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when staring at the screen and simply unable to translate
Thread poster: xxxLia Fail
xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
Dec 19, 2008

I just had a very complex week focusing around some very unpleasant incidences, none of which I am or was in any way responsible. Although the worst is over, today, the first day after the events, I'm simply brain dead.

All morning I've looked at my work and hardly translated a thing. I already got an extended deadline (possibly the first in my life), and another one is out of the question with the festivities coming up. I'm really running out of time.

Can anyone who's ever been in a similar situation give me some advice about how to win back my concentration? I'm feeling increasingly panicky and of course that won't help.

TIA:-)


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 14:49
German to English
Sleep Dec 19, 2008

Lia Fail wrote:

All morning I've looked at my work and hardly translated a thing. I already got an extended deadline (possibly the first in my life), and another one is out of the question with the festivities coming up. I'm really running out of time.

Can anyone who's ever been in a similar situation give me some advice about how to win back my concentration? I'm feeling increasingly panicky and of course that won't help.



Sleep cures many ailments, Lia. I've been there myself; translating was simply out of the question. An hour or two of sleep did the trick.


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 22:49
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Nature Dec 19, 2008

Go and sit at the beach or take a walk in the forest. Concentrate on your heart until you can feel the beat and breath well.

And of course try to find a colleague who handles your work for the next days.

Best wishes
Heinrich


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 21:49
Italian to English
Physical exercise Dec 19, 2008

Hi Lia,

Sorry to hear you've been in the wars.

When my brain goes walkabout, I take a brisk cycle run in the hills, work up a sweat and have a good shower afterwards. My set route takes me 50-60 minutes (depending on how fit I am!), which doesn't take too much of a chunk out of my working day.

A little physical exercise should clear away the cobwebs.

Best,

Giles


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 20:49
Dutch to English
+ ...
Agree with Heinrich Dec 19, 2008

Lia Fail wrote:
Can anyone who's ever been in a similar situation give me some advice about how to win back my concentration? I'm feeling increasingly panicky and of course that won't help.


Hi Lia,

Sorry to hear you've had a tough week. Hope it's all resolved soon.

Although you probably feel the last thing you have time for now is to go out, that's precisely what you need to do. That, and then probably sleep until tomorrow because of the stress you've had this week. It's all caught up with you.

I have been in a similar situation and honestly getting out works. It's also the main reason I go off on my own to London for a long weekend every 6 weeks or so - I need to recharge my batteries. If I don't I become like an engine without oil and seize up. Brain dead, as you say.

If you take the rest of the day off, you can easily get up earlier each day when you're refreshed to make up the time, but sitting in front of your screen now is getting you nowhere and only making you more anxious.

Good luck
Debs

PS: So, you had to get an extension, it's not a train smash - even though it probably feels like one today. I'm sure your clients know you well enough by now to know you're not messing them around.


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Anett Lindner
Germany
English to German
Sports Dec 19, 2008

Hi Lia,

If you like, try to go swimming as fast as you can for one hour or two. It really helps to clear the mind. Also whenever I face a larger task I cannot help but thinking of what a very dear colleague of mine once told me (when I used to work in a very rush-like manner in my early 20s and caused head-ache even to those working next to me): "Those who start out for a long journey, should walk slowly." Surely, you ll get immersed into your task on your own, speed-up, do a great job and meet you deadline.

Good luck,

Anett


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liz askew  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:49
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
Physical exercise Dec 19, 2008

Hello Lia

I am sorry to hear you are having a rough time of it.

I don't think I have the workload you have but whenever I am stressed about something I go and have a long swim and self-indulge.

However, sounds as though you need some good sleep too. Were it me I would try to offload some of your work onto a worthy colleague.

Health comes first in this job, otherwise we are not fit to do out jobs well and happily.

Put yourself first!

Liz Askew


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, friends:-) Dec 19, 2008

... many of whom I know through here for quite a few years.

Seems silly now to have asked as the answer is so obvious, but even having that simple decision helped along is amazingly helpful.

It's neither a good day or date to try to find someone to help, and as it is, I found myself incapable of even facing into organising it. No more than I could think what I could do or not do to jerk start myself into action.

I'm going to get dressed (I'm still in my jimjams), and go out for the evening, starting with a punishing gym session followed by a hot shower, it's a good idea, especially as I have massive tension in my shoulders. Sleep, oddly, is something I can do, the problem is I have dozed on and off on the sofa all this morning between attempted bouts at work.

I recently came to the same conclusion as Debs about really disconnecting, which is why I've planned a 600km walk for spring:-)


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Oleg Osipov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 22:49
English to Russian
+ ...
T... Dec 19, 2008

Lia Fail wrote:

Can anyone who's ever been in a similar situation give me some advice about how to win back my concentration? I'm feeling increasingly panicky and of course that won't help.



Turn off your brain, have a five-minute nap and refresh yourself with a mug of coffee.
That worked at times of utmost stressful translation jobs.


[Edited at 2008-12-19 14:48 GMT]


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 21:49
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Ask the agency for a delay Dec 19, 2008

Can anyone who's ever been in a similar situation give me some advice about how to win back my concentration? I'm feeling increasingly panicky and of course that won't help.


I would first make sure, I do not have the deadline hanging over my head anymore. Doing sports without getting it off your mind would possibly just aggravate the stress; having a sleep ... I could not even fall asleep properly when I was in this kind of dire straights.

Make sure you get a delay that's large enough. A week would not hurt you at all. If it is not possible - you could ask somebody here to jump in for you.

Wish you all the best

Vito

PS: re 600km walk - you're not planning Camin real or similar, are you?
http://www.textnart.de/LongMarch/html/default.htm

[Edited at 2008-12-19 15:20 GMT]


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Nigel Greenwood  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:49
Member (2008)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Recently it happened to me Dec 19, 2008

and what did I do, I went shopping with my wife. Then I got back to my office, slected four very good colleagues, and dished the work out, asked for a 2nd extension, and then very carefully finished the work, got if proof-read, and sent it to the client. He was very pleased, I lost a few euros, but I gained health, respect and a good feeling.

Nigel.


[Edited at 2008-12-19 15:31 GMT]


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Kathryn Litherland  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:49
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
in addition Dec 19, 2008

In addition to all the other great suggestions, when you do get back to work, perhaps trying a change of scenery will help refocus, if that's an option. I feel astonishingly focused when working at the public library, for example.

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RichardDeegan
Local time: 14:49
Spanish to English
Best investment Dec 19, 2008

Your best investment (works for me in similar situations) is to see if TCM has a nice Errol Flynn or similar movie on (Glenn Miller Story also works) or curl up with a mass-market novel for about an hour. Both accompanied by snacks or chocs.
After an hour or so, boot the PC, crank up some mp3s (type depends on translation subject), and you're all set!!


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Deschant
Local time: 20:49
changes Dec 19, 2008

Sometimes I find a great stimulus in slight changes to my work routine - such as working different hours, in a different room, etc.

That said, I appreciate that some people would prefer to stick to their routines to attain the same stimulus effect.

Eva


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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 02:49
Partial member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Clear up your mind Dec 19, 2008

When I was in such situations, I left the job as is.
Some elapsing days can remedy the situation and I can be refreshed again.
Sport, exercise, sleeping, meditation, yoga, drinks, music, karaoke or other relaxing things can do .... It depends on what I needed at the very moment.
I frequently take elapsing time as my best policy when nothing was better to do or to think of.

Soonthon L.


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