"Pressure comes from lack of preparation."
-Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers Quarterback
I saw that quote this morning and loved it. Loved it for its simplicity, loved it for its common sense. Here's a guy who's started a handful of games in the NFL, is about to start the Super Bowl, and he doesn't feel pressure because he's busy preparing.
In television news, pressure comes from all directions. You might have too many deadlines in a day, a lunatic for a boss, and lousy equipment. But if you step back and think about it, a lot of the pressure you feel is under your control. It all goes to the lack of preparation.
Let's look at two scenarios we all go through every day:
-You get up in the morning and are getting ready to head to the station. You have no story ideas, no idea what you'll be doing. Will the ND assign you a clunker of a story? Will you have to scramble to find one? Your blood pressure spikes a bit, you get agita from breakfast, and all of a sudden you're feeling pressure even before you walk into the newsroom.
-You get up in the morning and are getting ready to head to the station. You've already either set up your story or have three kick-ass story ideas in your pocket that you know the ND will love. You eat a leisurely breakfast, take a nice drive to the station, and stroll into the newsroom knowing the day will be a breeze.
The only difference between these two scenarios is preparation. Those who wing it through life will be stressed, those who do not will be more relaxed.
Same deal after you start your day at work. Those who come back to the station and immediately set about putting their stories together will be on cruise control. Those who come back to the station, fool around with personal calls and social networking and then race like hell to get their story done will feel pressure.
Take charge of the things you can control and your life will be a lot easier.