How To Cope With Radio Production Burnout?
There are so many reasons why producers experience burnout? No matter how much you squeeze your brain for audio creativity, nothing just comes out. So how do you deal with it?
First, let’s identify why suddenly you don’t want get in front of your workstation. You have all the tools you want and even bragged to your friends that you got the coolest job in the world.
Burnout may be caused by any or all of the following:
1. Stress – trying to catch deadlines, you’re overworked, and you just had a heated conversation with a client (if you’re a freelancer) or your PD
2. Motivation-less – nobody is patting you on your shoulder; you seemed to be alone (a tendency for most freelancers)
3. Boredom – your brain simply just resists working and you feel like you’re doing the same thing, over and over again, nothing is new.
So what to do?
Get up early tomorrow, get some fresh air, sweat yourself out (exercise, I mean), and have a breakfast without newspaper, or TV or radio. Eat breakfast with your hand, tasting and feeling every bite of your morning meal. Study shows that you feel satisfied when you feel the texture of the food you’re taking in.
If you don’t feel like opening a session on Pro Tools, don’t force yourself. Don’t let deadlines, or screaming bosses or clients be “the” motivation to produce. Reflect; go back to why you ended up in this work. Think about the perks of being a radio producer.
Listening to other producers’ works is a good motivation. Subscription to industry related publications keeps you abreast of what’s up and you get to hear what others are also doing.
This takes away the thought that “you’re stuck” and re-establishes your appreciation of your job.
Call or email someone you have not kept in touch with for a while.
Say “thank you” or “please” to a colleague.
Clean your desk; in fact, make it a habit to keep your workplace tidy after your workday ends so that when you start your day on the following, everything looks fresh and orderly, and you get an impression that there’s no deadline to catch.
We all have routines and schedules, but there are times when we get sick of following them. Do something random today. 😉
If a task too large to accomplish on one day, work on them by chunks, especially if it’s not really urgent.
If you’re bored with the way you’re producing a promo, but your boss says to stick with the usual, just let it be, but still come up with a different version. You may just keep it to yourself or let others to hear it; who knows, your PD might like it.
If you hear bad comments about your work, take it. Revise your piece and always exceed your critic’s expectation.
Review all the good things said about your productions.
Blog! Or be active on social media. Twitter and Facebook are where you’ll find a community of radio producers. Come up with a free account on Sound Cloud and upload all your great stuff in there.
Everyone experiences burnout, but this is not a decease that needs to be cured. It is a symptom of another underlying “disorder” or need like lack of motivation and rest. Just remember, your brain’s creativity and capability has no limit, but your body has.