When I worked at WNBC in New York, I wrote for the early morning newscast that aired right before the “Today” Show. It was always kind of weird being in Rockefeller Center in the middle of the night. Only half the newsroom lights would be on at any given time. Our small skeleton staff of writers and producers often felt like the only ones awake in the city that never sleeps.
There were benefits to working through dream time. I got to know the senior staff fairly quickly. One of them took a liking to me and decided to train me as an Associate Producer. Score! That meant I still got to do some writing, but I also got to help stack the line up. I had to make sure that all the segments timed out right and that things stayed on track during the broadcast.
My first night in the control room, the senior producer stood by me as I watched the clock tick away. In spite of the oversight I received, I still kept coming up a few seconds short, which in the world of television is the kiss of death. Literally. There’s dead air. And that’s a big no no. Still, my supervisor was patient and gave me a few more chances. Eventually it became clear that leaving me solo in the control room could mean her job and mine, so back to writing copy I did go. It was fine by me. Control rooms freaked me out, and truth be told this episode in my career just proved what I already knew was true: Time and I are not simpatico.
You see, time and I, we don’t really get along so well. Time seems to constantly be a few minutes ahead of me, no matter how early I wake up or how much time I leave to get somewhere. And so I’ve started little tricks to try and beat time at her own game. During the morning rush, I set the timer on my iPhone to go off at various intervals, warning me and the kids about how much longer until we have to start loading the car. At various points, I shout out like a drill sergeant, “10 minute warning. This is a 10 minute warning.”
Once we’ve “loaded,” and are actually in the car buckled up and heading out, I have my trusty car clock to help me gauge how much time I have until the first bell rings at 8 a.m. I keep that trusty clock set to 12 minutes fast so that I always know I actually have more time than it seems! Some people might think this would mess me up more than help me, but for some reason it adds a sense of security.
By the time we reach school, I’m so exhausted from all my efforts to be on time that I can fully justify my Starbucks run before heading home to get Mr. B ready for pre-school. I’m still working on that one. I seem to always be exceptionally late for pre-school drop off, but at least Mr. B sometimes throws me a bone with a tantrum. That way I can blame my tardiness on his 3-year-old antics.
So What’s With the Name?
“If time is my frenemy, why on earth would I use it for my blog name?” I ask myself. But there’s more than one definition of time. And this blog isn’t about beating the clock. If anything it’s about forgetting that clock, and taking time out from all that is required of me so I can be more present and mindful when the time comes to re-enter my daily activities. Of course, I do have to watch the clock a little to make sure I’m not late for the next pick-up time.
What about you? Do you have tricks that you use to make sure you run on time? Are you naturally prompt or a hot mess of tardiness like myself? Do you take time for yourself or feel that there’s just no time for it? Please take some time to let me know. Looking forward to hearing from you!