Poll: When scheduling jobs, how much of a gap do you leave between one job and the next?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 11:35
Jul 30, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "When scheduling jobs, how much of a gap do you leave between one job and the next?".

This poll was originally submitted by Hilary Davies

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


Kai Döring  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:35
Member (2007)
English to German
+ ...
How to schedule? Jul 30, 2008

Very often even the client do not know when he will send the files.icon_smile.gif

Take it or leave it so it is not easy to schedule days, hours or a coffee between jobs.


Daniela Gieseler-Higgs  Identity Verified
English to German
+ ...
No easy way of scheduling Jul 30, 2008

I agree with Kai that scheduling is difficult as often there is jobs from different clients with different deadlines, they overlap and overrun, there are additions or amendments - most of the time I have to juggle different projects or change my plans. There is hardly ever a time when I do one project after the other; quite often I've got one large project on which I interrupt if a smaller job comes in I want to do - so the reality is that I'm constantly reworking my schedule bearing all the jobs in mind I have to do.


neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:35
Spanish to English
+ ...
N/A Jul 30, 2008

... since I'm usually doing more than one "job" at a time, and have to "juggle" to fit everything in.
Maybe working as an "in-house" translator there is more leeway in this sense, but being self-employed, we have to take on whatever we can and sometimes that means working on several texts at once in order to meet deadlines...


Penelope Ausejo  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:35
English to Spanish
+ ...
Other Jul 30, 2008

If I have to schedule short jobs and their due dates are "compatible", I like to work on the translation of the first one, then translate the second one, then revise the first one and after that, the second one.

Regarding breaks and given that they don't interfere with the deadline of the project, I take them at a fixed time regardless of the project. Breakfast at 8:00 (only coffee) at the desk. Almuerzo at 10:30 at the desk (toasts and coffee). Lunch at 2:00 (3:00 on Mondays and Tuesdays) at home or out with friends. Merienda at 6:30/7:00 sandwich and a coffee when I leave the house, but this one already at a coffee place with my babies driving me crazy!icon_smile.gif


Rebecca Hendry  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:35
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Depends entirely on the projects Jul 30, 2008

This is a difficult one to answer as it really does depend a lot on the projects involved. If I have a really long job which I have been working on solidly for many days/weeks, I may schedule in a morning/afternoon to take a break once it's finished to get away from work altogether for a while. However, most of my jobs are relatively short (anything from 50 words to 4000 is the most usual), so scheduling in a day off every time I finish one is just not realistic! The most usual break in that case is probably a walk to the shops/the kettle/the sofa, just to get away from my desk.

Penelope Ausejo wrote:

If I have to schedule short jobs and their due dates are "compatible", I like to work on the translation of the first one, then translate the second one, then revise the first one and after that, the second one.

I do this a lot - I prepare a draft of one text then start on another. This means I can come back to the first text with fresh eyes, or at least eyes which have enjoyed a bit of variety that day!


Rebecca Garber  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:35
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Definitely other Jul 30, 2008

Projects come when they come. Sometimes I get projects with a long timeframe from one client to be followed by a rush job from the same client later that day. So I can't actually claim to "schedule" anything. I do try to do a final read through 24 hrs after I finish the translation and comparison; this gives me time to "forget" what I've written and read it with fresh attention.

As to breaks: I try to spend 30 min. in the garden each day, but the weeds are still winning this summer. I definitely take coffee breaks away from the computer, and I try to take lunch breaks. I also have a hobby that gets me out of the house, and I depend on my family for interruptions: since my daughter is in middle school, those occur with some frequencyicon_smile.gif .


ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:35
English to French
+ ...
A day or more Jul 30, 2008

While I sometimes do jump out of one job straight into another, if I can (that is, most of the time), I always leave at least a day between the two.

It's always useful to clean your head of project-specific terms and relax a bit before starting on another project. This ensures that you can take in the content of the next job and that you are relaxed enough to be able to focus.

Due to the sizes of the jobs I usually handle, I actually take two days off most of the time. Sometimes more, but in such cases, I am rather taking a mini holiday and it is not a regular pause anymore.


Seikoh Hokama
Local time: 04:35
Japanese to Spanish
+ ...
Since I take breaks when translating... Jul 30, 2008

...to clear my mind, sometimes I do not leave a gap between jobs. Now, then, I do go to sleep. I wonder if that counts as a gap.


Rosa Cabral  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:35
English to Italian
+ ...
it all depends Jul 30, 2008

I am very selective about what jobs I will bid on/take and try to stay only in my field of choice... that being said there are fewer jobs to bid on and therefore there are periods, albeit unintentional ones, of no work and then periods where there is too much work. I am capable of juggling several projects at one time and have done so out of necessity but prefer to do one at a time so when I am bidding on jobs I take this preference of mine into consideration. It means, obviously, that I don't have as large an income as other colleagues. However, I prefer to have at least 1/2 day to 1 day of time so I can dedicate myself to family since it is summer.
My breaks are dedicated to study (am back in school to exercise the good old gray cells!), reading, and family time/activities.


Yaotl Altan  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:35
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Variable Jul 30, 2008

Sometimes, I receive 4 jobs the same day. Sometimes, I receive just 1 job in a week. It depends on the number of pages, this is, words to be translated. When I achieve my limit, I don't receibe more jobs.

[Edited at 2008-07-30 18:41]


Oleg Rudavin  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:35
Member (2003)
English to Ukrainian
+ ...
From 5 minutes for a smoke to a PCless day Jul 30, 2008

The gap duration does depend on the size of jobs that are gapped together.

Looking back at today, there have been quite a few "coffee jobs" - those half-pagers that a cup of coffee often overlasts; so there was hardly a gap between an addendum to contract specifying the penalty clause probisions (ca. 40 minutes' translation), and a short presentation of a company (600 very straightforward words, another 30 minutes), and horrid two pages (QUOTE mechanics type: with moreover - how the hell do I know what they meant by that???) of heat exchanger inspection procedures...

With larger jobs, longer breaks are a pleasure - rejoicing in the feeling of having it done with, and getting oneself together before starting on a new one, plus catching up with things that ought to have been taken care of a week ago...

[Edited at 2008-07-30 22:27]


Deborah do Carmo  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:35
Dutch to English
+ ...
Air Traffic Control Jul 31, 2008

I continually have 'planes' landing, going through pre-flight check procedures and taking off - and through careful planning, and sticking to what I know and do best (i.e. legal, finance and business), manage to avoid any 'mid-air collisions'.

Apart from a short lunch break, I'm usually busy throughout the day, every week day at least, unless I physically lay down tools and hop over to England for a long weekend, shopping therapy and normally a show. I do that every 4-6 weeks to recharge the batteries.

Have always worked under this type of pressure - more so, as a lawyer - so it's just what I'm used to and how I actually function best, although it's admittedly not everyone's cup of tea.

[Edited at 2008-07-31 11:33]


Erzsébet Czopyk  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:35
Member (2006)
Russian to Hungarian
+ ...
schedule Jul 31, 2008

Kai Döring wrote:

Very often even the client do not know when he will send the files.icon_smile.gif

Take it or leave it so it is not easy to schedule days, hours or a coffee between jobs.

same to me


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Poll: When scheduling jobs, how much of a gap do you leave between one job and the next?

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