Stress Management Tips for Translation Project Managers

May 4, 2016 Marina Cavallera

The responsibilities of a localization project manager are numerous and ever-changing. PMs manage relationships between the translation company, its clients, and the linguists, all in locations around the world, so add time zones, languages and cultural differences to the mix. They are tasked with satisfying complicated multilingual project requirements and meeting everyone's expectations.

To illustrate this, think of a policeman regulating a busy traffic intersection. He controls the flow and speed of traffic by directing cars. Now imagine drivers of some of these cars do not want to wait their turn and start yelling and honking their horns, other cars are going too slow or too fast, a few are going the wrong direction and some aren't paying attention and hold up traffic. Stressful and chaotic, right? This simple example shows how managing multiple people, with various project objectives can quickly become stressful.

PMs should have a few techniques to manage stress in order to effectively execute multilingual translation projects. Below are some techniques to help keep the emotional balance in check.

Daily Tips

GPI-PM STRESS MGMT-HOME

  • Have something cheerful on your desk. A picture of your family, friends, pet or even a vase of flowers will serve as a distraction and brighten your mood in a stressful moment.
  • Have daily rituals. Develop morning rituals like drinking a cup of herbal tea or coffee while writing out your goals for the day, or having morning stand up meetings with your team members. Starting your day the same way, on your terms, will help you feel more in control throughout the day.
  • Take short breaks every few hours to do exercises for your eyes and mind. This will help refresh your mind and serve as a brief distraction from challenges in your day. Mental breaks are key for problem solving.
  • Get physical exercise on your longer breaks. During your lunch break, take time to get outside for some physical activity like walking, running or biking. The exercise and fresh air will energize you, stretch your muscles and clear your mind.
  • End your day by making a list of tasks for the next day so you are ready to go when you come into your office at the start of your day.

PM Lifestyle Tips

 

  • Stick to regular business hours and try to save long hours of unplanned work for emergency cases only. There are times when a PM has to work day and night, but if she makes it a habit, it could lead to burnout. Creating a to-do list will help you prioritize your tasks.
  • Don't multitask. No matter how productive you think you are being, multitasking is not effective and you will spend more time doing tasks simultaneously than you would doing each task individually.
  • Balance your personal life and work life. Your work is very important, but so are your friends and family, schedule your life accordingly. Making time for yourself is essential.
  • Be aware of all of your colleague's time zones and locations. Know who is available when issues arise.
  • Keep organized. Have detailed notes, contact information, folders, processes and documents.
  • Have clear, open and respectful communication with your team members, linguistic resources and clients. Do not let your emotions get the best of you in moments of frustration.
  • Recognize which environment makes you happy and productive. Do you work best with background music or silence? Lots of natural light or dim lighting? Do you work best early in the day or later in the evening? If you are able to work remotely, choose a location that best suits you. If you must work in an office, turn your desk into an environment that allows you to be productive and happy.
  • Take vacations from work. Do not check or answer email. Have your mobile phone on and with you, but for emergency cases only. Have quality time with the people dear to you. Then, when getting back to work, you will have the energy and spirit to deal even with the most difficult projects.

 

Stress is a normal part of life, and a component of any job. However, there are ways you can mitigate that stress to make your career and life happy, healthy and successful.

Additional Resources for Localization Project Management

You may gain further insight into project management best practices, global e-business, global SEO, translation, localization and related topics by reviewing some previous blogs written by GPI:

Please feel free to contact GPI at info@globalizationpartners.com with any questions about our translation services.  Also let us know if you have any interesting blog topics you would like us to cover in future blogs. You may also request a complimentary Translation Quote for your projects as well.

The responsibilities of a translation project manager (PM) are numerous and ever-changing. PMs manage relationships between the translation company, its clients, and the linguists, all in locations around the world, so add time zones, languages and cultural differences to the mix. They are tasked with satisfying complicated multilingual project requirements and meeting everyone's expectations.

To illustrate this, think of a policeman regulating a busy traffic intersection. He controls the flow and speed of traffic by directing cars. Now imagine drivers of some of these cars do not want to wait their turn and start yelling and honking their horns, other cars are going too slow or too fast, a few are going the wrong direction and some aren't paying attention and hold up traffic. Stressful and chaotic, right? This simple example shows how managing multiple people, with various project objectives can quickly become stressful.

PMs should have a few techniques to manage stress in order to effectively execute multilingual translation projects. Below are some techniques to help keep the emotional balance in check.

Daily Tips

· Have something cheerful on your desk. A picture of your family, friends, pet or even a vase of flowers will serve as a distraction and brighten your mood in a stressful moment.

· Have daily rituals. Each morning your inbox is probably overflowing, but beginning your day by checking your emails can be a negative way to start your day. You might get sucked into putting out other people's fires and your tasks will be pushed aside. Develop morning rituals like drinking a cup of herbal tea or coffee while writing out your goals for the day, or having morning stand up meetings with your team members. Starting your day the same way, on your terms, will help you feel more in control throughout the day.

· Take short breaks every few hours to do exercises for your eyes and mind. This will help refresh your mind and serve as a brief distraction from challenges in your day. Mental breaks are key for problem solving.

· Get physical exercise on your longer breaks. During your lunch break, take time to get outside for some physical activity like walking, running or biking. The exercise and fresh air will energize you, stretch your muscles and clear your mind.

· End your day by making a list of tasks for the next day so you are ready to go when you come into your office at the start of your day.

PM Lifestyle Tips

· Stick to regular business hours and try to save long hours of unplanned work for emergency cases only. There are times when a PM has to work day and night, but if she makes it a habit, it could lead to burnout. Creating a to-do list will help you prioritize your tasks.

· Don't multitask. No matter how productive you think you are being, multitasking is not effective and you will spend more time doing tasks simultaneously than you would doing each task individually.

· Balance your personal life and work life. Your work is very important, but so are your friends and family, schedule your life accordingly. Making time for yourself is essential.

· Be aware of all of your colleague's time zones and locations. Know who is available when issues arise.

· Keep organized. Have detailed notes, contact information, folders, processes and documents.

· Have clear, open and respectful communication with your team members, linguistic resources and clients. Do not let your emotions get the best of you in moments of frustration.

· Recognize which environment makes you happy and productive. Do you work best with background music or silence? Lots of natural light or dim lighting? Life in the buzz of a big city? Or the calmness of a smaller city or countryside? Do you work best early in the day or later into the evening? If you are able to work remotely, choose a location that best suits you. If you must work in an office, turn your desk into an environment that allows you to be productive and happy.

· Take vacations from work. Do not check or answer email. Have your mobile phone on and with you, but for emergency cases only. Have quality time with the people dear to you. Then, when getting back to work, you will have the energy and spirit to deal even with the most difficult projects, and make this co-operation successful.

Stress is a normal part of life, and a component of any job. However, there are ways you can mitigate that stress to make your career and life happy, healthy and successful.

 

 

 

 

About the Author

Marina Cavallera

Localization Project Manager. Marina is a native Spanish speaker from Rosario, Argentina with over 15 years’ experience as a certified English-Spanish translator and interpreter. She graduated with a dual degree in Technical-Scientific and Literary Translation and Simultaneous and Consecutive Interpreting from the Instituto de Educación Superior Olga Cossettini in Rosario. She has extensive experience with most well known CAT tools including the range of SDL tools such as SDL Trados Studio, MultiTerm, Wordfast, SDL Idiom WorldServer, Translation Workspace, XBench, etc. She has also served as a CAT Tool Instructor conducting an average of 50 courses and workshops for many associations, private institutes and conferences. Over the years she has provided Spanish language translation and interpreting for a multitude of translation agencies, Global Fortune 500 companies, Governments and NGO’s. When not working she enjoys traveling, cooking, reading and movies with her family.

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