Making priorities and sticking to them September 8, 2011Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Business practices, Random musings.
There is an interesting discussion on the ATA Business Practices listserv right now about the balance of work and life. One translator was complaining that she had organized a “book club meeting with a bunch of translators for a Saturday morning.” She was looking forward to getting together to have some fun and talk about literature, but when the day came most of them backed out citing “a last minute gig.” As she complained, “Why are we so enslaved by the last minute gig that we can’t plan our lives?”
She is entirely right. I have noticed this as a past member of the Bonner Übersetzer- und DolmetscherForum and as the past president of the Northeast Ohio Translators Association. Translators seem to be ruled by rush translation jobs. Board meetings and once-a-year annual meetings are missed because there is a pressing job.
What is wrong with making certain things a priority and either saying no or arranging your schedule so that you can do both? I am the organizer of a happy hour group. I had a pressing job last night, so I attended the happy hour for 2 hours and left at 7 so I could translate the job (I only had one drink and then switched to non-alcoholic beverages). It’s about making social events or personal life stuff a priority and sticking to them. If I have made something a priority in my mind and there is a rush job I simply say “sorry, I’m not available.” In fact, when I said no yesterday, that pressing job last night was magically extended to 3 p.m. today. It’s amazing how many rush jobs truly aren’t that rush if you can’t drop everything to accept it. And sorry, but no last minute gig is so pressing on a SATURDAY MORNING. It sounds like an excuse to not go if you ask me…