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Poll: Do you set time limits on some of your translation-related tasks?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 02:26
SITE STAFF
Mar 29, 2017

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you set time limits on some of your translation-related tasks?".

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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Uh? Mar 29, 2017

What are you talking about?

 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:26
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
In a way ... Mar 29, 2017

Whenever possible, I set time limits on how many hours I work. In other words, I don't just translate until I drop or the job gets done (whichever comes first). I can do this because I usually get long jobs (my current one is 44 K words), so I budget my time every day. Of course, I also note how far I get, to make sure I don't get behind. I have a rough daily target, but the time is more important to me than the word count.

 

ventnai  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:26
Member
German to English
+ ...
Sometimes Mar 29, 2017

Sometimes I work out how many words I need to do per hour to get through a larger project on time and set myself hourly targets.

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 10:26
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Mar 29, 2017

I don’t set a time limit per se: when working on a longish job (over 20,000 words), what I always do is to set the number of pages I have to translate every day considering the deadline and leaving a margin for unexpected contingencies.

 

Catherine De Crignis  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:26
Member (2012)
English to French
+ ...
Yes Mar 29, 2017

Since I usually charge per source word, I convert my PO totals into hours or days. This way I know how I'm doing time-wise on each project.

Other reasons: not all my clients are willing to pay my top rate + I regularly work simultaneously on different projects (I make room for smaller projects within larger ones). By setting myself time limits, I find it easier to organise my work and I also make sure I don't inadvertently provide anyone the top quality they're not paying for, which would not only be unfair on higher-end payers, but also on other translators.

[Edited at 2017-03-29 10:48 GMT]


 

Ricki Farn
Germany
Local time: 11:26
Member (2005)
English to German
Other / the deadline is the limit Mar 29, 2017

I quit my inhouse job because the work council (not the management!) wanted to introduce a Taylorist time-and-motion attitude and I told them just this: It takes as long as it takes.

As a freelancer, I set limits indirectly by accepting deadlines, or by spending all morning putting up my curtain rods and then ploughing through the afternoon a bit faster to meet the day's deadline or the word count needed to meet a later deadline. But this inhouse horror of saying "here you have a 20 page Style Guide, you have exactly one hour to read and memorize it" or "here's 15000 words on Friday COB that we want technically reviewed by Monday SOB, but if we catch you in the office on the weekend, you're dead", sorry, but if I wanted that, I could have stayed with my former "colleagues", who surprise surprise killed off the entire company a few years later.

I don't think I can ever get poor enough to set myself that kind of limits. And would I even get one cent richer if I did? Or would the extra stress kill off any and all opportunity to work "smarter, not harder"?

[Edited at 2017-03-29 10:22 GMT]


 

Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:26
Member (2008)
English to Italian
no limits Mar 29, 2017

I accept a job and I have to do it by the required deadline.
That's the limit

I cannot set any other limits, because it would mean that for every step I would be stressed.


 

Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 11:26
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Other Mar 29, 2017

Not usually, but it happens that I set time limits e.g. as to how long I will spend on research

 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:26
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Delivery deadline Mar 29, 2017

Any limit other than the delivery deadline would add unnecessary stress to any given task. Since my time management is pretty good, there's no need to set time limits on translation related tasks, e. g. accounting, maintenance, etc. The only thing that might exceed a "normal" time span could be research. But when I accept a job the time spend on research is the time it will take to produce good or better results. Time limitations usually cause stress which then results in (sometimes) poorer quality, which, in turn, requires more time to fix the issues.

Life's too short to waste it by adding time limitations.icon_biggrin.gif

[Edited at 2017-03-29 13:34 GMT]


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Er... Mar 29, 2017

Thayenga wrote:

Life's too short to waste it by adding time limitations


Isn't life's transience an argument in favour of setting time limits?

Then again, time limits = pressure = stress = early grave.

This philosophical circularity is making me dizzy. I think I'll have to go home and have a lie down now.


 

Niina Lahokoski  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 12:26
Member (2008)
English to Finnish
+ ...
Not really Mar 29, 2017

I don't generally set myself time limits, but like many others here, I make a mental note about the average amount of words to do per day when working on a bigger project. In this calculation I usually also leave some room for other projects that might come up, depending on the deadline. Being able to switch now and then keeps the mind fresher.

 

Niina Lahokoski  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 12:26
Member (2008)
English to Finnish
+ ...
Not really Mar 29, 2017

I don't generally set myself time limits, but like many others here, I make a mental note about the average amount of words to do per day when working on a bigger project. In this calculation I usually also leave some room for other projects that might come up, depending on the deadline. Being able to switch now and then keeps the mind fresher.

 

Ricki Farn
Germany
Local time: 11:26
Member (2005)
English to German
Let's see if I can post a picture Mar 29, 2017

h2msspbefx3pzknqww5b.jpg

 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 06:26
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
This makes absolutely no sense! Mar 29, 2017

You receive a job with a deadline.
You accept it, because you think you can do it on time.
Is the time limit set or do you have to set a time limit?
!!!


 
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