If there’s one complaint I hear in every newsroom I visit, it’s that everyone wishes they had more time. Time to dig for stories. Time to write. Time to edit. The perception is that nobody has enough time to do everything they need to do. But the fact is that some people get more done than others in the same amount of time. What’s their secret?
Efficient people tend to be well organized and they have good habits when it comes to managing time. They know where their time goes and they know how to make the most of it.
If you’re one of the many people for whom the Internet and social media are a giant time suck, use technology to fight back. Add a plug-in to your web browser to block sites and minimize distractions: Stayfocusd for Chrome or Leechblock for Firefox.
In the field, know how much time you need for each part of the job and plan accordingly. For KUSA reporter Kevin Torres, every day is a zero-sum game.
Michigan anchor Marc Schollett saves time by sticking to a “one touch” rule, which he explained to AR&D’s Bob Kaplitz.
Juggling is not something I am very good at. I tend to have a one touch rule. If I pick up a tape, I edited it now. If I go shoot an interview, I log it as soon as possible. Things can pile up way to fast. One touch! If you set it down, it’s too easy to not pick it up again for awhile, and then next you thing you know you are way behind. It’s a cliche, but don’t put off anything you can do now!
Finally, if you’re one of those people who spends an inordinate amount of time looking for things you’re just sure you put “somewhere,” learn to file instead of pile. Free apps like Evernote and Dropbox make it easy to save web pages, documents, photos and more in a searchable location where you can access them later on any device: great for story research and collaboration. Pocket and Instapaper (paid) let you put stuff aside to read later on your phone, tablet or computer, even offline.
Clock image via Shutterstock