5 things to do on quiet days

Having one of those days where you don’t really know what to do with yourself? It’s something every freelancer experiences…. Here are five suggestions to help you make the most of that empty time!

1. Update your CV and social networking profiles

Marta at WantWords has some great advice on translator CVs, and taking a few minutes to check yours is up to date (I’m sure there’s something you can add – a new specialisation, some project case studies, your recently changed phone number…) will save time when you next need it! Make sure your LinkedIn profile, website etc. reflect the ‘you’ that you want to present to clients.

2. Marketing

Find some new potential clients to send targeted marketing emails to, or send a copy of your newly updated CV to clients you currently work with – this might ‘remind them’ that you are there, and will show that you are taking a proactive approach. Marketing is one of the most time-consuming aspects of starting as a freelancer, but it’s also an ongoing process, so no slacking!

3. Admin

Yes, it’s boring. But spending some time keeping your records up to date throughout the month will make it much easier if you are busier at the end of the month! Think through your processes – are there any parts which could be streamlined? Now is the time to get it done!

coffee break business

Sometimes it’s good to just take a break and relax too…

4. Develop your skills

Take an online class, sign up to a webinar, practice your languages – I’ve never yet met a translator who doesn’t have at least a short list of things they want to learn! Whether it’s how to use more advanced aspects of a CAT tool, making sure your foreign languages are up to date, or concretising your knowledge of a specialisation, think of this time as an opportunity to become an even better translator, with more to offer your future clients!

5. Update your software

As translators, we are constantly on the computer. While you are having some downtime, run a virus check, make sure your computer is running as well as it can, and download any patches or updates for the various bits of software you have. If you have a bit more time, do a full digital audit – what software and hardware do you no longer need, or do you need to find a better version of? Are you using all of your programs to their full potential? Combine this with point 4, and see if there are any tutorials to help you develop your knowledge of a CAT tool, for example!

Any other ideas? I would love to know what jobs you save up for a slow work day!



  1. All good ideas, Carol. I also think it’s worth contacting your regular clients anyway if you’re quiet, with or without an updated CV, especially if you’ve had to turn them down due to pressures of work recently. Agencies in particular are often delighted to know who has capacity and may reply straight away with a new offer of work.

    • Great idea Claire – I definitely agree that it would be useful for clients to know when you become available again if you’ve been busy! I also read somewhere (can’t remember who’s blog it was now) about doing so if you work over the holidays, when a lot of translators take time off, which is also a good idea I think. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  2. Many good ideas here! If you have a blog, it can also be the right moment to look for future topics to post about, write blog posts and schedule them, or even catch up on your list of bookmarked articles.

  3. Pingback: 5 lessons I’ve learned during my first year of freelancing | In Touch Translations

  4. Pingback: How to stay positive on quiet days | Carol Translates

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