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How do you organise your day?
Thread poster: Kathryn Strachecky

Kathryn Strachecky  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:22
French to English
Feb 9, 2007

Dear all,

Recently, I've started getting a lot more work, much to my very great joy!

However, I now find myself spending all day translating. The housework is piling up, I've hardly spent any quality time with my husband as I'm always exhausted when he gets in from work, I have a whole list of little jobs that I really ought to do such as ringing friends and popping to the bank. I'm starting to think that I'll never find the time!

How do you folks manage? How do you organise your day so that you can fit everything in?

Any tips will be gratefully received!!!!


[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2007-02-10 15:47]

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2007-02-10 15:47]


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Tatiana Neamţu
Romania
Local time: 16:22
English to Romanian
+ ...
I wish to know .... Feb 9, 2007

that, too. I'm exactly in the same situation as Kathryn. But I also have a 6 months old (or young) baby.

So, I'm looking forward to hearing the tips ...

[Editat la 2007-02-09 09:27]


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Elisabetta M.  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:22
Member
English to French
+ ...
same problem Feb 9, 2007

Hello, I have more or less the same problem!
Nevertheless I always start the day - after dropping the children at school- with a walk in the woods with my dog and friends. It Does not help with housekeeping but it's great!!
When the fridge is empty I rush to Picard, when the ironing basket is really full I bring shirts to a centre d'aide par le travail where disabled people work and I get 50% off taxes. I guess there are CAT in many places.
I wille read with interest comments from organized colleagues!! Have a nice week-end.


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Diana Wright  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:22
Romanian to English
+ ...
What I do ... Feb 9, 2007

Kathryn Strachecky wrote:

I now find myself spending all day translating. The housework is piling up, I've hardly spent any quality time with my husband as I'm always exhausted when he gets in from work, I have a whole list of little jobs that I really ought to do such as ringing friends and popping to the bank.



I'm often in exactly the same situation, except that I've also got a daughter to take to school, to the park, etc.

The first thing that I always try to do is to negotiate my deadlines carefully, so that I can afford to squeeze in a few other things in my schedule. It doesn't always work, of course, but I'm getting better at it.

What my husband and I usually do, since we are both in the same business, is to take turns with the house chores. Meaning that when I've got a more urgent deadline than him, I sit at the computer and work for as long as necessary (except for the 'sacred' family moments, such as meals, or our daughter's bath and story time), while he is in charge of looking after our daughter, cooking, shopping, etc. And when he's busier than me, I take over the same responsibilities.

If we're both under tight deadlines, everything becomes a bit more complicated, and we have to divide housework between the two of us. Usually, I do the cleaning, ironing, etc. (early in the morning, before taking Brianna to school, since there are about 40 'dead' minutes before we actually leave home), and he cooks (because he likes it more than me). If, for whatever reason, I have to take a few hours off in the day, then I catch up at night. This is my ultimate solution, but I try not to use it very often, since there's nothing better than a good night's sleep.

You could try to involve your husband in household activities. It will be more fun (at least for you) to do the cooking together, for example. Or maybe we might want to surprise you with a special dinner, even if it's only sandwiches?!

Alternatively, if you're making good money, you could get a cleaner, and then you won't have to worry about housework at all. I tried that too, but I didn't like having someone else going through my things and, also, it was a bit awkward having her in the house when we were both at home trying to work. We found out that it caused us more interruption and cost us more time than when we do the cleaning ourselves.

Good luck managing your time and think of the days when no work will come and you'll get the chance to catch up on all the thing that you have to or you like to do.

Diana

[Edited at 2007-02-09 10:32]

[Edited at 2007-02-09 10:33]


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Veronica Coquard
France
Local time: 15:22
French to English
Can we have a bit of a groan about men? Feb 9, 2007

Hi Kathryn!

Ditto.

Let's tell those (French? Macho?) men of ours that just because we work at home doesn't mean we have all day to tend to the housework.

I am currently working full-time in a tourist board (granted, a relaxing job most of the time), doing translations on the side, and running a guest house (it's the summer that kills me). I wonder what I will do when the translation really takes off, or when I find myself - dare I say - with child!!

Little by little I am training my Frenchman to pick up after himself (I gently began with teaching him to sort the laundry and then we moved on to cleaning the fireplace insert; next challenge, the bathroom), but I think the time will come when I will hire a housekeeper.

One thing that makles life simpler is to be very organised from the start, both in your work administration and in your home (minimalist in your decorating style).

As far as cooking - because I absolutely hate microwave food - my trick is to make big meals (whole birds or big stews) of which individual portions can be frozen and reheated.

It's not easy, but some days are better than others.

Good luck, and give me a shout if you have too much work on your hands!


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Kathryn Strachecky  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:22
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for all the advice Feb 9, 2007

Thank you all so much for the advice so far, this is great so keep it coming! It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who's struggling.

To be fair on my hubby (I really should have said this from the start) he already does a lot around the house. He cooks meals whilst I work, doesn't complain at all about the state of the house and even does the washing up. I just don't want him doing everything. He works too and I don't think it's fair that he should do everything just because I'm too lazy/tiered/overrun.

Unfortunately we don't have enough money for a cleaning lady so I guess I'm just going to have to pull myself together and get on with things. As Diana said, there will also be quiet days when I should be able to catch up. In fact, today is already a lot calmer which is why I've had time to post this topic!

I have to admit though that I do wonder how I'll survive when we have a baby. Probably the good old "sleep, what sleep?" technique. However, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Thanks again for the advice so far. Happy translating to you all and a wonderful, relaxing weekend


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:22
French to English
+ ...
Prioritise! Feb 9, 2007

Hi Kathryn,

I used to get upset about the housework not being done, but now I'm divorced and working full-time at home, I've become much more relaxed about what actually needs to be done. I find cooking great relaxation from translating, so I never mind doing that in the evening to unwind. I also cook in large amounts and freeze, so there's always soup for lunch and casseroles if I'm really hard pressed. I've roped my teenage boys in to help (same comments apply to them as to husbands, only more so - tidying rooms, picking clothes up, etc!) Actually my boys are pretty good on the whole and realise that we have to work as a team!

As Elisabetta said, dog walking is sacrosanct - that's my thinking time and sets me up for the day. I used to have someone do my cleaning and ironing in my previous, much larger house, but now I'm in a smaller house, I find I can usually do what needs to be done in snatches while I'm waiting for things to print, or having a break to rest my wrists from typing!

At the end of the day, if things don't get done, there's only me who's really bothered and there's always the next day.... I also fit in a dance class and yoga once a week and I do try to make time for my friends too - I find I work much better if I've had time off!

All the best!


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Veronica Coquard
France
Local time: 15:22
French to English
How about the men on this site? Feb 9, 2007

Girls, have you noticed that no man has dared to join in this thread?

Is it because they are too busy helping out their wives or girlfriends?



[Edited at 2007-02-09 12:33]


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:22
German to English
+ ...
Euh.. ouais! Feb 9, 2007

Inkling wrote:

Girls, have you noticed that no man has dared to join in this thread?

Is it because they are too busy helping out their wives or girlfriends?


When something goes wrong
I'm the first to admit it
I'm the first to admit it
But the last one to know...

Paul Simon


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Veronica Coquard
France
Local time: 15:22
French to English
Hi Marc! Feb 9, 2007

MarcPrior wrote:

I'm the first to admit it


Hi Marc!

As you are the first to admit it, can you tell us - honestly - how you manage to keep up with housework?

I'm only picking on you because you're the only man here.


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Josée Desbiens
Canada
Local time: 09:22
English to French
Salut Kathryn Feb 9, 2007


I have to admit though that I do wonder how I'll survive when we have a baby. Probably the good old "sleep, what sleep?" technique. However, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.


Je te réponds en français car je sais que cela ne t'importune pas.

Tout ce que je peux te dire, c'est de bien profiter de ta liberté actuelle. Comme tu le sais peut-être, j'ai trois enfants de 12, 11 et 7 ans et personnellement, je ne vois pas comment j'aurais pu traduire de la maison lorsqu'ils étaient petits et à mes côtés. Ils sont maintenant tous les trois à l'école et lorsque je travaille, je commence très tôt le matin pour faire une bonne journée avant d'aller les chercher à la sortie des classes. Bien sûr, il y a la garderie mais ce n'est pas le choix que j'ai fait pour mes enfants quand ils étaient petits et je ne juge personne d'avoir fait le choix contraire, croyez-moi.

Tu es déjà chanceuse d'avoir un peu d'aide de ton conjoint. le mien travaille fort et fait ce qu'il peut pour m'aider (quoique j'aimerais bien qu'il en fasse un peu plus mais c'est moi qui s'occupe de nettoyer la maison, de faire les repas, les devoirs, les lunchs du lendemain et j'en passe.

Je ne peux me permettre d'accepter toutes les offres qui passent. Entre le tarif offert, le sujet et le délai, je choisis plus souvent les projets qui ne sont pas trop urgents ou qui sont réalisables dans les délais exigés.

Je pense qu'il faut savoir prioriser les tâches et lorsque le calme revient faire du rattrapage. J'ai constaté toutefois que lorsque je finis un gros contrat qui m'a demandé beaucoup de temps et de travail, je me sens un peu perdue. Je tourne en rond dans la maison, un peu stressée devant l'accalmie soudaine alors que je devrais en profiter et faire des activités qui me plaîsent. Autrement dit, je suis autant stressée quand je travaille que lorsque je suis en pause...

Enfin, dernier conseil, remplir le frigo de plats congelés ou en acheter tout faits et demander à la famille d'être compréhensive.

[Edited at 2007-02-09 14:07]


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Terry Richards
France
Local time: 15:22
French to English
+ ...
You are looking at the wrong end! Feb 9, 2007

Don't try to fit more work in, do less work!

And the way to do that is to raise your rates.


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Kathryn Strachecky  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:22
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Don't feel got at Marc Feb 9, 2007

Don't worry Marc, the aim of the game isn't to accuse men in general (especially as mine is so wonderful) but rather glean advice from all of my wonderful virtual colleagues

Josée, ça me fait plaisir de te retrouver, j'espère que tu vas bien et je te remercie de tes conseils précieux. C'est vrai qu'une fois que j'aurais des enfants j'aimerais bien pouvoir m'arrêter pour m'occuper d'eux quand ils seront petits, mais je constate bien que, même grand, un enfant représente pas mal de travail. Je pense que ton témoignage le montre bien !

I really appreciate all of this advice and am taking note. I am very impressed to see how much you all manage to fit in to one day. At least we can't complain that life is boring!!!


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Anne-Virginie Lerat  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:22
Member (2003)
English to French
+ ...
Very interesting thread... Feb 9, 2007

... it is nice to read all your comments and to realize that I am not the only one overloaded with work. For those of you who are wondering what it would be like with a baby on top of that, I can give you an answer : the same and even worse !

I love my work and I tend to be a workaholic (just like most of us in this field, I think). I used to accept most of the jobs I could handle even if the rate was lower than the one I usually accepted or if the deadline would force me to work late at night.

Things are now getting a bit complicated as I am the happy mother of a two months old baby. I stopped working for about a month and started again in January (unfortunately I have to say that here, in France, when you are self-employed and pregnant, nothing is really made for you, the ridiculous amount of money offered as a compensation of your salary push you back to work quite quickly). Now I am more or less trying to find a compromise between taking care of my baby and working part time. This is not very easy as my clients are back. I take care of my boy during the day and do a little work while he is taking his nap. But most of the time, I end working the most at night. My friend helps me a bit with cooking but he also works a lot and I can not expect him to start cleaning the whole house after a day of work (would be very nice though) ! I have a housekeeper who comes once a week. For the rest, I try to manage when I have a bit of spare time. It is quite hard though but I have given up the idea of doing everything in the house.

I agree with Claire, prioritizing is the key !


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:22
Member
English to French
To answer your question: delegate Feb 9, 2007

Dear Kathryn,
You should delegate: my wife is assigned the housekeeping, cooking, washing, ironing, children caretaking, etc. so I don't have to worry about that.
And to recover from a hard day's work translating, I try to go to bed early, after an early dinner watching some action or horror film to release the pressure.

ehehehehehehehe
Philippe


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