Greater than 4 minutes, my friend!
One of my favourite aspects of working as a freelance translator is that I can work wherever I want, as long as it is within the realm of a wifi connection. As some people would call it, I am a location independent solopreneur. Sounds slightly scary, don’t you think? Although I could work from anywhere, I mostly work from home. I made my home a place that gives me joy and I enjoy being in it.
Now, assuming that most of you also work from home, I want to step over to the next great aspect of working as a translator: We can work outside!
Do you have a balcony? Do you have a porch? Do you have a garden? Make use of it! Get out there for a few hours during your work day! In some cases, the internet connection may not be as strong out there, but not all of the daily tasks of a freelance translator need a perfect internet connection, am I right? With a limited internet access in your outdoor space you can still do your planning for next week or for the next month, you can prepare some emails, do some reading and many other things. Plus, there are Wi-Fi range extenders which you can install in your home to reinforce the strength of your wifi signal! We have one at home and it is amazing.
Here is the thing: 3 reasons why you should take work outside
1) It reduces stress
Do you sometimes have the feeling that you are going from bed to work to cooking to work to other house chores to bed? When you work from home, all those activities might happen INDOORS! Since we don’t have to go/walk/cycle to work, we might forget to do the occasional step outside. This is not a good thing. Have you heard of the phenomenon “nature deficit disorder”? Author and journalist Richard Louv coined this term a few years ago in his book Last Child in the Woods and it sounds pretty accurate. Spending a lot of time inside can cause stress, our body is not exposed to sunlight and does not spend time in our natural habitat – nature. Working outside can help! Take that laptop, notebook and cuppa to your most convenient outdoor space and you will benefit from reduced stress! A breeze of air brushing over your face, a lost sun ray that finds its way to you, the singing of birds … Who does not want that? And: By reducing your stress, your productivity also gets increased! Oh, sweet outdoors.
2) It strengthens your ability to focus
As I already mentioned in my post on morning yoga, and as you probably know yourselves, it is all about that sweet oxygen in your brain! The other day I forgot to go outside all day, I translated inside, cooked inside and tutored inside, and already by 4.30pm (surprise!) I found myself yawning constantly. I felt uncomfortable and tired, although I had slept well the night before. It was very uncommon for me. But hey! It makes sense. The lack of fresh air inside simply does not feed our brains with enough oxygen. The air might even get a little stuffy and we will feel the same. So, again, working outside will provide you with wonderful changes in air, temperature, breezes, and so on, which will keep your brain awake and focused! Plus, when you work outside it is much easier to casually look into the distance, the sky above your head, the house on the other side of the street. This will give your eyes a break from the constant short distance staring, which also is quite unnatural for our bodies.
3) It makes you happy
Last but not least, working outside makes you happy. You might get distracted a little, but by lovely things like a spontaneous bird visitor on the balcony, a children’s laughter somewhere in the street, a beetle crawling over the table. These little moments of distractions can make you happy by helping you take a step back from your work. See the big picture. Why are you doing this? For many of us freelance translators, it is the freedom of having a great work-life balance! Let’s introduce that right into our work routine! Also, even if you may be doing some extra hours, even if you did not make it to yoga that day or go for a third walk with your dog, you know that you still spend an extra hour or more outside!
Now, I realise that most of you dear translators live in a country where it is winter right now (not so much here in Down Under). But don’t let that be too much of an excuse! As long as it is not too cold for sitting outside wrapped up in a cozy blanket and a pot of tea, don’t rule this option out! Plus, you can move your desk in front of a window and open it wide to get at least some fresh air and outdoor feel!
This should hopefully not be too hard. If you tend to work with a number of machines, dictionaries and co., you might not want to carry all of that around, right? But you can choose a specific low maintenance task which you can carry out outside!
There are wifi extenders that can easily be installed in your home, which will capture the signal of your initial router and recreate it in the same strength in a far back corner of your house!