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 employed by Chiltern Music Therapy and as well as a clinician works as a Supervisor and Manager for the organisation. Ellie 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 and the Student Liaison Officer for the British Association for Music Therapy.

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