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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Multitasking Is An Art


If there’s any one major idea I’ve taken from producing over the last few weeks it’s multitasking. It is absolutely insane how much you have to remember during the day. Quite frankly, it’s nearly impossible. And it’s not just being the lead producer that this becomes trouble; it’s at all three positions. If you’re doing Graphics, you need to make sure you’re consistently checking the bin for errors. If you’re video, you need to remember that someone asked you to check his or her video when you were finishing up a story. And if you’re lead, you have to remember EVERYTHING that is going on.

The secret, which I guess isn’t a secret at all, to remembering everything, is writing it down. It makes it so much easier if you have a checklist and something to refer back to you. When I’m doing graphics, I write down every OTS and its slug, and cross them off when I’ve checked them. With videos, I write down every story that needs video, a box for who is doing it, and a box to write “done” when it’s completed. And at lead, I write down a list of every story that is being worked on with the writer, so I know if a writer leaves to re-assign it. This method has really helped me keep organized. Sometimes it can be a little repetitive next to iNews, but the more reminders of what to do, the better.

I have found that I seem to have a bit more time at graphics, and have taken on the responsibility of constantly checking wires in case my teammates are busy. I have found that this can be very helpful into making sure we’ve covered all the news of the day.

The most difficult position to be in is certainly lead in regards to remembering things. People will come up to you throughout the day and update you on things, especially reporters, and it is so easy to just completely forget what they have just told you. I think I’ve stressed this enough in this blog, but writing down everything for yourself makes it a whole lot easier when you are in your run-down meeting ☺

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