Some of us have way more time these days now that we can’t do all the activities we would normally be doing.
But some of us have less time. You might be trying to balance working remotely for your current employer with childcare, eldercare, or even just trying to manage anxiety.
You might be looking for a way to start working from home as a freelance proofreader, so you can take control of one aspect of your time — your working day.
If the fear of not having enough time to complete a proofreading course is holding you back, Ofer Tirosh, CEO of Tomedes, an agency providing translation services for clients across the globe, is going to show you how you can fit in a proofreading course while you work from home due to coronavirus — even if you’re balancing work and childcare!
Ofer uses an example of a translator who wants to add proofreading to their skill set, but these tips are applicable to anyone who wants to learn how to proofread but don’t feel like they have the time.
Take it away, Ofer!
How to Fit in a Proofreading Course While Working from Home Due to Coronavirus
Being stuck at home for so long as a result of the coronavirus pandemic presents unique challenges for almost every household. Whether it’s juggling work and childcare or dealing with the mental challenges of the situation, we are living through difficult and unprecedented times.
However, where there are challenges, there are also opportunities! It’s time to make the most of having to work from home due to coronavirus. What better way to do so than by increasing your skills?
Think you can’t find time for a proofreading course? Think again!
Translating challenges into opportunities
How are your prioritization skills?
If you’re not good at prioritizing, now is the time to learn. Not tomorrow or the day after – now! The Eisenhower Matrix is a good starting point. It’s a simple grid that will enable you to achieve laser focus on what’s important and urgent while putting off or ditching things that aren’t.
Why prioritize? Well, firstly it will help you to destress by knowing you’ve got a handle on your task list. Secondly, it will free up time that would likely otherwise have been wasted.
Say you provide translation and localization services for a living. Using the Eisenhower Matrix will allow you to use your working time wisely, keeping you and those to whom you provide professional translation services happy.
At the same time as becoming adept at prioritizing like a pro, it’s time to talk to your spouse about the kids. Really talk.
Juggling full-time childcare with full-time work is stressful, so acknowledge that and don’t blame yourself if you’re struggling. Talk to your partner/spouse/any other adults living in the home and agree on an arrangement so that:
- Each adult has time for themselves — to work and to relax
- Childcare duties are shared in a way that everyone feels is fair
- You can juggle things as needed if work tasks demand it
Once you’ve mapped out your work priorities and childcare arrangements, it’s time to take on a proofreading course!
Juggling proofreading and translation services
Is proofreading a good career? We certainly think so!
We used an example above of a professional translator being stuck at home due to coronavirus. They have the chance to prioritize like never before and agree on childcare arrangements that work for all. Now it’s time to prioritize learning to proofread.
This means carving out a set amount of time each day to focus on the course while also keeping their translation clients happy. It doesn’t have to be long, but it does need to be regular. Even a fixed 20–30 minutes per day of study will ensure that you can make steady progress. After all, it was the tortoise who won the race, not the hare!
Having said that, it’s important to give yourself a day off from study when the mood takes you. When you’re stuck at home 24/7 (or 23/7 if you spend an hour exercising), it’s important to respond to your mental health needs and maintain the right mindset. If you’re too tired to study or just can’t face it, take the day off and get back to it in the morning. You’ll feel better and more motivated after giving yourself a rest day.
Sell the idea of proofreading to your translation company
If you can get your employer to buy in to the idea of you completing a proofreading course, so much the better. There are plenty of jobs that tie in well with proofreading, from translation and localization to freelance writing.
The key here is to show your translation company, or whoever you work for, how having a qualified proofreader on their team would be of benefit to the organization. That way, you can build your study time into your working day and get paid to study, rather than having to find additional time to fit in your course.
Know your own rhythms
One key element of fitting in a proofreading course while working from home is knowing your own rhythms.
Are you at your best first thing in the morning or do you shine brightest at night? If you devote yourself to your course when you’re at your most productive, you’ll get maximum value and efficiency out of your time. Attempt it when you’re tired and you’re likely to take longer achieving the same outcome.
Add proofreading income to your translation services income
How motivated do you feel when tackling your work?
Motivation plays a key role in enhancing performance. In fact, poor management, which leads to lower motivation levels, has been shown to cost US companies between $960 billion and $1.2 trillion per year in lost employee productivity.
Suffice it to say, you need some kind of motivation to complete your proofreading course. This could simply be the joy of learning and becoming a qualified proofreader. However, if you need a more direct financial motivation, why not create one for yourself?
How can I earn money working from home? Proofreading is certainly one way to do so. If you want to take a real-world look at what you can earn, why not jump onto Upwork (or similar websites) and flick through the proofreading jobs that are listed there. You should quickly be able to see what you could earn once you finish your course.
It’s fairly easy to establish this kind of financial motivation. And you’ll likely finish your course faster (and do it well) as a result of having an additional incentive.
Think longer-term too. If you’re a translation and localization expert already, can you pitch your new proofreading service to your existing clients? And which language(s) will you offer your services in? Plans such as these can be great motivators and your resulting enhanced performance will gain you an advantage when it comes to using your time wisely.
Ultimately, there are plenty of ways that you could fit in a proofreading course while working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic. Do you read a book before falling asleep, for example? If so, why not swap that out for studying each night and see how it goes?
However you choose to make your time work, remember to be flexible should circumstances change. We’re all working in uncertain times right now, so stay focused and stay safe, ready to come out the other side as a qualified proofreader!
Wise words! It may feel like there are lots of obstacles in our way at the moment, but if we really want to achieve something, we can make it happen. You can find small pockets of time throughout the day and put them to better use; even if it’s only 20–30 minutes! You’ve got this!
Want to emerge from this difficult time ready to earn extra money from home as a proofreader? Check out our FREE proofreading webinar to see if proofreading is a good fit for you!
Ofer Tirosh is the CEO of Tomedes, a translation agency founded in 2007. Ofer has headed up Tomedes for over a decade, building up a network of translators, proofreaders, and other linguists from every continent.