Juggling Every Ball - Don't Drop Anything!

This is the busiest time of year for me. I am part of a group of dedicated, international music therapists who run an online music therapy conference. (Check it out at this link!) This is registration, taxes, and training month. I have lots to do, and that's before I am doing things with my job, various websites, and my part-time job. I am having to make a very detailed to-do list and dedicate time to finishing specific tasks by specific times.

It is amazing how things go, isn't it? For months, I have had lots of time for different things, and now EVERYTHING has to be done this month! It means that I have lots of things to do in order to keep going. This happens to affect everything else that is happening around me these days, including how I am putting together my music therapy services for my clients.

One of the things that I know about myself is that the more I get involved in things, the more I feel happy. Then, I just don't. If I'm not careful and intentional about my time management or my self-care or my to-do list, I end up being very ill. I do it myself, most of the time. I will probably get sick right after the conference, unless I spend time being proactive with my health and my time.

Why is this a journey post?

Sessions are directly tied to my thought processes and my mental well-being. When I am stressed, I tend to plan things like Karaoke Days - no thought required and no therapist required either. How does that benefit my clients? It really doesn't.

So, the journey that I am going on right now is that of maintaining quality and individualized services for my clients while still doing the things I've committed myself to do.

So, how do I maintain quality of service during trying and stressful times?

The first part of this process is writing robust and clear therapeutic music experiences (TMEs). My TMEs are very precise - on purpose! I spend extra time during TME development really thinking through goals, objectives, and procedures so when I need TMEs for times like these, I have them already thought through. I have saved myself countless hours (I am approximating) in sitting and looking at my blank session strategy form while my mind is racing around several other tracks - not the session strategy track. I can scan my TME database for specific goals and wham! Off I go!! I print off what I need, and I enter the session with confidence and lead quality services - not just a Karaoke Day (or, when I am REALLY stressed, a Movie Day - shudder!).

I now have a TME database that has over two thousand therapeutic music experiences. Many of these are mine, but lots of them are from former interns and other sources as appropriate. This database has saved my sessions more than I like to admit!

My recommendation to others who are occasionally stressed (and I know that there are lots of us out there - admit it!) is to develop your own way to write things down. When you are less stressed, use that time to brainstorm everything and anything that you can. Write it down! Use the TMEs, and then write down any revisions that may develop through using those TMEs. When you are stressed, forget the entire develop process and use what you were able to develop when you were less stressed.

If you are interested in more about my own TME writing process - here's a link

Time to launch myself into the to-do list. First up? Three online meetings. Okay, I've got this (and next week's sessions strategized as well!).

Have a wonderful Saturday!

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