Time management. It’s something that is so important, yet so difficult to practice and be good at on a daily basis. I’ve mentioned several times in previous week’s that an important part of self-care is being able to leave work at home and time management is a HUGE part of that. I’ve been working really hard at being great at managing my time so that I can have some of that self-care time every evening and weekend. Not only is managing time important for self-care reasons, it’s just generally a good concept to practice, especially as a future music therapist who is working on a schedule with limited documentation and planning time. I would love to share what I’ve learned so far about what works best for managing my time; I would also love to hear from you about some of your tips and tricks that will help me in my future career

I keep a detailed planner with all of my sessions and lessons outlined in a clear and colored coded way. I use google calendar, which has been a giant lifesaver during my internship. I print out a copy of my schedule every week, especially since it can change frequently and put it into my clinical binder (where I take data, etc). I also have a paper planner too (in my opinion, you can never have too many planners!). Both schedules are color coded to differentiate between sessions, lessons, hospital time, and even my own personal life including my job. Looking at my schedule immediately reduces any anxiety I have about my day.

I make a weekly to-do list of everything that I want to accomplish that week and then I divide up those tasks for each day. Doing this makes everything more manageable. Someone once told me in college that it’s unrealistic to accomplish more than six tasks per day on top of every day life. That being said, I always make sure that my to-do list only contains six tasks and I only add more tasks to my to-do list if the tasks already on it are small and don’t take too much time.

I keep a log of every activity that I do in order to make sure I’m on track and managing my time well. For a music therapy internship, it’s required that you keep a detailed log of daily assignment work and clinical hours. Although I have to do this, I’ve found that it helps to determine how I’m spending my time, evaluate, and then change it accordingly. I can see how long it takes to me to complete documentation or an assignment; if it’s taking too long to complete something, I can determine the reason and then work on being even more efficient.

All of these activities help me get through my day. As I transition into a professional music therapist, my schedule will become even busier, but now I feel like I have the right tools to make sure I’m organized and practicing good time management.

Thanks for reading!

Sammy Springer