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Poll: What percent of your working hours are spent translating (vs. marketing, billing, hardware, etc.)?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 00:14
SITE STAFF
Jun 6, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What percent of your working hours are spent translating (vs. marketing, billing, hardware, etc.)?".

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


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Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 05:14
SITE STAFF
Perspective Jun 6, 2006

To put this in perspective imagine that you work 8 hours (i.e. 480 minutes) a day.

If you spend more than 48 minutes a day in activities such as reading and answering your mail, reading news, chatting, billing, etc., then your effective percentage is below 90%

Perceptions may be misleading.


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Dees  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:14
English to French
+ ...
Very interesting poll! Jun 6, 2006

Thanks, I'm quite curious to see the results at the end of the poll...

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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 06:14
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
I voted 70% Jun 6, 2006

Enrique wrote:
Perceptions may be misleading.


I agree. The list of extra activities strictly related to work, is very long:

- E-mail (customers, perspective customers, colleagues, other work related contacts)
- Preparing offers for new potential projects
- Scheduling my work
- Researching, reading, studying a subject (when strictly related to a project)
- Preparing files before the actual work
- Examining any reference material provided by the customer
- Storing all files, TM, terminology, after the job is delivered
- A couple of phone calls
- Archiving data
- Administration
- Yearly accounts
- Marketing
- Don't you take at least 5-10 minutes of break every hour?
- Some kind of professional or technical update
and I believe the list is much longer and difficult to evaluate.



I have voted 70%, and honestly I consider anyone not spending at least 2 hours (25% in a working day of 8 hours) in collateral tasks, as being very lucky, or extremely efficient, or not taking into account everything.

In reality, if I need to be productive for 8 hours (net) I need to sit at my desk for much longer than 10 hours...

And, now, may I ask when you have done the last full backup of your data...?


bye
Gianfranco



[Edited at 2006-06-07 11:44]


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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 05:14
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
I voted 70% too Jun 6, 2006

I am not a numbers person, so I put 70% very loosely. Just for my eyes' sake, I would not want to be working more than that. Translating is like playing music. You cannot spend all of your time performing. You need time to practice and evaluate what you could do better. I see this job as one of constant improvement.

Reed

[Edited at 2006-06-06 22:47]


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Claudia Aguero  Identity Verified
Costa Rica
Local time: 02:14
Spanish to English
+ ...
Proofreading and doing research Jun 7, 2006

I chose 90% percent because I consider proofreading and research a part of translation, not a separate activity.
I also do all those tasks mentioned by Enrique, Gianfranco and Enrique. So I compensate the time in those side activities by working overtime; probably that is why my working hours are usually 16-18 hours every day.

I know I'm a workaholic, and I am really trying to slow down.


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JaneTranslates  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 04:14
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I voted 70% but it should have been lower. Jun 7, 2006

When I'm working on a translation I set a timer for 1 hour. While it's running I don't do anything else but work on the translation at hand. That includes communication with the client, research, managing the files for that job, even asking a KudoZ question. It does *not* include breaks, answering the phone, checking email, checking out the ProZ forums, defragging the computer, accounts (other than recording that job), etc.

If there are interruptions, I stop the timer, and restart it when I can get back to the job at hand.

When I started using the timer, I thought I would put in 6-7 of these "full hours" a day. What a laugh! I find it quite hard to work in more than 3. Very illuminating...

Of course, I get a lot of work done in those 3 hours. But what goes on the other 21 hours of the day? Life, I guess. And administrative tasks.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:14
English to German
+ ...
The 80/20 rule applies here as well Jun 7, 2006

Please see the recent poll "Pareto's Rule". I didn't know that it was called the "Pareto's Rule", but I was trained to apply the 80% profit-making work/20% administrative work for best results more than 20 years ago and it works.

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Erik Hansson  Identity Verified
Germany
Member (2002)
Swedish
+ ...
How can 100 % be understood? Jun 7, 2006

I voted for 90 %. However, anybody voting for more or less 100 % must be somebody who only translates, and never does any marketing stuff and also refrains from writing invoices. Or have I misunderstood something? I don't think there are very many translators of that kind around

Erik

**********************************
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Technical translator DE-SV
Hansson Übersetzungen GmbH
Am Birkenwäldchen 38
D-01900 Bretnig-Hauswalde, Germany
Phone +49 - 3 59 52 - 321 07
Fax +49 - 3 59 52 - 322 02
E-Mail info@hansson.de
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ProZ profile http://www.proz.com/pro/21654
***********************************


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Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:14
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
Well said Gianfranco Jun 7, 2006

I also chose 70% as well, because of all those other time-taking activities that are related to translation, editing or proofreading. Just answering many emails or phone calls per day, from both, present and future clients is in a way very destructive for the moment, but in the long run, productive.


Monika

Gianfranco Manca wrote:

I agree. The list of extra activities strictly related to work, is very long:

- E-mail (customers, perspective customers, colleagues, other work related contacts)
- Preparing offers for new potential projects
- Scheduling our work
- Researching, reading, studying a subject (when strictly related to a project)
- Preparing files before the actual work
- Examining any reference material provided by the customer
- Storing all files, TM, terminology, after the job is delivered
- A couple of phone calls
- Archiving data
- Administration
- Yearly accounts
- Marketing
- Don't you take at least 5-10 minutes of break every hour?
- Some kind of professional or technical update
and I believe the list is much longer and difficult to evaluate.



I have voted 70%, and honestly I consider anyone not spending at least 2 hours (25% in a working day of 8 hours) in collateral tasks, as being very lucky, or extremely efficient, or not taking into account everything.

In reality, if I need to be productive for 8 hours (net) I need to sit at my desk for much longer than 10 hours...

And, now, may I ask when you have done the last full backup of your data...?


bye
Gianfranco




[Edited at 2006-06-07 10:22]


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Dyran Altenburg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:14
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not clear Jun 7, 2006

Enrique wrote:
To put this in perspective imagine that you work 8 hours (i.e. 480 minutes) a day.
If you spend more than 48 minutes a day in activities such as reading and answering your mail, reading news, chatting, billing, etc., then your effective percentage is below 90%
Perceptions may be misleading.


Then the wording on the poll should have been different.

"Working day" would have been a better choice (i.e. my daily working hours are about 2/3 of my working day).

--
Dyran

[Edited at 2006-06-07 12:36]


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:14
Member (2004)
English to Italian
80% Jun 7, 2006

Nicole Schnell wrote:

Please see the recent poll "Pareto's Rule". I didn't know that it was called the "Pareto's Rule", but I was trained to apply the 80% profit-making work/20% administrative work for best results more than 20 years ago and it works.


Agree...

Giovanni


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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:14
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
80% Jun 7, 2006

I voted 80% because my daily working hours are 10-12.

and I hope that my message is grammatically correct.


Cheers

Angio


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Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:14
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
"Working day" vs. "working hours" Jun 7, 2006

Dyran Altenburg wrote:

Then the wording on the poll should have been different.

"Working day" would have been a better choice (i.e. my daily working hours are about 2/3 of my working day).


This is a good point IMO.

Monika


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Heike Behl, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:14
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
90% Jun 7, 2006

Well, the 80-20 rule is generally used for work in the corporate world where many hours are spent in more or less productive meetings, planning sessions, writing reports, giving presentations, etc....

If I compare my work days now with the time I was working for a company, I am much more productive than I ever could be at the office. Granted, there are some days where there's just a ton of e-mails to be answered and other things to be done (which might lengthen the work day accordingly). But on average I'd say that 90% is pretty accurate for me (but I include in this time all directly translation-related work such as proofreading, editing, terminology research etc.).


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