let us know in the comments below.