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Poll: What percentage of your working time is wasted browsing and/or being distracted?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 14:32
SITE STAFF
Oct 24, 2012

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What percentage of your working time is wasted browsing and/or being distracted?".

This poll was originally submitted by Anne Lee. View the poll results »



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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:32
Member
German to English
+ ...
I voted 'Other' Oct 24, 2012

.. because I couldn't put a figure on it. It depends on how pressing the deadlines are!

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Els Hoefman  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:32
Member (2004)
English to Dutch
+ ...
A lot Oct 24, 2012

A lot - and it is getting worse. I find myself opening Facebook I-don't-know-how-many times a day to check how my friends are doing (the same as ten minutes ago). And I have noticed that when I am translating and I bump into a sentence that is not very easy or a word I will have to look up, without thinking I switch windows to check my email, go to Proz, Facebook, news websites, ... It is so annoying to be constantly distracted by everything the internet has to offer these days! I really must concentrate more.

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Augusta Habas
France
Local time: 23:32
Italian to French
+ ...
it depends what you mean by browsing... Oct 24, 2012

is watching all categories on my proz home few times a day (responding to polls for example) to be counted in this category?


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:32
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Oct 24, 2012

I don't consider it as time "wasted", simply downtime from the daily grind. Unlike dealing with unsolicited software updates, which I really resent.

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xxxwonita
China
Local time: 19:32
Depends on Oct 24, 2012

how much time I have to "waste"!

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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:32
Spanish to English
+ ...
No exact figure Oct 24, 2012

I can't put a figure on it, but more than I'd like. I've found that I waste more time when deadlines are farther on the horizon. I hate to say it: stress and pressure definitely make me more productive.

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xxxPoveyTrans

Local time: 22:32
German to English
Waste? Oct 24, 2012

I quite often 'waste' time checking out the news or chatting when I'm stuck on something and need to think about something else before looking at whatever is proving tricky, it often gives me a fresh perspective.

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svenfrade  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:32
French to German
+ ...
Less than 10 % Oct 24, 2012

I used to get distracted easily which made me terribly dissatisfied. The only solution was to discipline myself which has worked incredibly well since I returned from my summer holiday in August (which helped to give up bad habits, i.e. wasting time on the web). My productivity has increased dramatically which will pay off eventually.
Luckily I have never been a social media addict (no FB, thank you), so it wasn't that hard to do after all. The only time I will allow myself to get distracted is when I'm taking a break anyway, like right now.


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Sonia Hill
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:32
Italian to English
A lot, but I'm working on it Oct 24, 2012

I found myself in a similar situation to Els. I was really wasting a lot of time, especially when my deadlines weren't too pressing.
However, I recently read about the Pomodoro Technique and I'm trying it at the moment. It's really simple. I use a kitchen timer and set myself strict periods of work for 25 minutes, with a 5-minute break in between to browse other sites, make a coffee, etc. After four 25 minute blocks I have a longer break. I still have days when I don't follow it properly, but I think it definitely makes me a lot more productive.
My 5-minute break is up, so I need to get back to work now


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Sarai Pahla (MD) MBChB
Germany
Local time: 23:32
Member (2012)
Japanese to English
+ ...
RescueTime :) Oct 24, 2012

I use a program that calculates my daily productivity - I have chosen RescueTime as it was recommended by a friend. That helped me get a handle on how much time I actually waste on browsing. I usually set my work times quite strictly as Sonia described, although I work in blocks of 30mins to an hour with slightly longer breaks in between. It helps to be disciplined, but you always get better with practice. I feel like it is harder to recover after a period of being "on holiday" or "off work" - but setting a timer really helps.

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 22:32
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Oct 24, 2012

If I have a pressing deadline I am not easily distracted at all, I am totally focused on my work.

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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:32
English to Spanish
+ ...
No such thing as wasted time if you're a translator Oct 24, 2012

Simon Johnson wrote:

I quite often 'waste' time checking out the news or chatting when I'm stuck on something and need to think about something else before looking at whatever is proving tricky, it often gives me a fresh perspective.



Quite agree on the above.

Why this focus on measuring and weighing everything? Why this misplaced and misguided effort in so-called productivity? When you are a writer —as we translators are— we cannot be deemed productive or unproductive as if we were factory drones or assembly workers.

This reminds me of a silly heading in a LinkedIn group discussion: How Lean Sigma can improve translation.

What the heck?

If someone is so preoccupied on measuring 'productive' or 'unproductive' time while working as a translator, perhaps he/she should be reassessing his/her career goals...or change professions.


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:32
Member (2006)
German to English
Same here Oct 24, 2012

Mary Worby wrote:

.. because I couldn't put a figure on it. It depends on how pressing the deadlines are!


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:32
Hebrew to English
Hear hear! Oct 24, 2012

Mario Chavez wrote:

Quite agree on the above.

Why this focus on measuring and weighing everything? Why this misplaced and misguided effort in so-called productivity? When you are a writer —as we translators are— we cannot be deemed productive or unproductive as if we were factory drones or assembly workers.

This reminds me of a silly heading in a LinkedIn group discussion: How Lean Sigma can improve translation.

What the heck?

If someone is so preoccupied on measuring 'productive' or 'unproductive' time while working as a translator, perhaps he/she should be reassessing his/her career goals...or change professions.


Agreed, why the self-flagellation? We're (mostly) self-employed adults and I don't see a bit of procrastination and distraction as "wasted" time.

Way back when, when I was doing a stint as a corporate bank drone, we had to account for every single minute of "lost time". Too much lost time and our productivity figures would end up too low and we'd get a dressing down like a naughty schoolchild slacking off.

Return to that?

No thanks.


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