This time I want to talk about the differences in working as a freelance translator with a translation agency versus working with a direct client.
In my experience, you can have a good working experience with both, but there are some important differences.
Let’s do pros and cons lists for both!
Pros of working with a translation agency:
Usually, they are big companies with experience in the field.
They tend to be more trustworthy when it comes to payments (there are exceptions) and offer several payment methods.
Their client portfolio can include important corporations that prefer to work with agencies than directly with a translator.
Some agencies are a big deal in the industry, and if you manage to work with at least one of them, it can be a great addition to your resumé.
Cons of working with agencies:
They tend to pay really low rates because the biggest part of the clients’ payments is for them.
They take longer to pay. Normally, agencies can take from 30 to 60 days to pay, which is quite a lot of time, especially if this is your only income.
Sometimes you might get to work with a difficult PM or with different PMs for each project, which can create doubt and confusion.
Pros of working with direct clients:
Their rates are better because there is no middle-man involved.
They can pay faster, some pay within days of receiving the translation, it depends on their internal payment procedures.
You get to work directly with the person who needs the translation, so the communication is much more direct and flows with ease.
They tend to offer long-term projects, that in the end are way more convenient than a bunch of little projects here and there.
Cons of working with direct clients:
They might not respect your “working hours”. If they need to tell you something they consider urgent, they probably write or call you at any time of the day, even during the weekends.
Sometimes, if they are not familiar with how translation works, they might ask for really ridiculous deadlines. Who hasn’t had a client asking for an “urgent” translation for “today” at 5 pm on a Friday? 😉
You have to do some research to see if they are reliable, especially when it comes to payments. You can ask colleagues who have worked with them or even asked them for references (if they ask you for references, you can do the same!).
If your primary contact is not familiar with your work, you might find it hard to make them understand why the project would take as long as it would and why the cost is what it is.
There are many more pros and cons, I am just presenting a short version of it, but if you can you think of any other important pros and cons, let me know in the comments!
In the meantime, have a great day and I cannot wait to hear all about you! Remember to subscribe to my blog!
Today I want to talk about how I manage my personal and work time each day.
When you work from home is not always easy to separate your personal and work time.
After working for almost three years as a freelance translator, I’d say that I’ve learned a few things about keeping my time separate.
The main thing is to mention is boundaries.
Yes, you need to set boundaries between your personal and work time if you want to succeed at have them separate.
If you live alone, this won’t be too difficult, but if you live with family or friends, this might get a bit tricky to implement.
The important thing is to designate your work area inside your home. You need to choose a working space that is a bit isolated, or that has a door.
It has to be big enough to have your desk, computer, printer, and everything else you need to carry out your work.
The important thing is to make sure that everyone else in your house knows that your working space is off-limits during working hours. I know this might sound harsh, but they do need to respect your space.
Also, make sure to leave your phone away from your office space. Unless you know a client will call or text you, your phone will only serve as a distraction mainly from friends and family.
You can check any pending messages or return any missed calls during your lunch break or any other breaks you might have during your workday. You can also do this at the end of your day and dedicate more time to the task.
Many people you know might not take seriously the fact that you work from home. That’s why you need to show them that working from home as a freelancer is a real job, just like any other, and that you have working hours and cannot tend to personal issues during that time.
If you live with family or friends, you can still spend time with them during your lunch breaks and after business hours. It is not about having time for them; it is about having separate times for work and personal matters. This way, you’ll be able to accomplish all you need in a better way.
Once your work hours are over, make sure to turn off your computer and any other devices you use for work. Also, make sure that any work-related notifications are turned off on your phone. For example, if you work for an agency or a company and use a corporate chat app, make sure to set your availability to “away” and snooze the notifications so people know that you are done for the day and won’t send you anything until the next day.
If there is something urgent, they can still ping you or send you an email. It is not about ignoring your work-related matters, but you also need to set boundaries with your clients. Otherwise, they will think that they can contact you at any time, including after business hours and weekends.
We all need to rest! Sleep is so crucial to get the necessary rest before you start a new day. If you don’t get enough sleep, your performance won’t be the same, and you’ll feel tired and even grumpy. You can even get sick from not having enough sleep, so make sure to take care of yourself.
We also need to eat and workout. This will give us the energy we need to perform our work and will make us feel healthy and confident.
Make sure to have all your meals, preferably at the same time every day, and a few healthy snacks during the day. Also, make sure to get up several times a day to stretch out and change your position before continuing to work. This will help us to feel a lot better, and when we feel good, we perform better.
Now an issue we all struggle with: to work or not work during the weekend.
When you are starting as a freelance translator is hard to say no to working after business hours and during weekends. After all, we do not want to lose any work; on the contrary, we need as much work as possible.
But as your workload starts to stabilize, you don’t need to burn yourself up anymore. You can and should set boundaries with your clients about your working hours and whether you are available or not during the weekends.
I am lucky not to need to work during the weekends, at least for the time being. Unless it is a highly urgent and important project from an excellent client, I won’t sacrifice my weekend by working.
My weekends are reserved for my family, loved ones and friends, and myself! We all need a little self-love and pampering! It is an excellent way to unwind after working hard all week. It can go from getting a face mask to reading a book to having a walk under the sun. Anything that makes you feel like you also matter!
It’s not impossible to manage your personal and work life separately, and if you’d like to read more about what it is like to work as a freelancer, read my post Working from Home
Let me know if you have any tips for managing your personal and work time in the comments, and don’t forget to subscribe!
Have you ever used AI-assisted designing tools? Well, today I want to talk to you about a designing tool I discovered recently, called Designs.AI.
As the name suggests, this desktop tool uses Artificial Intelligence to create different designs by just choosing your favorite colors, fonts, graphics, etc.
The services they offer are these:
With Logomaker, you can generate hundreds of logo variations tailored to your brand, and create an entire branding kit with the help of AI.
It is as easy as writing the name of your brand and select the font and color scheme you like. You also get to choose the design of the logo and whether you want to add a motto or catchphrase to it.
Logomaker will automatically generate hundreds of options for you to scroll through and choose the ones you like the most and make any changes to them until you find the logo that is right for your brand.
Experience AI-powered text-to-video tool. Generate stunning videos easily with the intelligent online Videomaker. No installation is required.
Simply input your text or URL for a video. You’ll have millions of videos and images to choose from.
Get videos made with voiceovers in ten different languages and make changes to your video using their user-friendly editor.
Font Pairer: Choose the best font combination for your designs.
Graphic Maker: Customize illustrations to match your brand identity.
Color Matcher: Easily generate thousands of beautiful color palettes.
Calendar: Includes a complete calendar of all social media holidays, so you don’t miss a thing!
You can try all of these for free but you have to pay for the Logomaker and Videomaker. They offer different subscriptions, including one which you can pay as you go. That means that you only pay for the design you are working on right now, without having to make any monthly payments.
They also offer blog posts with tips and more information about their tools, including some promotions and freebies!
Click on any of the banners in this post to find out more about Designs.AI and whether it can help you with your branding. I’d love to know if you use it and what do you think of it, so don’t be shy and leave me a comment.
Until next time, stay safe and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!
This time around, I want to talk about LinkedIn. I’ve been using LinkedIn for a while now, even before I became a freelance translator. I must say I never paid much attention to it until now.
There is excellent potential to find new prospective clients on LinkedIn, but it’s not easy. Even though I post almost every day, so far, that has not translated (no pun intended!) into new clients.
I have connected with a great community of translators and interpreters, but this is not my only goal. I also want to reach new potential direct clients, and that’s where I need help.
So, two weeks ago, I started a 4-week course with Virginia Katsimpiri that teaches you how to improve your LinkedIn profile in order to have a strategy to find new clients.
Before even getting into editing our profile, we needed to identify the following information:
Set our SMART goals
Define our target market
Create our USP definition
Create our ideal client avatar
These exercises have helped me a lot to understand my main goals and how to attain them. You can’t start working on marketing your brand if you have not defined your target market, your USP, and your ideal client avatar. Who do you want to work with? And why?
As for the profile itself, there are many helpful suggestions:
Use a professional photo (you can even get your photo analyzed to see how popular it is)
You can format your LinkedIn text
Your banner should include your logo.
There is a new feature called “highlights”; here you can add your website link so that any visitor to your profile can click on it and go directly to your website.
In your tagline, you should offer your services and use all the available characters.
The summary should be benefits-oriented. It would be best if you didn’t write your CV here; it should be about what you do and why you are good at it.
As for the work experience, make sure to include everything. Not just your experience as a freelance translator but also any previous experience working at something else. We learn from all our work experiences, so if you used to work in the administration field, you are going to be familiar with the terms related to the business industry, and that’s a plus.
It is essential to ask for recommendations! You can choose to show them in your profile, and that’s important because any client that might be interested in working with you will probably check this section very carefully.
LinkedIn has a really cool new feature! You can now record how your name is pronounced! I think this is a great feature because let’s face it, most of the time we don’t know how some names are pronounced. My name if one of them, so I like that now people who visit my profile can finally understand how to pronounce it!
I think that LinkedIn can be an excellent resource for making your business grow; it is all about having a strategy and reaching the right clients for you.
There are still two weeks left of this great course, so I am yet to learn many more things about LinkedIn. Next week will be all about writing messages to your potential clients. What I also like about this course is that we get a Q&A live session every week, so you can ask Virginia all your doubts from the tasks you had to complete during the week. And you get to hear other participants’ questions, which can provide great insight.
Do you use LinkedIn? Have you found new clients by using it? Did you have a strategy, or did it just happen? I’d love to hear about your experiences with the platform.
And I would also love to know what you think about my profile! And if you have a LinkedIn account, go ahead and connect with me! Let’s help our community grow! Just make sure to mention on your invitation that you read my blog post so I can go ahead and accept it.
Today I want to talk about financial success for translators. I’ve just completed a Summit about it, organized by translator Moira Monney, and I found all the sessions remarkably interesting. I learned so much from colleagues in the industry and also from financial experts.
The speakers’ goal was to help you find more clients, increase your income, and master your money.
The Summit lasted a whole week and had speakers like Nicole König, Virginia Katsimpiri, Tess Whitty, Yayi Samaké, Martina Russo, Dr. Jonathan Downie, and Moira Monney herself!
As freelance translators, we don’t often think about what financial success means to us and how exactly to get there.
I’d like to share some of the tips that I learned during the Summit, which I think can help us all!
Your beliefs around money also reflect your beliefs about yourself, who you are, and what you deserve for your work. This is so true! We tend not to be aware of the worth of our work.
In most cases, more money will not solve the problem. Your current need for more money, your cash flow problem, is a symptom. You need to dig deeper to find the root cause.
You need to work with your end goal in mind. Start with your annual target income, then break that down to monthly and even weekly income, so you can immediately see whether you’re on the right track, or if you need to ramp up your marketing efforts. You might even discover that you can take some additional vacation time! We all need vacation time, so let’s start working on our financial goal!
You need to make sure that what you spend your money on actually pays off. If it doesn’t, you need to stop those expenses and invest in things that will help you get more work.
Budgets are your friends. If you set your budget based on past expenses, it doesn’t have to feel restrictive, and you’ll actually create a realistic and reasonable spending plan for what you’ll need.
It’s recommended to have separate bank accounts for different purposes, e.g., profit, regular expenses, savings. This is a particularly good and helpful tip!
Make sure that you have the relevant insurance in place (e.g., health insurance, disability insurance) in case something happens to you and your ability to work. I know that, especially in the beginning, it can be challenging to have insurance if your income is not enough for that. But as soon as you start making more money, make sure to get one, you’ll be grateful for that!
They talked about how it’s a good idea to record your newly identified, empowered money beliefs and listen to that recording every morning. Then choose one action that you’ll take that day to show yourself that those beliefs are true.
If bookkeeping is not for you, make sure to use an accountant to save time and money. This depends on whether you are an entrepreneur or a company, and also on the financial and tax laws in your country. Also, an accountant can be expensive, so make sure you can afford it.
Pay yourself a “salary.” Transfer the same amount of money from your business account to your personal account every month. I’ve been doing that, and it really works!
Identify your needs vs. your wants to decide what expenses to limit. Be grateful for what you already have. The pandemic and the lockdown can make us believe that we need more things than we already have, but most of the time, this is just a trick. Be careful not to spend on things you don’t need!
Remember, there is no such thing as financial security. Your house could burn down, the company you invested in could go bust, your bank could collapse. But you can plan. Be financially independent, have a plan for your money, and diversify your revenue. Invest in yourself. Education pays huge dividends. No one can take away your knowledge!
Gamify! If you have a certain amount of money allocated to groceries, for example, and you don’t spend it all, put the remainder in a jar or an account earmarked for your next vacation or some other goal or dream you have.
Keep track of your finances. Know exactly how much you have and how much you can spend. When you buy something with your credit card, immediately consider it gone from your bank account (write it down/enter it in an app!). That way, you won’t go into debt. That being said, also try to use your credit card just for emergency expenses.
Set up and automatic monthly transfer to your savings account. Don’t touch the savings account. I am also doing this; we truly never know what can happen next, and having savings can help you get through a rough time.
Which of these tips can you apply straight away?
Let me know what you think about these tips and what it means for you to have or reach financial success in your career! I cannot wait to read your comments and remember to subscribe to my blog to get the latest posts directly in your inbox!
Today I want to talk about podcasts. I don’t know about you, but I only got into podcasts recently. I wasn’t sure I’d like them. I must admit I was a bit skeptical. But I started listening to a couple of them, and now I’m hooked to quite a few!
As a translator, I mainly listen to podcasts related to my field. Here are some of my favorite, so far:
Smart Habits for Translators
Veronika Demichelis and Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo present this fantastic podcast. As the title suggests, in each episode, they give smart habits and tips for translators. From sleep habits to financial habits to dealing with burnout, they always offer fresh insights on each episode. Also, at the end of each episode, they talk about what they are reading or what new app or tool they are trying out.
They are professional freelance translators, trying to balance the challenges that come with building a career and maintaining clarity and boundaries between work and personal life. I think we can all relate to that!
Marketing Tips for Translators
Tess Whitty is the force behind this podcast. Tess has an extensive background in marketing and has been working in the translation field for many years. The combination of both experiences is what she discusses in each episode. They are all focused on helping your business and social presence grow. She also interviews other professionals of different translation fields and experiences to give their views on various matters.
Over the last five years, she’s hosted some incredible names in the translation business and bring theirs and her knowledge to translators. And they’ve all had two things in common: They believe passionately that freelance translators can market themselves to success, and they want to help you do that.
Rafa Lombardino, an English and Portuguese translator (among other languages), shares her views, insights, tips, and personal experiences as a translator on this amazing podcast. She has also showcased interviews with interpreters and language teachers about how they are coping with the COVID-19 emergency. The episodes are short, which I like because you can listen to them while working out or right after work or at any break you have.
She explores that side of our translation careers we don’t talk about too often or very openly: the struggles, the time invested into continually learning and improving ourselves, the ups and downs, that feeling that we could be found out at any moment, and also the little joys that make up for everything.
Speaking of Translation
Eve Lindemuth Bodeux and Corinne McKay offer excellent advice and tips for translators. From tools to apps to services, it is focused on helping translators make their work easier and faster. Their experience shows on this podcast, and there is always something new to learn.
Eve brings her natural energy, creativity, and professionalism to everything she does. She is a popular speaker at translation industry conferences and a member of the Board of Directors of the American Translators Association. Corinne is an ATA-certified French to English translator and Colorado-certified French court interpreter with over 15 years’ experience in the language professions, and she’s also a famous author.
Founded in Transcreation
This podcast by marketer and copywriter Delfina Morganti Hernández from Argentina is quite new. She talks about transcreation and gives real-life examples of how transcreation is used in marketing, which offers a very vivid idea of the concept and how it works.
This is the first-ever podcast on transcreation as a service, where you’ll delve into how brands cross borders with their creative communications.
Freelancers & Entrepreneurs
This podcast by Paul Urwin aims to help freelancers and entrepreneurs to grow their businesses by giving helpful tips on each episode. From how to create a video for your brand to how important it is to have a morning routine to how to find clients on LinkedIn, this podcast is full of great insights by one of the experts in the field.
The Freelancers and Entrepreneurs podcast is where freelancing meets entrepreneurship and business. They discuss clients, sales marketing, outsourcing, mindset, and much more.
Spanish We Do
This is another recent podcast by José Erre, which talks about the Spanish language, in English. The first three episodes are an interview with journalist Alicia Civita about the use of Spanish in the US. From everyday use to showbusiness and the famous Spanglish. If you love the Spanish language but don’t feel comfortable listening to a podcast entirely in Spanish, this is the podcast for you!
This one is about all things Spanish: culture, business, marketing, and life!
The Spanish language and it’s over 500 million native speakers in one podcast.
You can find these podcasts in all the major platforms like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and YouTube.
We can learn so much from podcasts, mainly because they are made by our own peers’ experience. I have learned so many tips and new information about being a translator since I started listening to them because it feels like their voices represent mine.
What about you? Do you listen to any podcasts? Do you listen to these? Let me know in the comments, and also let me know if you have other podcasts to recommend!
Today I want to share some of the apps and tools I use to design, edit, and schedule my social media posts.
I post daily on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn, I use the same post for the three platforms. I also publish daily at least one Story on Instagram and Facebook, and at least two blog posts each month.
But this is not an easy task; it is like having another job on top of my translation work! This is why I use some apps and tools that help me make it a lot easier to deal with, and I hope it helps you the same way in case you are not using them or other similar ones already.
So, let’s get started!
First, I want to talk about design/edit apps:
This is, by far, my favorite designing/editing app. I only started using it when I opened my IG business account, and it is the best thing I ever discovered!
I have a free account, not a premium one, but still, Canva offers tons of great designs and elements that you can use to make them your own.
It is definitely user friendly, and you can start designing right away. I highly recommend it.
This is another great app for designing posts. It doesn’t offer as many options as Canva with a free account, but you can make the most of it.
It is straightforward to use, and one thing that Adobe Spark offers for free that Canva doesn’t is that you can resize the design you chose! This is a big deal because you might find a design that you love, but it’s not originally in the size you wanted. When that happens, you just go to the “resize” option and pick from the menu the size you want, and voilà! It is ready!
I haven’t used Over that much, but even as a free user, you can find a high number of fantastic designs both for regular posts and Stories. I might start using it more, so keep an eye on my Stories for some changes.
I use InShot mainly for creating videos out of images. This is the one I use to create my top nine posts videos every month! It is effortless to use, and you can add different effects, stickers, and music.
This is the one I use for making my IGTV videos based on my blog posts! Lumen5 uses AI to create videos from a link to your blog post or a script. The result is excellent but you still can edit it after the AI finishes creating it. You can change the media, the captions, music, and pretty much every element until you are satisfied with your video, and it’s for free! There’s a premium account, but I haven’t needed to use it.
This one is mainly for IG Stories. It adds movement and music to your stories. The free version offers many templates that you can work with to add a little extra something to your Stories.
This one, I also use it mainly for IG Stories, but you can use it for other posts since it offers different sizes for their templates. Their designs are immaculate and easy to edit and adapt to your needs.
Now, let’s talk about scheduling apps!
This one by far is my favorite scheduling app! The free version lets you post to three different social media accounts, and you get 30 free posts per month! It has a very user-friendly interface, and what I like the most is that you can schedule the post for the three different accounts at the same time! You don’t need to schedule the content for each social media account separately unless you are using different materials.
Later is the first one I tried. It is nice, but the free version doesn’t offer as much as Hootsuite does. The main issue for me is that you can’t schedule the same post on the three accounts at the same time! You have to schedule them one by one, which takes more time.
This one is only for IG, and I’ve used it for scheduling big square posts because it lets you see the post beforehand and check if the order of the images is correct. You can use it to schedule Stories posts, but only if you join the premium plan.
Creator Studio (from Facebook)
This one is only for IG and FB, and it is free. The only issue I’ve encountered with it is that sometimes it doesn’t publish your scheduled posts either on IG or FB, so you need to go into the account and post it manually, which is what you were looking to avoid in the first place. It is suitable for being free, but if you decide to use it, beware that it might not work correctly sometimes, so be prepared for it.
Finally, let’s talk about Project Management tools (yes, Project Management for social media!).
Asana is a fantastic Project Management tool. I was introduced to Asana through #FluentU since this is the PM tool they use for work, and it never occurred to me that I could use it for managing my social media posts until Elise Darma made a video about it! Then it hit me…this is a great idea!
You can create projects and tasks within those projects and give them different layouts. For my “Social Media Posts Project,” I use the “board” layout because it allows you to see all of your posts in one place! This is helpful for when you are planning your content, and you can go back and check if you already used a particular image, quote, or post. For each post, I create a task, and there I include the image or video to be used, as well as the caption and hashtags. Then when I schedule my posts on Hootsuite, I only have to copy/paste the caption and look for the image in my PC, and it’s ready to go!
You can also create templates. I have one for my blog posts, in which I have included all the steps necessary to publish my new blog, so when I am working on a new blog, I only duplicate the template into my “Blog Posts Project,” change the title and add due dates for each step or subtask. Asana sends you reminders for the tasks you have to accomplish each day until you finish the primary task (in this case, the new blog post), and then you mark the task as complete, and that’s it!
Do you use any of these apps and tools, and what has been your experience with them? Do you use other apps and tools not mentioned here? Let me know in the comments; I’d love to hear about your experiences and maybe about new apps and tools that I haven’t tried yet! Also, don’t hesitate to contact me through the contact form below, in case you want to know more about these apps and tools and how to use them.
I don’t know about you, but I love to learn new things and improve my languages, translation, and marketing knowledge.
There are great and free resources online that we can use to learn more. Here are some examples of the ones I use.
Podcasts are such a great free resource for getting tips for your business. As a translator, I find them helpful. They have provided me with such incredible insight, and it’s always great to hear about the experiences of other translators.
My favorite podcasts are:
Smart Habits for Translators
Marketing Tips for Translators
Freelancers & Entrepreneurs by Paul Urwin
You can find them all on different podcast platforms like Spotify and Apple Podcasts.
There are thousands of free webinars out there that you can watch either live or recorded, with incredible content. You just have to search for the subjects you’d like to learn more.
When it comes to marketing, specifically for Instagram, I love Elise Darma’s videos. They are short but packed with useful information. I could say that almost everything I know about IG marketing, I learned it from Elise! You can find her videos on IGTV and YouTube.
Of course, I also look for webinars about translation. There are great ones on ProZ TV, both recorded ones and live ones. ProZ is always putting together live webinars for translators that talk about current issues and how to improve yourself.
I recently started participating in webinars organized by Tess Whitty and Virginia Katsimpiri. Virginia has a Facebook page group; she mentors translators to get better at what we do. Tess focuses more on marketing for translators; she has a vast experience in that field and knows how to apply it for translators.
Other sources of free webinars are Later and Hootsuite.
Not the same as webinars, they refer to longer courses (with several lessons) that you can take on different subjects.
I just finished a Digital Marketing course at Shaw Academy. I took and advantage of the free month you get when you subscribe, precisely the time I needed for the eight lessons (two per week) of the course.
I think the primary free resource for tutorials is YouTube. With millions of videos at your disposal, you are sure to find a tutorial that interests you.
From how to use Google Ads to how to set up your Wi-Fi router, there is no excuse for not learning something new with all the content available. The only problem might be where to start? Just make sure that you search for content that interests you.
Can you think of more free learning resources for translators and freelancers in general? If so, leave the information in the comments, and I will share them on the following blog post.
I hope you find this information useful, and don’t forget to like and subscribe to my blog!
Yes, I know, we all think our mom is the best, but my mom really is! I just realized that after over 40 blog posts, I’ve never dedicated one to my mom, so here I go.
My mom is the best. She always has my back and never judges me, even if I do something that she doesn’t agree with, she will support me and will never tell me, “I told you so” if things don’t go the way I thought they would.
She’s beautiful, smart, and funny as hell. I cannot tell you how many times we laugh so hard we start crying.
We’re together during the quarantine, and I could not have asked for a better person to spend it with. We genuinely help each other and manage to have fun while doing so.
I know not everyone has a good relationship with their mothers, I also know many have lost their mothers, so I truly feel lucky and blessed to have my mom with me and to have such a fantastic relationship with her.
I trust her the most, and I always seek her advice. She’s wise, and she always listens to me with her full attention, what else could I ask for?
Her love for my brothers and me is boundless, and she’d do anything for us. She knows no limits when it comes to making sure we are happy and fed, even though we are all grown up. She continues to sacrifice everything for us.
She still will stay awake at night if one of us is going through a rough patch, trying to figure out how to help us; she never gives up.
She’s the strongest person I know, and her strength truly inspires me like no one else’s. She’s gone through tough times, but she never gets angry or pessimistic; she’s always positive and looking into the future with the biggest smile.
So, during the month of the mothers, I want to thank my mom for everything she does for me and for always being there for me.
What’s your relationship with your mother like? Let me know in the comments, and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog.
Today I want to talk about how the pandemic is being handled in our countries and what we think about it.
In Guatemala, for almost two months now, we have been on complete lockdown, and for about a month and a half, we’ve also had a curfew. For a month, it was from 4:00 PM to 4:00 AM, and for the past two weeks, it’s been from 6:00 PM to 4:00 AM. Also, during the curfew, we cannot travel from one State to another.
We have about 600 cases of infection, and from those around 20 have died, and 60 have recuperated.
Our new president (started in January of this year, poor guy!) is a doctor, so I think this helps because he understands the risk and dangers better. Of course, this doesn’t mean he has all the answers; I don’t think anyone does.
I was chatting with my friends in Italy, and they agree that the problem there is that everyone thought they were just more cases of the flu, which had been affecting the country since October, so they were completely unprepared for the pandemic.
Although pandemics like this one have existed before, this is the first time I have experienced it, and I guess most of you hadn’t either. These are unprecedented times for almost everyone.
What about the economy? Ours has been harshly affected, with most businesses closed, especially small businesses. Many people have been laid off because of the situation (one of my brothers included), and the surviving ones are supermarkets, pharmacies, banks, and those that offer delivery services like most restaurants.
But also, people are trying their best to survive by selling masks, antibacterial soaps, groceries, and other first need items to have an income during the quarantine.
In many countries, authorities have said that the restriction measures will slowly start to disappear as of next week. Our president calls it a little “gift” if we behave well this week.
But, are we ever going to be able to go back to “normal”? Is there now a before and after coronavirus? What will our new “normal” be like?
During the Bubonic Plague, for instance, social distancing and isolation were practiced, but after a while, people went back to the same interactions they had before the pandemic. Is that going to happen to us? Are we going to be able to hug and kiss our loved ones again? Are we going to be able to shake hands again?
As someone from a Latin American country, being affectionate is part of my culture, it’s in our blood! So, the thought that we might not be able to show affection to our loved ones as we once did, it is heartbreaking.
What do you think will happen? Will things go back to the way they were before, or are we going to have to get used to a new “normal”?
So, nothing has changed much since my last post. Most of us are still in quarantine because of Covid-19, and this might continue for a while.
Which brings the question: What to do during the quarantine?
There’s plenty to do, depending on everyone’s circumstances, but here is a list of things that have helped me through this time.
I’m lucky enough to be a freelance translator and to have been working from home for over two years. This means I didn’t need any time to adapt to remote work, but I’m sure this not the case for everyone.
Regardless, it is vital to fall into your work-from-home routine. Make sure to work as if you were in the office (same schedule), don’t waste too much time and set daily tasks and goals.
Remember that you’re not a remote worker, you are just trying your best to work from home due to extraordinary circumstances.
Being at home all day could make you fall into bad habits, like eating unhealthy snacks. I know this one is hard to follow, but make sure to have plenty of healthy snacks like fruit, yogurt, and nuts. Also, drink lots of water.
Whether you had a workout routine or not before the quarantine, you should start one. Working from home is very sedentary, so we need to move! It doesn’t have to be something too complicated or elaborate, just standing up to stretch out and walking around the house can get your heart rate going.
This one is for those of you who like to read. I love to read, and lately, I’ve also been listening to audiobooks, which you can do while you work out or take a break. If you enjoy reading, I highly recommend Scribd, it has a wide selection of books and audiobooks, and it offers a 30-day trial period.
Catching up with podcasts, webinars, and tutorials
Do you need to catch up with lots of podcast episodes? Have you been putting off some beneficial webinars and tutorials? Then go ahead and start catching up with them, you’ll probably learn some interesting tips related to your industry while being entertained.
Video chatting with family and friends
Being apart doesn’t mean not communicating with our loved ones. We have plenty of apps to choose from to video chat with anyone in the world, so use them and make sure to stay in touch and show love.
If you are spending the quarantine with family, make sure to spend time with them, you could play games, watch movies, play in the garden or outside if allowed.
Also, remember this is not a productivity challenge; you don’t have to do right now everything you haven’t been able to do. You also need to rest, so take it easy.
This won’t last forever, so let’s try to make the best out of it! You should check out my previous blog post Work in the Time of Covid-19 to learn more about remote work during this pandemic.
Until next time, stay safe, and don’t forget to subscribe!