#ADayInTheLifeof… Marta Stelmaszak

September was hectic and I know I’m lagging behind. But good things come to those who wait.

No intros for Marta Stelmaszak, my beloved friend, colleague and sidekick in The Freelance Box gigs.

Glasses are overrated (photo by @xosecastro)

Glasses are overrated (photo by @xosecastro)

5.00 – Wake up

Rain or shine, 5 am is my usual wake-up time. I do need coffee to get me properly started, so I spend the first 30 minutes of my day sipping from my favourite Sherlock’s coffee cup. At the same time, I’m browsing my Feedly and reading interesting articles that later get shared on Twitter or Facebook. I also check my Trello and Google Calendar to see what’s on my to do list for the day. Then I take another 30 minutes for breakfast and getting ready to work.

Coffee in the morning, with @rainylondon

Coffee in the morning, with @rainylondon

6.00 – Office hours begin

Being most productive in the morning, I spend the first 4 hours in the day fully concentrated on translation work. I don’t check my email, I don’t look at my phone or I don’t log on social media platforms. Maximum focus.

10.00 – Emails and communication

I found that 10 am is the best time for me to tackle emails and small tasks such as following up with prospects or giving a customer a call to clarify some details. This is when you’re most likely to find me online. I also try to schedule all calls and Skype meetings during this time.

12.00 – Training

Three days a week I go to the gym for a training session, including 45 minutes of spinning and some weight lifting. I was never paying much attention to exercising before, but I realised I had to act when my back pain was becoming more and more painful. On the other two days, I spend this time either volunteering as an interpreter at a local migrant support centre (that’s Mondays) or run errands (go to the post office, bank, college). These days when there’s more work to cope with, I’d sacrifice these two hours, but I’m not very keen on doing it.

Public speaking is now every day life for Marta.

Public speaking is now every day life for Marta.

2.00 – Lunch

Whenever I can, I try to have a proper lunch break without checking emails and thinking about work. During warmer months, I tend to lunch outside, preferably in a nearby park. If I’m not meeting anybody for lunch, I’m most likely reading a paper issue of The Economist. Training and lunchtime are the three hours in the day when I try to go low-tech, so no smartphones, no tablets, no laptops.

Marta is vegan.

Marta is vegan.

3.00 – Back to work

I take another 3 to 4 hours to translate (or interpret) in the afternoon. Again, this is a productive time for me because I don’t usually get calls or emails after the morning rush.

6.00 – Teaching or learning

Once a week I teach interpreting at a local college in London, and another evening is taken up by my translation students on Skype for online tutorials and comments on their translations. If I’m not busy teaching, I invest this time in writing my blog or other activities related to the Business School for Translators. At least one evening a week I work on my CPD. It can take many forms, from catching up with webinars I registered for but couldn’t make on time, through reading books and articles, to preparing my own presentations for upcoming events.

TFB combo

TFB combo

9.00 – Wind down

9 pm is the latest when I have dinner and relax after a day full of work. I usually spend this time catching up with friends or reading up on the philosophy of technology, one of my favourite topics. I don’t go to bed later than 11 pm, as I need my 6 hours of sleep.

The stupid things we do.

The stupid things we do.

Stavanger (Norway) is in Marta's dreams

Stavanger (Norway) is in Marta’s dreams

Thanks, Marta!

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