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Poll: Do you usually work in the middle of the night?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 11:19
SITE STAFF
Oct 1, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you usually work in the middle of the night?".

This poll was originally submitted by Egil Presttun. View the poll results »



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Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:19
Spanish to English
+ ...
Time management Oct 1, 2011

This is something that I try to avoid at all cost. I think that a translator should try to keep office hours even if we work from home. Mental health is just as important as physical health after all. Also this way it is much easier to organise the rest of your life. The agencies that I work with know not to call me for rush jobs. Working late into the night just isn't a good idea.

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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:19
English to German
+ ...
Yes, by preference. Oct 1, 2011

There is something magic about night time and the wee hours. It's my personal writing time for creative stuff. That my family including pets are asleep, that the phone keeps quiet, that everything outside is peaceful and quiet, and that I don't have to look out for any emails helps a lot, too. It's absolute "me-time", and I reach levels of productivity that I never have during daytime.

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Veronica Lupascu  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 20:19
Dutch to Romanian
+ ...
It happens Oct 1, 2011

Sometimes, when I have rush jobs, or when had to do something unplanned during the day and didn't manage to translate enough.

I try to avoid working late. I observed that the day after I feel so tired, that I would not be able to work efficiently and would be very distracted or make many mistakes. I think it is better to wake up 2 hours earlier, than to work late. Of course, both situations should be avoided, but sometimes it is necessary to work over normal working hours.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:19
English to German
+ ...
Time management and office hours Oct 1, 2011

Tatty wrote:

I think that a translator should try to keep office hours even if we work from home.


The office hours (classic 9 to 5) aren't very useful, though, when most of your domestic clients are 3 hours away and the countries of your target language 9 hours due to time zones.


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:19
French to English
In the beginning... Oct 1, 2011

I used to when I started out as I took on stuff others were not prepared to do, in other words, panic jobs where the originals were completed at the end of the (client's) working day yet required (translated) by the start of the (client's) next working day. Experience showed that as a rule, working normal hours meant that I found clients who were organized. Organized clients, means clients who pay on time. With the odd exception, urgency does happen to the best of us, organized clients are also organized when it comes to paying you!

Answer to the question as put : do I usually work at night? No, not usually.

If I decided to that's one thing; if clients expect it, that's quite another and billed accordingly!


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:19
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Oct 1, 2011

Whenever it happens to be necessary. It's not an issue for me. I don't have to get kids up for school, and can more or less make up my own schedules 24-7.

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:19
Spanish to English
+ ...
Horses for courses Oct 1, 2011

Tatty wrote:
Mental health is just as important as physical health after all.


That's easy enough to assert if you set out compos mentis in the first place!

However, not everyone fits neatly into the 9-5 life schedule so popular in the UK (and with many ex-pats too). I live in Spain, where many people don't get home from work until after 9pm, and I find nothing unusual in dining around 10 pm, or sometimes even midnight. The same goes for work. I might choose to use part of the daylight hours for gardening chores etc and leave the screen slog until the hens and everything else are tucked in for the night.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:19
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Yes. Oct 1, 2011

Nicole Schnell wrote:

There is something magic about night time and the wee hours. It's my personal writing time for creative stuff. That my family including pets are asleep, that the phone keeps quiet, that everything outside is peaceful and quiet, and that I don't have to look out for any emails helps a lot, too. It's absolute "me-time", and I reach levels of productivity that I never have during daytime.


Nicole has said it all.


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mari pet  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:19
Member (2012)
Spanish to Slovak
+ ...
I answered Yes Oct 1, 2011

It is not my everyday practice but, as Nicol said - my productivity during the night is much higher and I like working when everything else is quiet.
Absolutely, when the client requires that, I ask for the rate for the rush jobs. However I mostly work on large projects such as books, which means, I organize my work during long time and sometimes I prefer to work this way.
The other thing is that everyone´s biological hours are set up differently. I am a night bird so it is naturally easier for me to work till 3 a.m. than to wake up at 5 a.m. and work then.
It is not for everybody and people used to work 9 to 5, normally look strange at working hours like that.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 19:19
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Not usually Oct 1, 2011

but of course it has happened occasionally, depending on my mood and energy...

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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:19
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
You put it so well! Oct 1, 2011

Nicole Schnell wrote:

There is something magic about night time and the wee hours. It's my personal writing time for creative stuff... I reach levels of productivity that I never have during daytime.


Still, it's a time I prefer to spend for MY creativity and I try to avoid having work pile up into it. If my brain gets started on some translation problem just before I hit the sack, I can end up dreaming of Trados.


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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:19
Spanish to English
+ ...
I think Oct 1, 2011

one of the advantages of being a freelancer is that you can work as you see fit.

I would say that I don't usually work at night but if I want to, I do; the operative word being "want". I purposefully don't accept any job that requires staying up all night: other people's urgencies aren't necessarily mine.

I will, however, if I wake up and can't get back to sleep, get up and work for a while at whatever time of the night it may be. I've learned from my own personal experience that it's the best way to manage my time.

[Edited at 2011-10-01 11:23 GMT]


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Jenn Mercer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:19
Member (2009)
French to English
There are really two questions here Oct 1, 2011

1. Do you work at night?
2. Do you work when you prefer?

Tatty and many others consider the ideal working times to be standard business hours. I, like Nichole and many others consider the night time to be "something magic." So is the question asking whether you work extra and/or odd hours or whether you control your own schedule? For some of us, the answers are aligned, for others they are contradictory. I work at night because it is what I prefer. Moreover, I do not wake up at 5 a.m. and check for the latest jobs from Europe.

Parrot, however, brings up a more interesting question:

Do you reserve your most creative/productive hours to do your best work for others or for yourself?

To which I answer - a little of each? Most of the time I use to work on translation is determined by necessity. Translation requires a good amount of creativity, but comes with firm deadlines. I slog through the morning, persist through the afternoon, and fly in the evening. If I have slogged and persisted with sufficient force, it may be that the "flying" hours are mine - or it might not. There is always the next night and the ebb and flow of translation work is such that I can be confident of having time for myself eventually.


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:19
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Quite often, but not always Oct 2, 2011

This is a time when I can make good progress because there are no interruptions. I am usually more creative, unless I'm tired.

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