One of the most important aspects of producing is learning how to manage time efficiently. When I walked into my first producing shift at the Annenberg Media Center, I thought I could easily manage all the producer tasks of the day without a big problem. After all, we get more than eight hours to prepare for the show.
The truth of the matter is I really didn’t manage my time like I thought I could on the first day. One task fell behind schedule which led to another … and another. But that’s what this producing class is all about—learning from mistakes and improving on them.
There are several instances on day one when I could have managed my time more effectively as a teammate. First, anticipating when the multimedia journalists (MJs) were going to come in for their shifts. It’s important to think about what story they can work on before they arrive; that way thought can go into their assignment and they can get started immediately. Next, order graphics very early. It’s crucial to make sure as many graphics request forms are filled out before the art director comes in for her shift so she can get started quickly. If the art director is able to fulfill all the requests early in the day, there is more time for her to create last-minute graphics for any news that comes in late.
Time management is also crucial when in the lead producer role. During my last time in this position, I had a successful day of time management. This allowed me to be available for anything needed of me when in the control room doing run-throughs before the show.
There are several things to manage, so I’ll talk about a few. First, make sure each story is in the iNews show rundown. This allows for morning MJs to work on their scripts before their shifts end at noon. Another important thing is to order tease video and write scripts as early as possible. Lastly, talk to reporters out in the field so changes to the show rundown can be made as early as possible. This also gives the lead producer time to think about the best way to tell the story.
By managing time early in the day, it allows for more time at the end of the day when it’s absolutely needed.