Poll: What is the longest you have ever worked without taking a break?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 15:27
SITE STAFF
Jul 20

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What is the longest you have ever worked without taking a break?".

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 23:27
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
3-5 hours? Jul 20

If going to the loo or making an espresso coffee doesn’t count as a break, I’d risk saying 3-5 hours but I’m not conscious of those things and it doesn’t happen regularly. When I'm working on a project I'm really immersed in I may lose track of time and forget to eat but my dog always reminds me that it's time to get some exercise.

Gibril Koroma
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
2-5/10-15 Jul 20

I mostly work as an interpreter, communicating with foreign clients. Indeed, it takes some 10-15 hours--plus occasional events, stand-up parties, and other meetings.

As for translating, I often take short breaks (including physical trainings and tea-breaks) every 30 minutes and a long brake every 2-3 hours.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:27
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Jul 20

I don't know. Probably several hours, but I don't go about my day with a chronometer, gauging how long I spend on each activity.

Maria Simmen
Philip Lees
Teresa Borges
 

Eoghan McMonagle  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:27
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...


Posted via
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12 hours Jul 20

I have done this twice. Once when I just started out and I translated a little over 20k words in one weekend. I was excited about having a big project and it was financial, I was just starting out etc etc. I would never do that again. However, just recently I had a massive 70k word project that my friend passed on to me (when we accepted we thought it was 20k) and I ended up doing 15 hours and I think the longest break I had was 15 minutes maybe. Those 15 minutes consisted of me trying to decide... See more
I have done this twice. Once when I just started out and I translated a little over 20k words in one weekend. I was excited about having a big project and it was financial, I was just starting out etc etc. I would never do that again. However, just recently I had a massive 70k word project that my friend passed on to me (when we accepted we thought it was 20k) and I ended up doing 15 hours and I think the longest break I had was 15 minutes maybe. Those 15 minutes consisted of me trying to decide what food to order for dinner haha. (I ate the food while working too)
But again, that was unusual. My maximum is 3-5 hours without a break.
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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 19:27
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Very few times, under pressure Jul 20

I have worked more than one hour without any breaks very few times, under pressure, in cases of urgency. These are rare occasions I avoid as much as I can. I take regular breaks, drink some coffee, smoke a cigarette, do some home stuff in the intervals, etc. The trade-off is working from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm, but adding all the breaks (which can take hours sometimes), I doubt I work more than 8 hours per day, and only on "heavy" days. That's one of the big advantages of being self-employed, and ... See more
I have worked more than one hour without any breaks very few times, under pressure, in cases of urgency. These are rare occasions I avoid as much as I can. I take regular breaks, drink some coffee, smoke a cigarette, do some home stuff in the intervals, etc. The trade-off is working from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm, but adding all the breaks (which can take hours sometimes), I doubt I work more than 8 hours per day, and only on "heavy" days. That's one of the big advantages of being self-employed, and I'll never waive that.

[Edited at 2019-07-20 15:20 GMT]
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Edith van der Have-Raats  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:27
Member (2016)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Over 10 hours ... Jul 20

... when I had to write my MSc thesis in no time because I had been procrastinating for months. One week working from 9 am to 3 am, eating pizzas, drinking coke and losing 5 kg (which is not a good thing with my figure) ... Fortunately I'm much older and a bit wiser now, and planning isn't as much an issue as it used to be. Sometimes I get overly enthusiastic or overconfident, but usually I'm really good at knowing exactly how much time I'll need and getting things done well before the deadline.... See more
... when I had to write my MSc thesis in no time because I had been procrastinating for months. One week working from 9 am to 3 am, eating pizzas, drinking coke and losing 5 kg (which is not a good thing with my figure) ... Fortunately I'm much older and a bit wiser now, and planning isn't as much an issue as it used to be. Sometimes I get overly enthusiastic or overconfident, but usually I'm really good at knowing exactly how much time I'll need and getting things done well before the deadline. I've never delivered even one project too late in my career as a freelance translator, and I plan to keep it that way

[Edited at 2019-07-20 17:47 GMT]
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Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:27
Member (2012)
French to English
Not long Jul 20

Working for long periods without a break is counterproductive and sure to result in sub-standard work.

Mario Freitas
 

JaneTranslates  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 18:27
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I use a timer Jul 21

I set a timer for 1 hour when I sit down at the computer. I usually finish a sentence (or bit of research) and then get up and do something mildly active (wash dishes, fold laundry, etc.) for a few minutes before returning.

I admit, sometimes I ignore the timer. But I always let it continue beeping (for 60 seconds) and then let it run up the "overtime," so I'm aware. I've learned that if I go past 90 minutes, my arthritic joints will punish me when I eventually do get up. So, I usu
... See more
I set a timer for 1 hour when I sit down at the computer. I usually finish a sentence (or bit of research) and then get up and do something mildly active (wash dishes, fold laundry, etc.) for a few minutes before returning.

I admit, sometimes I ignore the timer. But I always let it continue beeping (for 60 seconds) and then let it run up the "overtime," so I'm aware. I've learned that if I go past 90 minutes, my arthritic joints will punish me when I eventually do get up. So, I usually tear myself away within 70 minutes.

If I'm in a real deadline crunch, I set the timer for 90 minutes at a time, and take EXTREMELY short breaks.


--Jane
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Michael Newton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:27
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
+ ...
Longest I've worked. Jul 21

It is not unusual for me to work for 24 hours straight for special projects for special clients. This comes down to long years of experience and discipline (I can take a 20-minute nap at various intervals). However, the longest I've worked was 45 hours straight. I was working under the gun as I had to deliver the project and then catch a flight to Paris and then on to Vienna. I wouldn't want to repeat this.

 


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