Have you ever been on a call with a potential new client when your child yells from the bathroom “I’m ready for you to wipe me!!”
Or, had to take your child to the ER in the middle of your new E-Course launch?
Or, how about this – have you ever had to homeschool your child in the middle of a pandemic, while simultaneously working from home and revamping your entire business to a teletherapy practice?
If you answered yes to any of the above, or have a similar story, then I have some tips to help you find time to work while your kiddos are home.
It might be session planning for your next virtual session, or working on business tasks, like invoicing and new client intake forms.
Whatever the task, here are some things that, after a lot of trial and error, are working for us:
- Schedule Quiet Time
Once my kiddos dropped their nap, we kept that same time frame and turned it into quiet time. My girls are now 3 and 6 and they know that every day, right after lunch, we go into 50 minutes – 1 hour of quiet time. They must stay in their room and play quietly or read until their green light turns on.
Following that, if they did a good job in quiet time, they get about 45 minutes of screen time. This gives them an incentive to stay in quiet time AND it gives me about an hour and a half of consecutive work time (consecutive is the key word here!) If your kiddos are young and have never done quiet time, start with a short amount of time and gradually increase it. This is a really great way for them to build independent play skills, too!
- Work In the “Fringes”
I do my VERY best to only do work during my kids’ quiet time, and give them my full attention when they’re out with me the rest of the day. But we all know there are work things that come up that need to be tended to right away. And, there are things we could knock off our growing To Do list if we just had a few minutes here or there.
Finally (after 6 years of doing this) I’ve realized that some work can be done in the “fringes” – those little pockets of time your kids are playing or entertaining themselves – like a quick social media post or making visuals for your next session. And some work needs to be done during the aforementioned quiet time, like edit an E-Book, answer emails, make phone calls, and invoicing (definitely invoicing!)
Once I made this distinction, I was able to use the time that my girls were coloring or playing dress up to do those little nagging tasks. The tasks in which I could be interrupted and it wasn’t the end of the world. The rest of the work, where I need quiet and focus, I jam into quiet time.
- Involve Your Kiddos
My little ones love to session plan and practice music with me. My 3-year-old even says she wants to be a music therapist when she grows up! Session planning and practicing are the perfect tasks to have my kiddos help me with. For example, I’m working on my Patriotic session plans for the first week of July, and my girls love patriotic songs.
So, we sing “You’re a Grand Old Flag” and “The Star-Spangled Banner” on repeat, which gives us the chance to make music together and bond, AND the chance for me to practice those songs for my upcoming sessions.
It is NOT easy to work from home with your kiddos, and I know everyone is doing the best they can.
I hope these ideas are helpful. Just leave a comment or send me an email if you have any questions or need some support!
And, if you’re in need of a creative boost for your virtual music therapy sessions, or are just plain strapped for time to session plan, check out the brand new Virtual Music Therapy Session Planning Pack for Summer! It’s available now for only $9 (but the price will be going up after 4th of July!):
In the E-Book, you’ll learn creative musical experiences that are working well in teletherapy and are effective in helping you connect (really connect!) with your clients across the computer screen.
Learn more about the Summer E-Book here.
Nell Miller, MT-BC called the first Virtual Session Planning E-Book (for Spring) “creative and wonderful” and says “I appreciate your ideas. You’ve helped me think of more varied things to try.”
Ashley Lewis, MM, MT-BC says of the first Virtual E-Book “I of course love your resources and I think you are brilliant. Your visuals are the best I’ve ever seen! I’m a huge fan of yours and I can’t wait to see what you come up with next because I will be buying it.”
You can grab both the Spring & Summer Virtual E-Books in a Combo Pack here ~ (its a BOGO: Buy One Get One Free deal!)