Bad Habits, Part II

Junia, the American-born cat. She now resides in Vienna.
As promised, we are back with Dagy's bad habits. Many of you have identified with Judy's bad work habits, and it was lovely to hear from so many of you. Read on for Dagy's challenges.

Getting side-tracked by low-hanging fruit.  Instead of wrecking my brain about the translation of a particularly tricky sentence, I will sometimes drift off to take care of low-hanging fruit, like answering a quick e-mail or reading my Twitter stream. It's easier and also more fun.

Having too many browser tabs open. This bad habit of having countless tabs open on my browser used to slow down my previous laptop. My brand-new computer can handle it just fine, at least for now. Our techie is a strong advocate of having just a few browser tabs open. I have certainly tried, but I have not had much success. I'll keep on trying.

Excessive multitasking. I am known for having my internet radio on a French station, trying to listen to the German livestream of an interpretation of an EU session on my computer while trying to get actual work done. The obvious result: I don’t remember a thing about what I heard on the radio or the livestream and the translation takes forever. Not a very good strategy, is it?

Reading my favorite newspaper  (the German weekly “ZEIT”) on Thursday afternoons. Add my Thursday morning Yoga class and that doesn’t leave a lot of time for paid work. J

Letting the cat, Junia, hang out on the desk, which means that I am constantly picking cat hair out of my keyboard. I try to accomplish this by using my beloved Chilean letter opener with the cute penguin on the handle. I am a bit obsessed with having a squeaky clean keyboard, but I have no illusions about actually reaching that goal.

Dear colleagues: what about you? Care to share your bad habits? We'd love to hear about them. 


Tom Ellett on March 7, 2013 at 2:28 PM said...

I can relate to the cat-on-desk problem. One of our three cats, Sophie, likes to make a nest among the piles of papers on my chronically untidy desk. She also loves to jump up and watch the printer in action.

Judy Jenner and Dagmar Jenner on March 7, 2013 at 6:01 PM said...

@Tom: Thanks for sharing that story! OF COURSE, the printer provides endless entertainment for cats on both sides of the Atlantic. Junia goes crazy over it, too.

Silvia DAmico on March 8, 2013 at 6:21 AM said...

I usually have at least 7-8 browser tabs open when I translate. Is it not a good thing? I never thought of it as a bad habit. :)

Thomas Gruber on March 8, 2013 at 10:03 AM said...

@Silvia: The memory consumption regardless of browsertype is horrible if one has constantly 20 Tabs or more open in the background. 7-8 Tabs is fine.

L. Carney said...

Really enjoyed reading your article, I tend to procrastinate on everything, so I have to kick my own backside to get things done, not to get distracted and be productive!

Erin on March 8, 2013 at 11:15 AM said...

The best way to clean a keyboard is using a vacuum with the upholstery attachment brush. It sucks up everything- cat hair, dust, and so much more. I try to do it when my computer is off, though, to avoid accidentally send an email to a client with ")#&*$@(*#$&".


Judy Jenner and Dagmar Jenner on March 8, 2013 at 12:16 PM said...

@Silvia @Tom: Thanks for the comment, Silvia, and thanks for clarifying, Tom! We are both very, very guilty of having tons of browsers open. OK, we might be able to do 7 or 8.

@Erin: What a great vacuum tip! We totally love it -- great stuff. We must try it for sure! Thanks for sharing.

Pajama Tutors on March 9, 2013 at 12:25 AM said...

The rugs, oh gosh the rugs. No matter how much she is told, my cat loves sharpening up her claws on rugs. We have tons of tufts of rug scattered around. She is a wonderful cat and truly loved, but she looks at rugs as the ultimate toys!

EP on March 11, 2013 at 12:57 PM said...

I don't have that excessive multitasking problem - I have trouble doing two things at once! It doesn't have to be perfectly quiet, but I prefer quiet "white noise" in the background. I just couldn't listen to a talk show on the radio, say, and translate at the same time.

I like Die Zeit, too. Although I usually prune it down to three or four articles that really interest me. It's just too much otherwise.

Judy Jenner and Dagmar Jenner on March 12, 2013 at 9:04 AM said...

@L. Carney: Glad you liked our post, thanks so much for letting us know!

@Pajama: Ah yes, cats and rugs: a dangerous combination indeed!

@Ep: Interesting perspective! Do you use a noise machine that plays, say, ocean sounds when you work? Judy worked in an e-commerce business for many years (open spaces, cubicles, tons of noise), so she can focus anywhere. It is indeed a great problem to have that you are NOT so good at multitasking -- gets things done!

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The entrepreneurial linguists and translating twins blog about the business of translation from Las Vegas and Vienna.

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