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My Calendar Runneth Over

Hillbilly Deluxe


My Calendar Runneth Over

By Brian Wright brian@outdoorguysradio.com

Before the beginning of each year I work on my schedule for the upcoming seasons. First, I review the past year, evaluate my body of journalistic work, and determine if I accomplished what I set out to do. This helps with planning the year at hand.

Seems as though this should be pretty easy.

Since I primarily focus on angling and/or destinations, you would think planning the year would be easy. After all, look at all the opportunities that abound for outdoor enthusiasts in our region. In addition, I co-host The Outdoor Guys weekly radio show on ESPN Radio in Kansas City (www.outdoorguysradio.com), thus giving me an additional 52 weeks of opportunity to promote the great outdoors.

But that’s exactly what makes developing a schedule so difficult.

I typically write in the neighborhood of 12 outdoor articles in a given year — not counting editorial pieces such as this column. And with the weekly radio show, I spend more than 50 hours each year on live radio in a pretty big market. Given these numbers, and the plethora of story ideas bouncing around my cranium, therin lies the problem.

A rough breakdown of the articles will include some 10-12 straight-up fishing articles (how to, or where to go type articles). Then there will be another six to eight destination articles focusing on great places to go and what to do when you get there. The radio show integrates nicely with the writing.

My favorite articles to write, and radio interviews to conduct, are human interest stories. I love to sit down with people, ask them questions, and share their story. I could easily find enough interesting people within 250 miles to write at least a dozen of these stories each year, and do so for many years without repeat. However, time, money, and space dictate that I will probably write six to eight human interest stories in a given year.

Do the math and you will begin to see the dilemma of an outdoor writer/radio host in the Midwest. I’ve already alloted enough editorial as outlined above to fill my quota for the year. And I haven’t even touched on boating, camping, turkey hunting, and black-powder guns — all of which have a high level of interest to me.

I suspect many of you have equal difficulty finding time to follow all of your favorite pursuits.

That’s exactly my point of planning.

With the proper organization and planning I’ll be able to pack an enormous amount of outdoor activities within the next 12 months.

You see, it doesn’t really matter if you are planning your outdoor activities in conjunction with your job, as I do, or just planning your outdoor activities. You must rely on your principles and goals to guide you.

Although I spend a lot of time in the outdoors, I’m just like most of you. I have family, friends, a household, and other business interests which must all be planned for as well. And the better job I do of organizing my tasks, the more effective my actions are.

In Stephen R. Covey’s exceptional book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Habit 2 is to “Begin With The End In Mind.”

I’m certain — proven through personal experience and the actions of other effective people — that Covey, and others scholars, have identified the habits of success.

For me, beginning with the end in mind is critical. To effectively organize and balance our lives, we need a plan that has a specific goal to be reached in a realistic timeframe.

I have two key phrases that I continually tell myself. First, a saying from Thomas Edison which states, “genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” This reminds me that if I work smart, and hard, I’ll be successful. The second phrase I use to motivate myself is by the philosopher Goethe who states that “things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least.”

I have found a beautiful balance between work, family, and recreation by becoming organized and focused.

Find your own motivational statements, and grab a pencil and 2012 planner/calendar. Develop a plan which is ruled by your principles and leads you where you want to go!


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