Three Tips to Avoid Translation Stress

I am passionate about translation and I enjoy what I do. We translators all go through days when we feel sick, are busy, or just don’t feel like working at all, for whatever reason. If you are a translator, you will have noticed that your job is rather different from others. You can choose when you want to work, eliminating the boring 9-to-5 work schedule, and you can work from virtually any place in the world. Clients might contact you at night, on weekends, or even when you’re sick and translating a difficult text is the last thing you’d like to do! How can you avoid translation stress, then? Here are some helpful tips:

Keep a Daily Routine

What has worked most for me is keeping a daily routine in order to avoid a hectic build up of work. Try to do small tasks every single day, no matter what else life throws at you, to keep your work flowing at a steady pace.

Don’t Procrastinate

Translation can be unpredictable, and procrastination will do nothing to make that easier. When deadlines approach, having your work panned out over manageable slots of time will help you reach your goal in a much less stressful way than leaving it all to the last minute.

Avoid Working at Night

Have a routine in the morning as well, but not for work. Enjoy your morning coffee, tea, breakfast, or newspaper. Spend time with family or pets, and take a moment to prepare yourself for your workday, no matter how busy it promises to be. During this time, try not to think about work and relax as much as possible before getting down to business. I also try to spend at least one hour at the gym, no matter how busy I am. Swimming helps me relax and prevents me from losing my mind. I also strongly recommend not working right before bed, because stress will only lead to a restless night. Carve out the most appropriate amounts of time for you to work, and tackle your projects during these periods as efficiently as you can.

The secret to not becoming overwhelmed with work is never letting yourself skip your routine completely. You can compress it a little, adjusting it when you have to work on a tight deadline. For example, there are days when I have to settle for half an hour of swimming instead of one hour, but I never skip a day. Stick to a routine as much as you can, and I guarantee you will feel happier, more productive, and much less overwhelmed while you work.


About Martina Stefani

Martina Stefani is a native Italian speaker living in Rome. She holds a Master’s degree in Foreign Languages and Translation and works as a full-time freelance translator and writer. Her working languages are Italian, English, German and French. She specializes in translating literature, marketing, medical, technical and business related content.