My last day at WDSU was July 27, I took a few days off, then started my new job: Media Consultant.

Scott Walker Consulting opened its figurative doors on August 1 after many months of planning and preparation. The nearly four months that have passed since then have been quite a learning experience for me. The biggest challenge early on was managing my days. In the TV news world, everything usually happens in one day.  It’s a deadline-driven environment with several daily deadlines, most of which never carry over to the next day. The pressure is constant and it all revolves around the clock.

My new reality moved me away from that and toward a week that needed to be managed by day over the course of five days. My solution after a few frustrating weeks, during which I felt like I was always trying to do too much, was a week-at-a-glance sheet. It saved me. 

I’m a list person. I need to make lists and scratch things off as I go. I’ve been that way for as long as I can remember. Every Sunday night I map out my week by checking my calendar and notes and adding things to my week-sheet. I print it out and add it to a clipboard, on top of previous week-sheets. I add handwritten items during the week as things unfold and change. It’s always on my desk and everything I need to do is available at a glance. This system complements my phone calendar, which still carries all important events with reminders. 

As my own boss, managing myself and my schedule was getting the best of me. Now I’m in a great rhythm and go about my days consistently. I’m up by 6 a.m., drink coffee and eat breakfast, get some computer work done, head to Shipley Do-Nuts Old Metairie for a bit (I’m a co-owner), then continue the rest of the day… always leaving some room for the unexpected. If I play my cards right, I’m in bed by 10. I used to go to bed around 1:30 a.m. Big change. 

In my first four months on the new job, I’ve gotten used to working for me (such a jerk sometimes), bought my own health insurance ($$$) and built up a nice list of clients. Another plus — my wife and kids aren’t tired of me yet.