4 Tips for Improving Your Work Performance

You probably want to be the best proofreader you can be. And if you’re doing or have already completed our Knowadays course, you’re on the right track! But expertise isn’t all you need to work effectively. You also need to be smart about how you work. Otherwise you risk delivering the wrong thing, running out of time, or simply burning out.

To help out, then, here are four top tips for improving your work performance.

1. Manage Your Workload

Many proofreaders work freelance and need all the work they can get to make ends meet. But there’s no point taking on more than you can physically do.

Be aware of how quickly you work. Moreover, be aware of how quickly you can work well. Note that some documents will take longer than others.

Where possible, give yourself some wriggle-room in case there are unforeseen difficulties. There are few things more embarrassingly unprofessional than claiming you can do something for a customer and then realising you’ve overloaded yourself and can’t deliver.

2. Keep in Touch with the Client

You can’t give the client what they want if you don’t know what they want. You need to establish their needs and what you can and can’t do for them from the outset.

But that’s not all. You should also be contactable while you are working, just in case the client needs to tell you something important. If you start on a document only to see they emailed hours or days ago to say they accidentally sent the wrong draft, you’ll be sorry!

You may also come across a recurring issue in a document, such as some non-standard terminology, that you want to check with the client. So don’t be afraid to drop them an email with questions to clarify your brief even once you’ve started working.

3. Avoid Distractions

It’s easy to become distracted by social media. But when you’re working to a deadline, you can’t afford to get sidetracked. If you simply cannot trust yourself to leave Twitter and Facebook alone, try one of these website blockers to remove the temptation.

Stop doing that quiz about which My Little Pony you are! Time to proofread!

4. Remember to Rest

Finally, although you can’t be lazing about when you ought to be working, you should build rest time into your schedule where possible. A burnt out proofreader is rarely an effective one.

Also, you should take regular short breaks while proofreading in order to refresh yourself, stretch your legs, and regain the focus that can be lost when staring at a screen for hours.

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