I recently came across an article detailing “5 Ways a Freelance Translator Can Combat Work Isolation”. The thrust of the article is avoiding professional isolation and regaining some of those lost opportunities for being kept in the loop.
In brief, these are to: attend conferences, find professional development opportunities, use your language skills to meet new people, teach a college course and find an accountability partner (AP).
Most of these are a given, although I´d run a mile from the teaching option. I´d much rather be doing something relaxing out of translation time than teaching it as well. Still, horses for courses. I´ll get the kettle on.
However, I have never come across the idea of an accountability partner (AP) before and I find this an intriguing and useful idea.
So what is an AP? According to the source it´s “…a fellow translator we can ´check in´ with at least once a day”, and another definition can be found via this link, that basically defines an AP as someone who helps you keep to a commitment.
The idea is that we ´check in´ with our AP in the morning, discuss our schedules and then update each other at lunch time or later, which helps to keep us motivated, productive and connected.
It´s a nice idea, if you can fit it in between all the urgent stuff (that´s everything) and chasing your tail (that´s everything else). Although it´s probable that we can make the time if we value it enough.
I am reminded of the Zen saying that, “You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you’re too busy. Then you should sit for an hour.” (As per: Myth #2: I Don’t have the time to Meditate. I am too busy and stressed!)
So get out your phone book, or double-click on that email contact and get active with your designated AP. It will help you: feel less isolated, stay in the loop, get motivated, be more productive and stay connected.
As for all the stress and anxiety, get mindful, all it takes is ten minutes according to Andy Puddicombe´s TED Talk, watch it via this link!