Our tasks are handed out on a first-come, first-serve basis so that the ability to pick them up is fair and equal for all of our translators. It is important to note that our customers submit the orders directly though the portal on their own behalf, so there is no guaranteed amount of work for any given language pair.
Our site's email alert system scans the board in specific increments of time. If a task is found, it automatically sends out an email alert to translators for that language pair. Subsequently, an email alert might not send until 10 minutes after a task is posted. In that period of time, it's certainly possible for translators refreshing the task board to come across the job and begin.
For best results, we recommend staying logged into the portal at times when you are available to pick up tasks.