We’ve all been there. You are about 2.5 years into your stay at a station and you are starting to get burned out.
All the stories feel the same, you work to make them different but the brand new car smell of your newsroom has worn off.
If you aren’t careful things could take a jump to the dark side pretty quickly and you find yourself sinking in negativity.
RTDNA.org has a great read this month on how to avoid that quicksand and stay positive and productive.
Some of the tips include:
1. Get out of your comfort zone at work and at home
When you find yourself struggling to be interested in your assignments or find story ideas, it’s time to get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself.
Go back to your “why.” What do you stand for as a journalist? Truth? Accountability? The public interest? Find a way to pursue those aims each day.
2. Become a coach and build a team
Journalism is a team sport. That’s why the Murrow Awards go to newsrooms, not individuals. Each member of the news team has a role and a particular expertise – and an opportunity to be a teacher. Sharing your skills is a great way to remind yourself of your value and to take pride in others’ growth.
And just as you have something to offer your newsroom teammates, they each have knowledge and expertise you can learn from.
3. Work smart
One consistent challenge in newsrooms is juggling multiple tasks – all on deadline. It can be especially challenging when breaking news means changing gears quickly. But it is possible to work smarter.
Take control. You have control over whether you arrive on time. You have control over whether you arrive with story ideas ready to go. You probably have control over more than you think.
Dispatch with distractions. Multitasking is a bit of a myth. In reality, multitasking would be more accurately called task switching, as our brains try to shift gears quickly among tasks. It’s not efficient or effective. If you can eliminate distractions that aren’t truly urgent, you’ll get tasks done faster.
Be honest with yourself. Evaluate your typical day. Does one particular task or part of your day tend to grind to a halt? What can you do to improve the process? Setting mini deadlines for yourself – and enlisting your teammates to help you stick to them – can help you get back on track.
Avoid the dark side my friends, you’ll be much happier.