How Successful Personalities and Programmers Fight Boredom

headerbanners-cc

Boredom is one of the 7 Deadly Sins of Radio Personalities. Being bored isn’t really a sin, but boring listeners is. And when you’re bored, listeners will be soon.

Still, there you sit, staring at a screen, or several screens or in another in a series of endless meetings. You’re frustrated, tired, on edge—and completely uninspired. It’s hard to remember you’re in show business when the reality of the daily grind is finding a way to get through another show, another music log or another promotion.

When you’re bored, you become dissatisfied, restless and tired. You feel trapped in your own surroundings.

So how do you escape? When your creative juices aren’t flowing, and each show starts to feel like the last one, how can you find the inspiration to get out of the doldrums?

6 tips for programmers and personalities to overcome boredom and get back to entertainment! 

These six tips might help.

Overcome Boredom: Be Curious

Bored often creeps in when we spend too much time doing the same things over and over. Falling into repeated routines can cause you to lose the creative edge. Most humans are naturally curious, but when we’re bored, we lose the ability to even notice things that would normally get our attention and provoke that curiosity.

When you catch yourself getting bored with your station or show, get away from it for awhile. Take off a day or two to clear your head, and don’t even think about work. If you can, get out of the office and see a movie, even in the middle of the day.

Another tactic is getting into the target listener’s lifestyle. If you can put yourself in their shoes and see life (and your station) how they see (and hear) it, you can get a fresh perspective.

Heinz designers knew everything there was to know about their company’s traditional ketchup bottles, so they focused their curiosity on how people used and stored them. As Brian Grazer points out in his book A Curious Mind, Heinz researchers visited customers’ homes and opened up their refrigerators, where they found ketchup bottles balanced upside-down to let gravity pull down the remaining ounces. That insight helped re-energize the company’s designers, who then invented Heinz Easy Squeeze, an inverted plastic bottle.

Overcome Boredom: Get Outside Your World

A change of scenery is often all you need to get over a creative slump from boredom. Most of my ideas happen when on an airplane or a different city. Your creative breakthrough may depend only on a weekend getaway.

Or it could come from an article, a blog post, a YouTube video or anything else from outside of radio. Just don’t use it as an excuse to waste time and avoid working on your show or station!

An air personality I work with will often spend 20 minutes checking out an Instagram feed from a creative person they admire or scanning a Pinterest board to research what the target audience (adult women) are into. Seeing the creative choices of others can inspire you to find ways to make the most of the job that’s become boring to you.

Overcome Boredom: Make Yourself Laugh

If you’re on a team show, it should be everyone’s duty to insure the rest of the team is having a great time both on and off the air. Agree that the studio is a no-drama zone with no negative thoughts or comments. Personal problems don’t exist until after the show, and each person must take responsibility to enforce the rule with others.

If the studio is a happy place it becomes a refuge, something to look forward to every day. That changes the way you feel on the air. When you’re laughing together, it’s hard to be bored. So play much and play often.

Overcome Boredom: Exercise

When you hit the wall, it may help to change the scenery just by grabbing the laptop and move to another room or a nearby coffee shop. It can get the brain cells going. But if that doesn’t work, work out! Take a hike, go for a jog, ride your bike or hit the gym. Exercise can give you new energy and a fresh perspective.

An account executive I worked with spent about 20 seconds bouncing up and down just before every client meeting. It didn’t matter if it was in the office before a call, in the elevator or in the ladies room of the restaurant. Why? Bouncing or jumping causes chemicals in your brain to be released and your attention to engage. You’re sharper, quicker and more alert, and much less likely to approach that next meeting with the “same old same old” attitude. You may not need a trampoline in the studio, but if that’s what it takes…

Overcome Boredom: Make The Familiar Strange

Every day, you’re repeating the same lines, playing the same songs, promoting the same contests and creating the same music log. It becomes so familiar, you could do it in your sleep (and it sounds like many are!).

Try looking at each task in a new way to change the perspective. For air talent, one way to do this is through content additives. Dress up that boring weather forecast by telling a mini-story about it. Drop in names, neighborhoods, streets and landmarks. This can make your show come alive by forcing you to be creative in a function that often goes into auto-pilot. The technique is explained in detail in our Likability webinar.

It can also help to get outside of your own creative experience and think about how someone else might approach the break or the job. For example, you’re about to back-sell a Justin Timberlake song for the 1,000th time this month. Channel Casey Kasem. How would he sell it? Don’t copy or emulate that style, but use it as inspiration to enhance your own content.

Overcome Boredom: Grind it Out And Move Forward

When all else fails, just committing to your craft may be all you have left. Force yourself to keep going, setting small goals by breaking down big tasks into something much more manageable.

Sometimes we just have to keep going—even while resisting it—until something interesting, and positive, comes into view again.

Positivity is a state of mind, and when you make the decision to stay positive, it’s much more likely you’ll be engaged and not bored.

One tactic is to find a technique that puts you in a good mood every day. Maybe it’s music or meditation. It could be poetry or comedy, but find that one thing that puts you in your happy place and make it a part of your routine to do it every day before you start your job.

Dr. James Dobson once said that:

Success in life is 5% what happens to you and 95% how you react to it. You can’t always control your surroundings, but you can control your response to it.

A positive attitude makes you happier and more resilient, it improves relationships, and even increases your chances of success.

 


PHONE  |  EMAIL  |  WEB  |  TWITTER

Tracy Johnson is President and CEO of the Tracy Johnson Media Group, offering programming & promotion consultation, talent coaching & development and digital strategy consulting. Get more information at www.tjohnsonmediagroup.com or email tracy@tjohnsonmediagroup.com.

Related posts

Doug Erickson  •  @dougerickson1
Content Consultant, Erickson Media

Doug is a former Major Market award winning Program Director of the Year. He was VP of Programming for one of the first large consolidated radio companies before leaving to open his consultancy. He works with most of the largest media companies in the world but, uniquely, he consults everyadult format, including News/Talk, where his stations have won the distinguished Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in journalism. Doug helped NOSTALGIE, an OLDIES-based station in Paris, become the fastest-growing radio station in French history. While you are in Nashville, you can hear one of his American clients, MIX 92.9! Also uniquely, Doug limits his client list to 8 per year so that each gets virtually unlimited market access.

 

×

John Frost  •  @JohnFrost3
Partner, Goodratings Strategic Services

John Frost has been a successful major market disc jockey and program director for such companies as CBS, Gannett, Cap Cities, Westinghouse, Multimedia, and Sandusky during his 40+ years broadcast career. In the last decade and a half, John has been involved in the dramatic growth of Contemporary Christian radio, bringing mainstream programming strategies and research principles to help grow and develop some of America’s most successful Christian music stations including Z88.3 in Orlando, Salem’s Fish stations in Los Angeles, Portland, and Atlanta, CRISTA’s Spirit stations in Austin and Seattle, and many more. CMB honored John in 2004 with the Scott Campbell industry achievement award. Radio and Records and Christian Radio Weekly have recognized John as one of the most influential people in the Christian music industry.

 

×

Justin Wise  •  @JustinWise
Founder/CEO, Think Digital

Justin Wise helps people share what matters most. As the Founder & CEO of Think Digital, Wise and his team help clients through online coaching programs and done-for-you digital marketing. He speaks on the topic of digital marketing strategy at national conferences such as the Digital Media Summit, CLA Internet & Ministry Technology Summit, and the Nonprofit Leadership Academy. Wise lives in Des Moines, IA (by choice), with his wife and three children.

 

×

Wally  •  @wallyshow
Morning Show Host, WAY-FM

Wally hosts mornings on the WAY-FM radio network. He’s been entertaining listeners for more than two decades with the belief that “Content is King”. Wally came to Christian radio as host of “Total Axxess” on WAY-FM in 2007. Since then, The Wally Show has grown to air during morning drive on the entire WAY-FM network, plus other affiliate stations across the country.

 

×

Louie Giglio  •  @louiegiglio
Pastor, Visionary Architect and Director of the Passion Movement

Louie Giglio is Pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta, GA, and the Founder of Passion Conferences, a movement gathering collegiate-aged young people since 1997 in events across the US and around the globe. Most recently, Passion hosted over 40,000 people at Passion 2016 in Atlanta, GA and Houston, TX, uniting students in worship and prayer, and raising awareness for modern-day slavery. In 2008, Louie and his wife Shelley led the team that planted Passion City Church, a local community of faith with the DNA of the Passion movement. Their desire is to inspire this generation to live for what matters most.

 

×

Rick Dunham  •  @rjdunham
President & CEO, Dunham+Company and ShareMedia

Rick is a 38-year veteran in fundraising and organizational development for nonprofit organizations. After serving for 11 years in nonprofit management and fundraising leadership roles, Rick began his consulting career in 1989. In 2002 he founded Dunham+Company, which has become a global leader in providing fully integrated fundraising strategy for nonprofit organizations. Today, Dunham+Company serves over 50 organizations in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, South Africa, and Australia, providing integrated fundraising and marketing strategies. Rick is the author of Secure: Discovering True Financial Freedom and If God Will Provide, Why Do We Have to Ask for Money? He has also been published and quoted in USA TodayDallas Morning NewsWashington Post and numerous other publications.

 

×

Ty McFarland & Sterling Tarrant
KSBJ
@TyMcFarland  •  @sterlingTKSBJ

Ty is the Program Director at KSBJ in Houston, and over the last 27 years, has enjoyed serving alongside the talented crews at WGTS in Washington, D.C., K-LOVE/Air1, and KTSY/KTFY in Boise/Twin Falls. He loves radio, and the opportunity to make a difference in a format that points people to the Lord. He admires creativity that connects to people’s hearts, for a good purpose. Ty is married to his high-school sweetheart, Tonya, and has a daughter, Audrey, 11, who is his favorite kid in the whole world.

 

Sterling Tarrant has been in Christian radio since 1988. He’s worked at stations in Indianapolis, Orlando, Rapid City, Colorado Springs, and Houston. From 1998 to 2008 he was the Senior Creative Producer in Broadcasting at Focus on the Family where he was in charge of all the Creative and Dramatic promos and radio spots. Sterling is a Certified Professional Commercial Copywriter from the Radio Advertising Bureau, a graduate of Roy Williams “Wizard of Ads” Academy, and winner of multiple awards. Sterling has also been a Program Director, Music Director, Special Projects Director, Account Executive, and an On-Air Personality, but his first love is production. He loves to create messages that connect to people’s hearts, and for decades he’s honed that craft. Since 2008 he’s been leading production at KSBJ in Houston.

 

×

Dan Young  •  @DanonSOSRadio 
SOS Radio Afternoon Show Host – Music & Creative Services Director

Dan Young is the Music and Creative Services Director for SOS Radio Network, based in Las Vegas. His 15-year radio career includes awards from CMB, NRB, and GMA. Edison Research named him one of their ’30 Under 30′ up-and-coming broadcasters in 2011. He started out in mainstream radio, but likes Christian radio better. Dan also serves as a host and coach for ShareMedia, and repeats toll-free phone numbers in his sleep.

 

×

Matt Stockman  •  @mattstockman 
Director of Programming, CRISTA Media (KCMS, KFMK, KWPZ, KCIS, Pure Music Radio, Sky Country Radio)

Matt has served as the Director of Programming for CRISTA Media for over 4 years, leading a team of talented communicators to create compelling radio, so that people who are lost might encounter Jesus. Matt and the CRISTA Media Programming team have recently been recognized with the CMB Major Market Radio Station Of The Year Award for 2016, for their efforts at SPIRIT 1053 in Seattle. Prior to joining CRISTA, Matt served on the mission field leading a Christian radio network in Barcelona, Spain, and with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in Western North Carolina. He’s most passionate about using his talents and experience in communication and development to help others (whether broadcasters, missionaries, or church leaders) connect in meaningful and authentic ways with the cities they’re called to serve.

 

×

Brant Hansen  •  @branthansen 
Storyteller, CURE International, Radio Host, & Author

Brant is the host of the creatively titled “Brant Hansen Show”, which is syndicated on more than 200 stations. He’s also an author for HarperCollins Christian Publishers. His second book is due out this fall: Blessed are the Misfits (Great News for Believers Who Are Introverts, Spiritual Strugglers, or Just Feel Like They’re Missing Something). He and his wife, Carolyn, live in Harrisburg, PA near the headquarters of CURE International.

 

×

Randy Lane  •  @TheRandyLaneCo 
Talent Coach, The Randy Lane Company

Randy’s radio career began as a DJ in college where he became fascinated with Top 40 morning legends Rick Dees and Scott Shannon. Alongside his on-air work, Randy has served as Program Director at KYSR/Los Angeles, WKQX/Chicago and WRQX/Washington, D.C. The Randy Lane Company was launched in 1996 and has directed radio and TV personalities including Ryan Seacrest, Jimmy Kimmel, Kidd Kraddick, Jamie & Danny Bonaduce, Billy Bush, Mancow, The Bert Show, Lex & Terry, Mark & Brian, Ace & TJ and scores of others in every format.

 

×

Lisa Williams  •  @godsradiogirl 
Host, Life with Lisa Williams

Early in 1990, Lisa was begging God to tell her why she is on the planet. After pounding on Heaven’s door for several weeks, she clearly heard “Christian Radio”. She has been pounding on PD’s doors ever since. God has allowed her to do radio from Missouri, Iowa, North Carolina, Florida, New Jersey, California, Indiana, and now in Colorado where she creates a daily syndicated show for Christian music stations. Privileged to have worked with extraordinary PDs and coaches, Lisa loves loving her listeners by being a human being alongside them. Podcasting, talent coaching, improv, and publicly speaking also fill her time. She’s Darin’s wife, JD & Jesse’s mom, and GodsRadioGirl. You can find her at lifewithlisawilliams.com.

 

×

Mandy Young  •  @air1Mandy 
Middays, Air1 Network

The oldest of 6 kids, Mandy fell in love with radio at Cedarville University. After graduating in 2000 with a degree in Communications, an internship landed her a full time job at WJQK in Grand Rapids. She worked her way up from voicing commercials to the morning show…where she spent 5 years as co-host. In 2009 she became the morning show co-host for the Air1 Radio Network. 8 years later, she’s still at Air1, but now in mid-days…the dark circles under her eyes thank her for the shift change. Like most in radio, Mandy has a side gig. She started “Young Productions” in 2005 and has voice tracked for 15 stations, done voice work for radio dramas, tv and radio spots and 2 books. Spending time with her family is her favorite. Her husband Rod and kids Jack (15) Owen (13) and Mamie (4) provide her with love, laughs and a ton of show prep!

 

×

Lisa Barry  •  @labarry
Middays – 98.5 KTIS/Minneapolis and Spirit 105.9/Austin

Lisa Barry is the Midday radio host at 98.5 KTIS in Minneapolis/St. Paul and on Spirit 105.9 in Austin Texas.  She was worked with Eisabeth Elliot for 9 year as the announcer and copywriter for Gateway to Joy.  Lisa has a passion for radio education and inspiring the next generation of DJ’s.  She has bachelors degree in Communication with an emphasis in Broadcasting and has more than 30 years of experience in radio.   She lives in Minneapolis ‘where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average’ (said Garrison Keillor).  She and her husband Ken have three daughters.

×

Beth Bacall

Beth’s been blessed with the opportunity to work as an on-air personality on many great radio and television stations for over three decades! She started on the air a few years before her now 26 year-old daughter was a glimmer in her heart. Minneapolis, Chicago, San Francisco, New York City, and Atlanta have welcomed her on amazing frequencies like KFRC, KYCY, Jammin 105 (WWPR), WKTU, Star 99.1 (WAWZ) and now The Fish Atlanta (WFSH), where Beth works afternoon drive. Beth molds her coaching strategies to fit each talent’s unique and special personality, knowing it’s a priviledge to be involved in their life.

×

Doug Erickson

Doug is a former Major Market award winning Program Director of the Year. He was VP of Programming for one of the first large consolidated radio companies before leaving to open his consultancy. He works with most of the largest media companies in the world but, uniquely, he consults every adult format, including News/Talk, where his stations have won the distinguished Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in journalism. Doug helped NOSTALGIE, an OLDIES-based station in Paris, become the fastest-growing radio station in French history. His American clients include one you can hear this week, MIX 92.9

Also uniquely, Doug limits his client list to 8 per year so that each gets virtually unlimited market access. Doug is a former missionary kid, has been married to his wife, Shannon, for 38 years, and has one adult son and a wheaten terrier dog, all of whom currently live in Denver. 

You can learn more about Doug, his philosophy and his clients HERE.

 

×

Chuck Finney

Chuck Finney can’t remember a time in his life when radio wasn’t playing either in his head or on a nearby device. His dad was in radio in Cincinnati, so he began loving the whole enterprise as a little kid. Right out of college, he led a station team that began doing radio research.
He spent a lot of time in AC, News/Talk, Sports, Country and even classical radio—but came to Christian radio with Salem’s KLTY in Dallas where, as Program Director, he led a team that brought the station to record audience levels. He also served as National Program Director for Salem’s Fish CCM stations, and they won many awards, including NRB Music Station of the Year, the CMB Major Market Station of the Year and even the NAB Marconi Award for Religious Station of the Year.

Chuck has also served as Chairman of Christian Music Broadcasters and is currently on the Radio Committee of the NRB. Last year, he received the Scott Campbell Lifetime Achievement Award from Christian Music Broadcasters. He and his wife Lynda live in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area and have two wonderful daughters.

 

×

Alan Mason

Alan is known for his four decades of involvement in media and organizational leadership.   Currently President of EMF (K-LOVE and Air1), he’s also been a DJ, Program Director, Group Program Director, Vice President, and General Manager, Chief Operating Officer, co-founder of Goodratings Strategic Services and, of course, Change Agent.
 
Driven to help others succeed, he consulted some of the top radio stations in the nation in widely diverse formats in the areas of programming, marketing, research and leadership strategies.  He was on the forefront of emerging formats such as Smooth Jazz, 60’s Oldies, Adult Alternative, Jamin’ Oldies and Christian AC.
 
Alan is an active contributor to the industry and has presented at the National Association of Broadcasters, Radio & Records conferences, the Country Radio Seminar, the National Religious Broadcasters, Radio Ink conferences, the Gospel Music Association, and Christian Music Broadcasters, where he was on the board of directors for two years. He’s published in Radio & Records, Radio Ink, Christian Radio Weekly, All Access and has received several broadcasting awards.
 
Alan says his greatest achievements are his 49-year marriage to his wife Becki, and his two children, nine grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. His passions include family, genealogy, travel, helping people think clearly about their strategy, tracking major social shifts impacting media and changing culture by helping people understand John 13:34, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” 

 

×

Gary Haugen  •  @garyhaugen

Gary Haugen is CEO and founder of International Justice Mission.

Before founding IJM in 1997, Gary was a human rights attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, where he focused on crimes of police misconduct.  In 1994, he served as the Director of the United Nations’ investigation in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide. In this role, he led an international team of lawyers, criminal prosecutors, law enforcement officers, and forensics experts to gather evidence that would eventually be used to bring the perpetrators of the genocide to justice. Gary received a B.A. in Social Studies from Harvard University, and a J.D. from the University of Chicago.

Gary has been recognized by the U.S. State Department as a Trafficking in Persons “Hero” – the highest honor given by the U.S. government for anti-slavery leadership. His work to protect the poor from violence has been featured by Foreign Affairs, The New York Times, the New Yorker, The Times of India, Forbes, U.S. News and World Report, the Guardian and National Public Radio, among many other outlets.  He is the author of several books, including Good News About Injustice (Intervarsity Press) and, most recently, The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence (Oxford University Press)Gary was invited to share the themes of The Locust Effect at the annual TED Conference in a talk entitled: The hidden reason for poverty the world needs to address now.

×
Become A Member