Working from home tips: How to WFH and not die trying

Working from home tips

Working from home and not die trying – DEFINITIVE GUIDE

Teleworking has exploded. While we understand why it is a necessity, it is not always easy. So here’s some working from home tips to better manage the situation and avoid many pitfalls.

Working from home – What is it?

Working from home tips: WFH (Working From Home) is a flexible way of organizing work. In other words, it is the performance of the professional activity of a worker without the need for physical presence in the company’s own offices or facilities.

In this case, the activity implies the use of new information and communication technologies that allow them to carry out their usual work from any location.

This modality can increase satisfaction and productivity, but it does not work in the same way for everyone. Therefore, it is important to give workers the option of choosing the modality of teleworking or face-to-face work.

But what is the current problem?

Measures to contain COVID-19 require working from home without prior notice and without drills. So it is important to follow a series of guidelines to maintain productivity and above all, maintain sanity.

Perhaps many of you are used to working this way, especially in the translation sector, this work methodology is very common. But even so, for many this situation is completely new and they do not know how to deal with it.

Working from home tips – Benefits for the Employee

Flexible schedule

The management of work and rest time according to your productivity levels allows you to organize yourself as you want to obtain a better work performance.

Geographic flexibility

Teleworking allows you to improve your workspace and choose the most suitable one for you. In this sense, there are many people who work better from home, or simply work from a different city. What is the important? Get to know yourself to know where you are most productive, have a computer and an Internet connection.

Saving time and money

We know that to work we have to move and in most cases this is a significant waste of time, time that we could dedicate to other aspects of our lives.

These trips, obviously, require an investment of money that we can save whether we use public transport as a private vehicle. The important thing is that your pocket, your health and the environment will thank you.

Work and family conciliation

With the aforementioned time savings, you can afford to spend that time in your family environment.

Greater autonomy

It is probably the most obvious advantage, since the autonomy and participation of workers in decision-making drive innovation, empowerment and work performance.

Working from home tips – Benefits for the Company

Increased productivity

If you implement work from home in conjunction with a new goal-tracking policy, surely workers will meet them in a much more efficient way. They are the ones who manage their time and know when they are most productive.

Saving Money

For the company, this type of work allows savings in costs, space and furniture.

Increased satisfaction

It is clear that working from home has many benefits for employees that reinforce their motivation and commitment. This is a great reason why the degree of satisfaction of the contractual conditions increases, while improving the commitment and valuation of the company.

Reduction in Absenteeism

It is logical that even if you work from home, you have to meet objectives, so teleworking allows you to regulate your time and as it gives you that flexibility.

Technological innovation

Unfortunately, not all companies or sectors can afford working from home either by investment or by the type of activity they carry out.

To implement it, it is important that the company adopts technological innovations. Good communication channels with the rest of the team, equipment and Internet connection are necessary.

Greater Reach to Professionals

Have greater access to professionals who, initially for personal or work reasons, cannot travel to their office but can work from home. This option offers the Human Resources Department a greater range of professionals within reach.

Working from home tips – Keys to Approach Teleworking and Not Die Trying

Overnight telecommuting has become a challenge for many of us. But what is the real challenge?

The ideal place for working from home is a special room in your house. You can use an outdoor office with natural light, a desk with all the organized and necessary material and an ergonomic chair that protects your back.

You might think that your home does not have a room that enables to work from home when you can adapt to this situation.

Your goal will be to scratch square metres from anywhere, be it a terrace or a hallway. The question is to prepare a place of approximately two metres by two metres, the ideal and standard measure necessary for teleworking.

What are the determining factors when choosing your workspace?

The lighting will be the determining factor while a challenge because in most cases it is difficult to find a space with natural light.

The natural light favours productivity. The recommendation is that the space must be oriented north to have a balanced light and thus avoid reflections.

As for the furniture, you have to be just as strict. In the end, you will spend eight hours in a chair so it is important to take care of your back and your cervical.

Choose an approved ergonomic chair that allows certain regulations to adapt to your height and inclination. You have no such chair? Don’t worry. The first days you can settle for any chair that is available in your home, but it won’t take long for you to have muscle aches. So, you can already anticipate these ailments and order a suitable chair for this situation.

No less important is the work table, which is recommended to have a height of approximately 80 centimetres and a length depending on the space and the use you give it.

You like glass tables, right? It is also an incredible decorative element for us, but for working from home it is not good since shiny materials reflect and can cause unnecessary glare.

Some of you will believe that you have already finished conditioning your workspace but you are missing some key elements that are not usually taken into account. Customizing your workplace is important to feel that you are part of it and to give it a touch of warmth, but how?

A simple plant, photo frame or a board with memories placed in a strategic place that does not get in the way and that provides a bit of freedom and warmth will make your workday a little more bearable.

The order of everything that makes up your space can help you overcome all those psychological effects of confinement. It is more than proven that disorder negatively influences performance and mood with which we face work.

An orderly workspace is an orderly mind.

Now if you have an incredible workspace to telecommute!

Maintaining productivity without going to the office or production centre cannot be improvized. It sounds like a cliché, but if we don’t establish a routine we won’t know how to organize our time.

Many of you believe that you can telecommute without first establishing a clear and concise routine. It may be somewhat easier for those who already have experience working from home but the inexperienced or newbie will have the feeling of being on vacation or on a day off. Error!

Since there is no one to “watch”, for many, time management can be a difficult task to control, so the important thing is to set strict schedules and habits just as you would in the office.

It is clear that the flexibility that working from home offers you is much greater and there is no fixed pattern to follow to establish a routine and schedules since it depends on the type of work, personalities and circumstances of each one.

Growing up is establishing routine as a healthy habit.

The ideal is to start studying the spaces of time:

  • Schedule to start and end the working day. Working from home does not mean being available 24 hours a day.
  • The hours in which you will have more silence and solitude to be able to carry out those tasks that require more concentration.
  • The most productive moment of the day adapted to the normal schedule of the company.
  • The ideal times for videoconferences or virtual meetings.
  • The hours that we will dedicate to more dynamic tasks such as answering calls or answering emails.
  • The pause times to take breaks.

In order to make the established routine a healthy habit, you should set daily and weekly goals according to the project you are currently on. Remember that the achievement of these objectives and the achievement of success depends on your work being properly executed.

Another one of those working from home tips: Let’s be honest, we know that the biggest benefit of working from home is that we can do it in our pyjamas. It is difficult to get rid of this comfortable garment while at home so we have to take advantage of these circumstances to put on more formal and comfortable clothes.

According to experts, if you are able to follow the routine of taking a shower, having breakfast and putting on comfortable clothes, you will feel much more agile and receptive to approach the workday successfully.

Be careful, it is not about dressing in tight jeans, a suit jacket or a dress to work from home. It consists of choosing a style to adapt it every day, that is, if in the end you choose a very comfortable and elegant set such as a sweatshirt and leggings, do not make it your work uniform because not every day is the same, and the way in which we dress can help us approach the day with energy and positivity.

Face the day by telling your mind and body that you are working.

Dressing professionally makes us adopt a different mental state to feel more present and increase our level of dedication and commitment.

  • Look for comfortable looks

The ‘comfy’ sets are in fashion so do not hesitate to use these wonderful garments combining them with other more sophisticated garments to have a total office look.

  • Footwear is important

You’re at home, why wear shoes? You might think you can put any type of shoe if you are going to be at home. It turns out that if you only use specific shoes (sleepers!), they will take over you in such a way that, you will constantly have the feeling of ‘being thrown’ even if you are properly groomed and dressed.

  • Comb your hair

Are you one of those who don’t even look in the mirror when they telecommute?

Indeed there is a multitude of quick hairstyles with which you look favoured without falling into the trap of neglecting this aspect with the crazy hair of just raised.

  • Get dressed up for meetings

If you do not leave home, what better way to take advantage of virtual meetings or conferences to fix them a little more and thus, embroider it.

Video hookups are proven to help form relationships, and if you’re not dressed appropriately, you could be sending the wrong message.

  • Brings a little colour

There are many days when you wake up with discouragement and negativity, so a good colourful garment will make you see the day from another perspective.

  • Care for your skin

It is useless if we take care of our entire appearance if we do not take into account our skin. Many of us do not have terraces or balconies so that the sun can give us a little vitamin D, so it is important to take care of your skin from day one.

Establish a facial care routine if you haven’t done it before, or improve it if you already did. For those women who use makeup, it may be time to let your skin breathe and use only a basic and fluid makeup.

  • Forget about the fridge!

The gastronomic offer at home is too wide so, stop there! Establish schedules to get up to peck and not run the risk of constantly losing focus. Along the same lines, your daily meal schedule must be the same to know how to organize and plan your workday based on the fixed breaks that you have established.

  • Be responsible and do your daily work!

The current pandemic situation forces French companies to implement working from home. Thanks to broadband connections and new technologies, teleworking has become a common practice in many companies. But many people cannot do this type of work due to the high investment it entails or due to the type of activity. Discipline, discipline!

Make technological resources become your greatest ally.

The point is that not all existing companies are prepared nor are many. This depends on your business culture.

Beyond the usual telephone and email resources, those instant messaging and videoconferencing services in practice are very useful to establish daily or weekly meetings as if they were face-to-face.

What are the aspects to take into account?

Technological means

Without a device available on which to carry out your professional activity, working from home will not make sense. In no case, this situation will force employees to have to put the necessary technological resources out of their own pockets.

If employees do not have the necessary technological means, it should be the company that offers solutions.

Connected to a network

Working from home tips: Teleworking implies carrying out your work activity via an Internet connection. Therefore, cybersecurity is a crucial element. It is clear that cybercriminals will take advantage of this high volume situation of connected people to steal confidential information and impersonate identities.

Large companies that are used to this way of working know the protocols and encrypt their connections to avoid these events.

It is not a question of large, medium or small companies, but a global question that each and every businessperson must apply to ensure that all information is protected.

If you are reading this, it is surely your case and you want some indications to help you cope.

The harsh reality is that you have to arm yourself with patience, be organized and enhance the capacity for abstraction because you will have many moments of great frustration, anxiety and overwhelm.

Working from home tips: Working with your little ones

Sleeping hours

Another one of those working from home tips: It is important that the company you work for knows what your working conditions are, so the threshold of demand for your work activity be adapted to your situation.

We know that there are so many very repetitive tips on how to work from home that perhaps with little monsters hanging around the house are not feasible. Therefore, we know that there are no infallible solutions or correct answers that will help you better cope with this situation, but you can adapt these working from home tips to optimize your time and entertain your children.

Planning the workday and establishing a work routine seems like an easy task when you are not in charge of children who need constant attention.

When you have these little ones hanging around all the corners of the house and wanting to capture your attention, you understand that they are the ones who will set your schedules. Therefore, the best way to be productive and advance at work is to take advantage of those hours of the day when the little ones are relaxed. When we talk about these moments, we refer to the first hours of the day, at noon and at night because they coincide with their hours of sleep.

Perform physical exercise

Your main mission will be to tire them and an infallible way, knowing that children have tireless vitality and energy, is physical exercise.

Establish a routine adapted to the age of your children in which the whole family is involved to unite and make you disconnect. Physical exercise will compensate for passive entertainment to control the characteristic agitation of children.

Develop long-lasting activities

If you have children, you will know how intense they are because they demand constant attention and this, on many occasions, is a complicated task.

One of the solutions that works the most is to put your creativity and imagination to work to send your children long-lasting activities that they can do individually.

In this sense, there are many interactive games, online courses and others that help improve your children’s skills and help you get extra time to dedicate to your workday.

Do homework together

One of the things schools have done well is to put a significant burden of homework on children.

Homework time is a time that requires silence and attention, so while doing school work, we can take care of those professional tasks that do not require great concentration.

You will wonder why it is better to perform professional tasks that do not require great attention and the answer is that although they have tasks that they must carry out on their own, they have many doubts and you should try to solve them at the moment.

 Assign them responsibilities

How many times have we told our parents that we are bored and they made us clean our room?

You might think that it is a way to exploit them and that they carry out your own tasks, but for them it will be a way to feel useful and combat boredom with it.

Assigning them daily household chores like cleaning, cooking or tidying the house will make them feel older and responsible. It is not only about developing general tasks, but about learning to be independent and for them to start making their bed, making breakfast, getting dressed, etc.

Working from home tips – Conclusion

With the explosion of the information superhighways and the Internet, and the COVID situation, working from home has become a full-fledged job, highly appreciated by companies as well as employees or self-employed workers. Overall, teleworking presents a positive result, because if we look at it objectively, many of the advantages are major points for each of the stakeholders concerned. For the organization, the fact of increasing productivity is a direction to focus on. For the employee, the arguments are also strong. In fact, it is by establishing its objectives and priorities that the organization can determine whether teleworking is beneficial or not. Same for the employee!

Translation work – R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Aretha Franklin- translation work need some respect

Find out what it means to me

I have a lot of translation work to do.

It’s Easter today and my kids are home, not at school. After hours of playing on their Ipad, they are getting bored and suddenly feel that I should become their personal entertainer.

As a result, it looks like my productivity is going down the drain. Sound familiar? Time to gain some respect for my translation work and have my job as a translator taken seriously.

A Little Respect (Just a Little Bit)

Many people complain that the work of a translator is not recognised or valued by clients and the labour market, and that we are increasingly underestimated mainly when it comes to values. However, we barely realise that it is equally important to educate those who spend the most time with us i.e our family.

When doing translation work, let’s agree that no one deserves to hear from relatives things like “But you do not work!” Or “You simply stay on your computer all day!”. Not to mention having to deal with gatherings of all sorts, whenever it seems that everyone has decided to meet and share party dips and you have a very tight deadline. And you have to fence the occasional “When will you stop what you’re doing and have some fun for once? This can wait” Or even worse – ”When will you get a real job?”. Well, here are some tips for you to impose your chosen profession and get rid of those unpleasant questions.

Aretha Franklin-Freelancers working from home also need some respect

R-E-S-P-E-C-T for the Concept

Do people know and/or realise what you do when you do translation work? If not, explain it to them. You are a translator, not a language teacher, a walking dictionary or a living grammar book, for crying out loud. You may be a language specialist, but it is important to make people understand what you translate, and while translation – didactic and linguistic – may complement each other, they are different activities that require different skills.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T for your work

People who live with you need to understand that your home is your place of work. If you have decided to turn one of the bedrooms of your house into a home-office, please state that there must be silence during a certain period of the day, with as few interruptions as possible. If necessary, customise a beautiful “I’m working” sign and hang it on your now-office door. For the worst case scenarios, go for a “Do not disturb” sign and work happily in your little corner.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T for the fruit of your translation work

As a translator and a freelancer, you are a provider for your family. Don’t think otherwise or let people think otherwise. So when your favourite aunty wants to share a nostalgic moment with you, or just chat, show them that your work is a money tree in your household. Whenever or wherever you practise, you need to work to pay off your debts. Combine to interact with them at lunchtime, tea at five o’clock, or any other appropriate time, but not during work hours.

Translation work – Keep on tryin’ (just a little bit)

As translators, we face a daily struggle to win new clients, gain values ​​that match our efforts, stand out in the midst of the job market, be recognised as a serious category (not just as a “complementary” profession) and to impose a set of limits that determine our professional well-being. So my advice is this – If you cannot organise a work-at-home routine, you will not have the necessary structure to process these activities.

Imposing limits is a necessity. Other people might know little of our profession, and it is up to us to establish certain parameters. Just as you had to remind this nice customer of yours who called you two or three times during the night that your time zone is different from theirs, you should teach whoever shares the same roof with you that there are working hours in your business.

All I’m askin’
Is for a little respect when you get home (just a little bit)

So kids, whether you’re home or coming back from school, after I have taken care of your tea, no loud music, no unnecessary interruptions, no sudden intrusions.

I’m working. OK?

After all, Aretha taught us: Respect is needed.

A Translator’s Life: The Edge of Reason

procrastinating with facebook

Motivation vs. Procrastination in the Life of a Translator

In recent months, many things that I have done and seen have made me think on productivity. What motivates and what hinders our work routine, and how all this reflects in our image and our professional success as translators. Today, I will gather some thoughts and information on this.

From translating an inspirational book

Recently, I completed the translation of a booklet about self-help for a customer, which had a great impact on me (Cannot give you its title at this stage as it is waiting for publication).

I loved doing this translation, with which I also learned a lot.

Small, with tiny chapters, written in simple and direct language, permeated with illustrations, it is intended for businessmen or people who wish to start a business, or maybe not even that. Yet, this one is very different from any other kind of self-help business books out there. It demystifies many notions about business we hear. yet, always with a lot of common sense and almost excessive frankness. Virtually all the topics covered in the book can be applied to freelancers as well, especially to translators who have a business. I’ve found myself reflected in many chapters – or saw my past, my background, past jobs, colleagues. Even in typical day-to-day situations in an office, which have nothing to do with me, I saw relatives and friends there.

To Gaining Valuable Insights Into My Translation Business

There are valuable insights on preparing and launching new ventures, outreach, business concepts, use of technology, distance co-operation, competition, and much about productivity and motivation. I do not want to give away too much here, but a lot of things stuck with me. Not everything is new, but said in such an eloquent way, with great real examples. The text ends up reinforcing what people in the background already know, besides giving us some well-deserved slaps in the face. For example:

— Everything you do, say, write, every phone call, every invoice, every email – everything – is marketing.

— Being a workaholic, turning nights and weekends, sleeping little and eating badly, and still being proud of it, ultimately is being incompetent, disorganised, clumsy. Working a lot has nothing to do with working well.

— Having brilliant ideas or making big plans is no merit; What really makes the difference is in actually realising a succession of little good ideas every day.

— Current interaction tools have revalued writing – emails, text messages, websites, blogs. Communication should be efficient, clear, informative. Writing well is the fruit of the clarity and organisation of thoughts; therefore, when recruiting partners, give preference to those who write well.

— Want to be immune to competition? Make your product your own, something that only you can do, your way of being, something inimitable. Not just the result of your work, but the whole experience of working with you. (Another that applies even more to translators, as opposed to entrepreneurs from other areas.)

— To excel and have a differential, share and teach. The more people want to do what you do, the way you do, the more you establish yourself as a leader.

— Our great enemy is interruption. We only surrender when we can work for a while without any kind of interruption, so you have to schedule work periods like this.

— What drive productivity is motivation, and this is the result of many factors, including a favourable environment, attainable goals and small daily successes – more on this issue next.

— And much, much more.

How people procrastinate

More motivation to be a better translator

Also recently, I attended a convention for small entrepreneurs. I confess that at first I did not give it much credit – such a public thing, for free… What do I know, right? But it was exceptional. Great lectures, beginning with one of Google’s directors in Australia, and with many panels on digital media, marketing and business tools, etc. In a hall filled with computers, volunteers helped those who wanted to learn and open accounts on Twitter, LinkedIn and other networking sites. At the end of the day, I left full energy to improve my productivity, choose better customers, and make more productive partnerships.

And I cannot say why, but I have the impression that only this motivation, this desire to be effective, to reinforce the things that I clearly have been doing right and to correct what is not, already generates positive results. I think that just setting certain priorities or having clearer headings already translates into productivity – and effectiveness. And productivity translates into praise, better services, more money, more time to do what we like, and all this produces more motivation, of course.

Speaking of motivation, I discovered today, through a Twitter link, this beautifully illustrated lecture on the results of a research on motivation – what kind of reward yields good results, makes us win challenges. In a TED Talk, Dan Ariely does not say anything that we do not already know, but watching and reading him filled me with enthusiasm.

Professional Satisfaction as a Translator

I have seen dilemmas, debates and experiences about unattractive professional choices with huge monetary compensation versus choices that give more personal and professional satisfaction with little financial return. And increasingly I am an unconditional partisan of the second option. Because in the long run, a job that generates a good dose of motivation, which is a priority, that makes sense, inevitably generates financial return as well – and from a certain point, a higher financial return alone does not increase the motivation, quite the opposite.

There is also a crucial difference in the different positions I see in aspiring translators – for example, in the numerous emails I receive from beginners in translation asking for all kinds of opinions, advice or help.

Benefits of being a translator

There are people who, before even trying to translate something, soon show that they are anxious to know how much they will earn. It has to be a lot. It has to be now. In general, these same people want to know which areas are easy to get into, requires a small amount of customer service and guaranteed high salary. It is not uncommon to hear some well-publicised myths out there, such as those sworn translators who earn abysmal sums of money each month translating some nonsense driver’s licence.

Yes, of course! Gee, that must be why so many of my colleagues and my fellow sworn translators live on yachts, and only I have not realised that yet.

The Real Winners of the Translation Industry

The fact of the matter is that – almost always – those who have this type of concern when planning their career are not the ones who will spend half an hour immersed in dictionaries trying to get the perfect translation for an expression. Nor would they usually “waste time” studying in depth, or begin their translation career willing to translate for very little money in the beginning. It is not by chance that these “translators” are not the ones who tend to achieve the kind of professional success they were hoping to get.

Others want to perfect themselves. They want to study more, read more, do more exercises, want you to recommend other courses. There is a passion behind what they do, as well as the relentless pursuit of technical improvement – which is a lot duller and less exciting than the “passion for languages.” I often keep in touch with these people, and I am happy to see how successful they are in the profession. They are great colleagues. And the interesting thing is that they are often surprised, think they were lucky or do not think they work too much.

After 25 years of experience as a translator, now that I have a different perspective, the difference is very clear. People like that are a minority, yes, and they succeed because they have the motivation driven by the right priorities, which lead them to make no effort to improve. They embark on the profession aiming to be excellent professionals throughout their lives, not aiming for a cash-filled savings and early retirement. The difference between these values ​​is huge.

The Worst Enemy of the Translator

To conclude, let me talk about our worst enemy: procrastination. Who does not suffer from that throws me the first stone. We have to be connected all day, easy to be found by clients and colleagues, attentive. Emails need to be answered quickly. We need to be aware of the latest news and debates. Help someone to solve a problem on Facebook. Watching a photo album of our latest trip or someone laughing at a bad translation in a video on YouTube … 1h45 later, you wonder why you are still watching this new episode of the Game of thrones.

Not to mention that Monday morning, when you take a deep breath and open the directory of the next 35-page review of a text on IT, and suddenly that’s the ideal time to mow the lawn (Or update the blog…)

Sometimes, procrastination is more blatant. Sometimes, it is camouflaged as research or confused with coffee time. Anyway, if we’re honest, we all know that we don’t roll up our sleeves more than we should, that we often lose control over the time of rest. Then the blame hits and we work until 3 o’clock in the morning, we skip meals. And when we see it, we fall into the vicious cycle of inefficient workaholism, which can end up compromising quality.

Applying These Reflections to the World of Translation

It was just when I was thinking about these subjects that I came across this article, about the evolutionary, neurological and behavioural reasons behind procrastination, and why it seems to sabotage us in such effective ways. It brings some clues to cheating our own brains, or at least not letting ourselves be fooled. Another read is worth very much.

This text quotes Dan Ariely, a scholar of human behaviours associated with economics who has given excellent lectures in TED. On his site there are links to podcasts he has done on the various chapters. I still do not know how to relate all this to the universe of translation, but all this discussion has attracted me immensely and I feel it will still bring me something useful – even if it is good reflections and reading recommendations.

Now, to work!

Translation and… Tennis? Really?

tennis ball with english and french flags

From Tennis to English-French translation

A taste for language study, grammar, literature and translation, and more than 25 years as an English into French translator defines a large part of who I am, the way I think, with whom I relate and to whom I dedicate most of my time now. In the past, things were very different. As a teenager, one of the activities that most occupied my time was tennis.

Funny thing that I should think about tennis – now – when I spent so much time translating documents these days, wouldn’t you think?

Translated English documents to French for 25 years

While I spend most of my professional life doing French translations these days, the truth of the matter is, recently I met a very old friend of mine for an important event in my life. Someone who played a major role, whom I hadn’t seen for 10 years.

Our meeting after all these years made me think about how and when we met 35 years ago. We were both teenagers and I used to play tennis. Let’s be honest, I wasn’t very good at it but this is not important. What’s important is that meeting him after such a long time got me to compare my present life as a language translator and my former life as a teenager playing tennis. My mind began to “travel back” and weave parallels between those two activities. I was amazed to see how much they have in common. So here’s a little exercise in reflection: any of the items below are what I see and feel as much about the field of translation as about tennis, or for any individual sport for that matter.

Thoughts about what it is to be a translator and/or a tennis player

                – It is notoriously lonely, which does not mean that everything depends on you alone.

               – Those who see practice it without knowing it, think that it is something purely mechanical.

                – You have to train your whole life; there is no time when there is no need to practise and improve. In the beginning it’s just to do the basics, but the higher the level you reach, the more important it is to train regularly to seek to extend your own limits.

                – You can always improve.

                – It is 99% creating and 1% inspiration.

                – If, for those who look from the outside, what the person does seem easy and natural, you can be sure that it takes a lot more effort than you can imagine.

                – We need to train a lot, for years and years, so that when we come across some of those crucial moments of our career, when we have those immense challenges that mark us for the rest of our lives, we know how to seize the opportunity.

                – There is luck. But strategy cannot be ignored.

                – There is much room for discussion about rules and questions. But inside is inside, and outside is outside.

                – You have to be able to get a taste for – or at least accept and take satisfaction – from practice in all aspects (even those we do not like) – tiredness, repetition, frustration, pain. The moments of memorable victories and recognition are rare and are directly related to this continuous effort.

               – Mistakes are a part of it and often happen. There simply isn’t any way you cannot – eventually – make mistakes. One must accept that this will happen and be able to deal with errors so as not to compromise the final result, and jeopardise their self-confidence and the pleasure of continuing to dedicate themselves.

                – Defeat is also a part of it. You need to know how to use it as a source of motivation to improve. But if you repeatedly fail to win, there is something very wrong with what you are doing, and you need to acknowledge this fact and seek help.

                – The only way to improve is always to measure ourselves with who is better than you.

                – It is important to have a model (or some) of what we would like to be. And it is important to know why we choose this model.

                – Defeating or pointing out mistakes of those who are technically inferior does not make us better at something.

And the comparison with translation does not stop here

                – Making serious mistakes, gossiping or giving justifications only makes the situation worse. The only solution is to learn from them immediately and find a way to get it right the next time.

                – The feeling of pride in winning is very strong, because we fight alone and the merit is strongly individual. But whoever wins a major victory always has a huge number of people to thank for, for getting there.

                – It takes a very unique combination of ambition and humility, always.

                – Do not stand still in one place. To stop is to go back.

                – You cannot rest on your laurels while your career has not come to an end. This is a mortal sin.

                – Few things reveal our true ethics as a painful defeat. Or even the possibility of defeat.

                – Even the most correct of people might try to distort a rule in their favour or take advantage from time to time. But nothing is more difficult than doing what we know to be right when we are robbed or harmed in bad faith. And this happens often.

                – External factors, whether natural or human, interfere all the time. No one is immune to them. But whoever is really serious never uses these factors as justification for their failures.

                – It is perfectly possible to be self-taught, but the immense majority of self-taught people will have visible technical defects or deficiencies if they ever stop learning.

                – Except for rare exceptions, it is possible to identify self-taught, amateur or occasional practitioners in a matter of seconds.

               – “Having passion” and being a professional – which makes of that practice, the career of a lifetime – are completely different things. Being professional and not losing your passion for something that requires so much effort and dedication is the big challenge.

                – There is plenty of room for great professionals who will never be on top or go down in history. There is no shame and it is possible to have a very dignified and productive career at intermediate levels. The degree of effort and dedication required remains exactly the same.

                – There are those who have innate talent for the thing, and this is noticeable, even if we do not know exactly what it is.

                – Helping someone improve makes us even better.

                – Our opponent is our colleague. Without it, we are nothing, we have no merit. Our enemy today is your partner tomorrow, or vice versa.

                – It is fundamental to respect the adversary and know how to recognise his merits.

More analogies with translation

                – It is crucial to know how to separate a profession from personal relationships, even though these two dimensions are constantly mixing.

               – We do not devote ourselves because we expect recognition. We dedicate ourselves because it is part of who we are and we want to carry it out with quality.

                – It’s a journey of self-knowledge. We need to face our faults and weaknesses, as well as discover and know how to take advantage of our talents.

                – We have to know how to study alone, to work alone, to protect ourselves, to overcome solitary challenges.

                – Those who observe us from the outside will judge us, sometimes based on details we barely notice. It’s part of the activity.

                – Claiming that you are good at it means nothing. You have to show it.

                – A beautiful victory or one of pride fills everyone.

                – Anyone who says they do not feel pressure when other people are watching is lying blatantly. The great merit lies in not letting the performance fall too much under pressure.

                – Anyone who thinks that constantly investing in quality instrumental makes no difference in performance does not understand anything. Whoever thinks that only the instrumental solves everything, either.

                – The better you are, the more difference it makes in a fraction of a second, a centimetre, a degree.

                – It’s not something we do. It is something that one is. It’s a way of life, a way of thinking. Not just the person, but the whole family.

               – It is an practice that transforms our way of looking at life and that influences everything we do, even if it is totally unrelated to the activity itself.

                – When done well, it even touches. But only for those who know how to really enjoy it.

               – It is science. It’s art. Juggling. It’s dance.

And I’m sure the list could go on and on. One day, maybe in 35 years’ time – Will I still be doing English-French translation? – I might still add items to this list…

PS: talking about tennis, I didn’t mean to generalise. That wasn’t even the goal. Much of this would also apply to a number of other individual sports or any challenging thing one might practise.

Do you notice anything different about me?

a different translation

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