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Doing Nothing Is Doing Something For Yourself

“A diminished version of yourself isn’t doing anyone any favors.”

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This feels like a fitting time of year to come off the top rope with this piece of sage wisdom: Take a break. Put down your phone, sign off of Twitter, maybe even throw on a Netflix series instead of the 2nd night of a back-to-back in the NBA for the team you follow. This little break in the action can be what’s needed to unlock your potential. 

I think we’re all taught at a pretty young age to work tirelessly towards our goals, sometimes even sacrificing sleep or mental health in order to get the job done. We’re molded by society to believe that the only way to get ahead is to “keep grinding”. I certainly thought that was the mark of a great broadcaster when I first broke into the business. It seemed like all the best talent, locally and nationally, had about 3 to 4 jobs and just simply outworked everyone else. I thought that in order to get ahead in this business, you had to be willing to squeeze every bit of energy into the broadcasting cup.

KEEP CALM AND GRIND 24/7 Poster | Quint | Keep Calm-o-Matic

Years have gone by and while some of that might be true, it doesn’t really tell the whole story. While hard work most definitely pays off, quality work will get you further, and quality work is hard to come by over the long haul if you burn yourself out. 

I’d be willing to bet my savings on the fact that you know someone at work that feels like they have so much on their plate that they can’t be great at anything. They’re so filled to the brim with responsibility at home and at the office that they’re just constantly running on E. It might even be you.

How is that productive? How is that helping you achieve your future goals? And most importantly, what is it doing to your overall happiness and mental health?

Burnout is prevalent in all walks of life and at all jobs, but I find it especially problematic in broadcasting where our jobs are to be creative and entertain. How are we supposed to come up with new ideas and be peak performers if we’re walking around as zombies on auto-pilot, just checking boxes on our never-ending to-do lists? A diminished version of yourself isn’t doing anyone any favors. 

I think this message is even more important given the time of year we are in. It’s the holiday season. We’ll be traveling more, kids and spouses are around to spend time with, in-laws are overstaying their welcome, and all that comes with these next 2 months. Meanwhile, it’s the busiest time of the year for us in the sports talk industry. NFL enters the meat of the season, college football bowl and coach-firing season is upcoming, and the NBA/NHL seasons are in full effect. It’s easy to get caught up in the go-go-go of it all. After all, that is what we are taught to do. Our schedules are jam-packed for the next little bit, so I encourage all of you to take a break, and just simply do nothing. 

Greg McKeown wrote about the value of doing nothing in his book titled Effortless.

“Many of us struggle with the tension between not doing enough and doing too much,” Greg writes. “Have you ever pushed yourself far past the point of exhaustion one day that you wake up the next morning utterly depleted and need the entire day to rest? To stop this vicious cycle in its tracks, try this simple rule: Do not do more today than you can completely recover from today. We can miss the signs that we’ve reached the end of an energy cycle. We can ignore loss of focus, low energy, and fidgeting. We can power through. We can artificially try to compensate with caffeine or sugar to get us past our energy slump, making essential work harder than it needs to be.”

Doing nothing is an art, and there’s a reason behind shutting it all down. Have you ever noticed that your best ideas are usually formed when you’re not trying to come up with one? Angels manager Joe Maddon implements this rule with his players in the dog days of summer. He calls it “American Legion Week”. He tells his players to only show up to the ballpark to play the game. That means no batting practice, take naps, and arrive fresh. Maddon believes that regular spurts of “doing nothing” are the best way to achieve peak performance, especially at a time of year in the baseball season where peak performance is hard to come by. 

Angels manager Joe Maddon eager to get back to work, with Shohei Ohtani in  his rotation – Orange County Register
Courtesy: Orange County Register/SCNG

With the holidays here and the sports calendar full, don’t neglect the art of a break. Hard work certainly pays off, but never turning yourself off from sports talk mode will burn you out and eventually deprive you of the energy and creativity that got you here in the first place. 

Barrett Blogs

BSM’s Black Friday SALE on BSM Summit Tickets is Underway!

Jason Barrett

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Each year I’m asked if there are ways to save money on tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit. I always answer yes but not everyone takes advantage of it. For those interested in doing so, here’s your shot.

For TODAY ONLY, individual tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit are reduced by $50.00. Two ticket and four ticket packages are also lowered at $50 per ticket. To secure your seat at a discounted price, just log on to BSMSummit.com. This sale ends tonight at 11:59pm ET.

If you’re flying to Los Angeles for the event, be sure to reserve your hotel room. Our hotel partner this year is the USC Hotel. It’s walking distance of our venue. Full details on hotel rooms can also be found via the conference website.

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BSM Writers

Media Noise: What Does The Return of Bob Iger Mean to ESPN?

Demetri Ravanos

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Demetri Ravanos has questions about Disney going back to the future with Bob Iger. This entire episode of Media Noise is all about what the change at the top of the Walt Disney Company indicates about the future of ESPN.

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BSM Writers

Media Noise: What Is Realistic For FOX at the World Cup?

Demetri Ravanos

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On this special holiday edition of Media Noise, Demetri Ravanos dives into the controversy and criticism surrounding FOX’s coverage of the World Cup in Qatar.

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