SAY IT WITH ME NOW! “ROUTINE!”
As an in-home behavior technician, your time is very valuable.
One of the primary objectives of being a BT is optimizing the time you spend on programs with your learner. This should take up the majority of your in-session time. Despite this, passive routine activities account for a large percentage of your time at a learner’s home. Those activities are unavoidable. The small-talk with the parents; the review of their child’s day; the program preparations; the distracting siblings — The list goes on.
Depending on a day’s circumstances, these little things could end up eating out a large chunk of your session time. You might only be working a two hour session, but these interactions could end up costing you 20-30 minutes. Think about that. That’s 25% of your session right there. Thats not only your time, but a learner’s time, not to mention the parents money as well.
But this equation also goes the other way. At the end of your session, as you look to the clock, then down to the programs you’ve run, you do a quick evaluation in your head. “I’ve got fifteen minutes left, but two incomplete programs, and two more I really wanted to get to, and then the session assessment to complete.”
In the back of your head, you know you’ve got that dinner with your girlfriend’s parents that you don’t want to be late for, but you look at your learner and decide to finish the two programs, and to run the two other programs also. Its now ten minutes past the time your session was supposed to end, and you still haven’t filled out the session assessment. As you rush out to your dinner, you realize you’ve got play-dough on your jeans and decide to fill out the session assessment in the morning. Its a mess. You won’t get paid for that extra time, and now your girlfriend is upset with you.
This is why it is important to set up a personal routine for each of your sessions.
We talk about routine all the time in regard to our learners, but the truth is that we operate in the same way. The more concrete your routine, the more efficient you will be. For the new BTs out there, know that this can take some time. But having a drawn out plan with allotted times for those unavoidable distractions and knowing how long each program takes on average will help you optimize your in-session time. If you’re a real expert, you’ll figure out a routine for your learner’s weekly programs also. Say you’d like to run sorting three times a week, but it takes a long time to run, setting up a routine could help! Knowing that you run sorting on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays will allow you to coordinate programs around it.
By setting up a session routine for yourself, you optimize your own time. You’re no longer late for dinners, and your learner is getting the most out of his session.
Thanks for reading!