WHERE DO I FIND THE TIME
I just received a copy of Show Prep: Making Every Break Count.
I loved what I heard and there are some fantastic ideas. I do
have a question for you though. In this current age of radio,
how does a person find the time to do the required prep to sound
great and topical, plus find the time to do all of the other jobs
required at the station? I am at a small market station and am
responsible for reading the sports during the morning show, doing
the show, logging the commercial computer for the next day or
two, plus any other paper work, meetings or promotions that need
to be attended to. After I get home, I do a couple of hours of
show prep that could be a little better. Plus I have a wife and
two kids that need attention. Now, don't get me wrong, I love
my job and I'm not whining, it just seems a little overwhelming
at times. Any suggestions to this work day that can get a little
DAN O'DAY REPLIES:
The two big answers are:
1. You can't do it all and still have a reasonable work week.
2. Learn how to and then force yourself to delegate.
A little quick arithmetic demonstrates that your dilemma is a
Your daily program: 4 hours
Your daily show prep: 2 hours
Paperwork, production, computer, meetings, crises: 4 hours
Average Daily Total: 10 hours
The above is a conservative estimate, and if you're doing any
production for your own show the total probably is higher.
I honestly don't think it's possible to do a good show as well
as production, prep, and various station duties and to
do it in an eight-hour day or 40-hour week. I wish it weren't
If you accept that premise, then it might be smart to look more
closely at how you are spending your time. Which of your daily
tasks can you delegate?
If your answer is "None," please go back and read that
question again. I'm not asking which you would enjoy delegating...or
which tasks can be done perfectly (or even as well as you do it)
by someone else...or if you have a large staff at your disposal.
From your question, I can't tell if you're the program director
or "just" a jock. Obviously, if you're the PD then no
one at the station should question your prerogative to delegate
some of your tasks. If you're "just a jock," you still
should have someone at the station who is lower on the
pecking order than you and to whom it should be permissible for
you to delegate.
Request a meeting with your PD or GM. (Hint: When asked, don't
say in advance what you want to discuss. This will make them nervous
and worried; when they find out that you're not quitting or suing,
they'll be so relieved they'll authorize you to delegate some
of your tasks.
What part of your sports reports can you delegate? Ripping the
wire? Posting the scores? Recording & labelling the audio?
Filing the scripts and/or audio after broadcast?
What about logging the commercial computer? Yes, that's an important
daily job. But are you really the only one at your station
who can master that task? What about the receptionist? The traffic
director (who seems to be a more appropriate choice anyway)? One
of the other jocks?
Maybe what stops you is the thought of having to teach someone
else how to do it. Well, YOU somehow managed to learn it; is this
truly a task that requires great mental ability to accomplish?
Show Prep: Are you gathering daily calendar items, celebrity
birthdays, etc.? If so, who can "assign" that to instead?
Granted, show prep tends to be a very personal exercise. But if
you can delegate just one or two mechanical aspects of it, you'll
save some time.
Meetings: Don't attend any that you could skip. (Again, much
of your flexibility here will be determined by your job title.
It's easier for a PD or GM to say, "I don't have time to
go to your meeting" than it is for a jock.)
The two most common obstacles to delegating are:
*The other person might not do it as well as I.
(But the real question is, "Can they do an adequate
job at this particular task?")
*By the time I show someone else how to do it, I could have done
(That's true...The first time, maybe even the second. But if
it's a daily or weekly task, after just a couple of weeks you
quickly come out ahead of the game in time-saved over the long