Time – there never seems to be enough. Putting all the sessions and the prep on the calendar quickly fills the time. Then there are all the “should-a’s”. I should:
- Read my music therapy journals
- Learn a new song
- Complete a continuing education course
- Prep the presentation
- Return the phone calls and emails to current and prospective clients
Then there are the “I’d like to’s”.
- Read a book
- Participate in a community event
Time is a magazine.
One of my friends says this. There is a lot of wisdom in that statement. Magazines are organized. You can pick and chose what you read. You and thumb the pages. You can rip out the pages you want, tossing the rest to lighten the load.
So, how do make the time in your life like a magazine? With tools and planning!
#1. An online calendar
The nice thing about an online calendar is access. Whether it is Google calendar, iCal, or another tool, these can be helpful. Depending on your situation, you can make them family friendly.
#2. A physical/paper calendar
There are times access to the internet is not an option. Or, maybe there isn’t time to boot up the calendar. Having a paper copy can be key. The reason this is NOT the only calendar in my toolbox? They can get lost if you carry them with you
#3. Use scheduling tools
When clients can schedule themselves, it can save you some stress. If it is just a scheduler for phone calls, consider using Calendly. You can set time aside. It will update with some online calendars. And it can send an email to the client.
For sessions, lessons or events there are many scheduling tools out there.
In the past I’ve use My Music Staff. This monthly service is always receiving tweaks and updates. It can send texts or email reminders. The big complaint is the calendar being behind the “enrollment” wall. Another option is Music Teacher’s Helper.
#4. Using project planning tools
Whether it is you or a team, having a place to save all you tasks and a timeline for completing them can be vital. The options are many. My go-to is Asana. One thing I love is the ability to share a list with a given person or persons. So my home list can be shared with the family. And, I can even mark them as responsible for a task.
Other options include:
- Insightly – It also let’s you track client contacts and other tasks.
- 17Hats – This is a multitasking business program with tons of features.
#5. Blocking time for YOU!
The biggest helper can be blocking out time for all those should-a’s, time to plan, and even you time on those calendars. Then when someone asks to schedule in that block, you can honestly say you have another commitment. You also have the option of moving those blocks.
Bonus time-saving tools
Find resources to help you in preparing music therapy sessions. Have books on your shelf, pin ideas on Pinterest, become a member of Session Cafe…. Make use of other ideas to keep your senior living sessions fresh for your clients and yourself.