Managing Expectations [ONLINE]

I have the luxury of working weekdays during sociable hours, but the internet is available 24/7. How can we remain boundaried with how much time we spend on professional material? Using myself as an example; now that I have started this website I certainly feel a pressure to keep writing and keep growing awareness of what I’m publishing, and it’s all too easy to start writing an article at 9pm on a Sunday night when I should probably be taking some time to myself and preparing for the working week. This is the exact situation I find myself in now!

When the internet is present and available 365 days a year, 7 days a week and 24 hours a day, what kind of personal boundaries should we be setting as professionals when it comes to internet use? I wouldn’t choose to see a client at 9pm on a Sunday night, so should I be using that time to do something work related at all?

Maybe this is a common problem we face in the Music Therapy profession. And, I suspect, many others too. If I were to schedule time into my working week to write this Blog and promote it, that would be taking me away from clinical work. But let’s be really candid; it would also impact on my earnings, because although I count this as professional time spent I don’t earn any money from it.

So this leaves me with a conflicting situation; I don’t want to risk too much of my personal time being taken up on professional elements, but I don’t want to take any time out of my working week and negatively impact my clinical working opportunities and my earnings.

But wait. I love my job. I love being a Music Therapist. A thinker. A writer. How easy is it to put boundaries on something that isn’t just a ‘job’ but a passion?

Something that I am also considering is what others expect from this blog. What kind of content? What if this Blog has followers that would ideally like to see more material published than I can write? Or it’s not the sort of content I have led others to believe in promoting it, talking about it, and in the title of each post? What if my key words and tags are misleading? Or I don’t put the right ones at all?

It seems that as well as setting time boundaries, I must consider managing the expectations that others might have of me. And equally as important; the expectations I am putting on myself.

Before I can begin to manage the expectations of others online, I will first need to find out what they are. In an attempt to do this, I have posted a message on Facebook and Twitter asking ‘what do YOU expect from a Music Therapy blog?’ along with requests for people to respond and also repost or retweet the question.

I had a small handful of responses, through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and interestingly what people seemed to want to read about is:

Being a Music Therapist…


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ellieruddock Written by:

Ellie received her MA in Music Therapy from Roehampton University, and undertook additional training to receive certification as a Neurologic Music Therapist. She is a full-time member of the Chiltern Music Therapy team as well as the Therapy Manager for the organisation, and has experience of working individually and running groups with adults, older adults, children and infants across a number of health and social care sectors, including learning disabilities, ASD, mental health, brain injury and dementia. Alongside her music therapy work Ellie was previously a Trustee for the British Association for Music Therapy.

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