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Section 18
Making Time for Alzheimer's & Low-Functioning...
by Using a To-Do List - Part 2
Variations for the To-Do List

Table of Contents

Activity Directors who are To-Do List “masters” have used some of these alternatives or variations regarding the To-Do List notebook, outlined in the preceding section, with great success.
•   Try using index cards or slips of paper!  Use index cards for a lightweight alternative or supplement to a notebook. Carry a half-dozen 3” x 5” index cards in your pocket. When you get an idea, write it down. Our Course that deals with Volunteer Recruitment expands upon this concept of writing your ideas on slips of paper as a means of communicating with your volunteers to facilitate their independence.
•   A hand-held organizer, as mentioned earlier, offers an additional option to the To-Do List. Simply enter each task as it occurs to you, as you would with a notebook. The great payoff of the electronic organizer, however, is its ability to recall and sort items by category. You can retrieve phone messages, tasks to be handled by a certain date, and tasks to discuss with specific staff or volunteers by touching just a few buttons. The down side is obviously they are quite expensive and… well… I guess I am just not organized enough to own one.  I am afraid I would invest all that money in a palm pilot, blackberry, etc., take all of the time to learn how to program it, only to misplace it.  Oops did I say, "misplace it?"  Gee, and here I am talking about being organized…oh well, perhaps I need to reread this Manual myself!

The Multifaceted To-Do List 
In addition to being a task list, your To-Do List notebook provides a handy receptacle for all kinds of information.
•   Organize Miscellaneous Information!  Did a volunteer call to tell you about a donation? How about the new resident who was admitted yesterday and the discussion you had with his or her family?  Enter a To-Do regarding perhaps
                        --sorting through and storing or pitching volunteer donations
                        --and writing Progress Notes on residents, stating family wishes
    onto your To-Do List. Also write down your creative ideas, such as implementation of ideas presented in our Low functioning and Alzheimer's series. If you don’t plan to do anything with this information just now, rewrite it on a piece of paper and drop it into a file folder labeled "Future Action" for future reference, then cross the info off your To-Do List. 

    But be careful that this "Future Action" folder is not a new form of procrastination.  To avoid a procrastination trap with your "Future Action" folder, check it at least every other day for items you need to take "Immediate Action" on by putting it on your To-Do List.

List of random Miscellaneous Ideas for "Future Action" Folder:





   Organize your errands!  Consider organizing your errands geographically—it’ll save transporta­tion time and the time you’d normally take to figure out what to do when. Head a few pages of your notebook with the general areas in town where you need to go. Then, on the appropriate pages, list stores to check out and errands to run.  How many times have you driven to the opposite side of town, and as you were part way back to the facility thought, "Oh gee, while I was on that side of town I could have…!" 

List of Errands to organize geographically:





•   Implement that terrific idea!  You picked up a terrific idea at a conference, seminar, book,, or one of our Courses. Highlight it in your notes.  Write down any actions you’d like to take, or issues you need to explore with staff or other department heads, onto your To-Do List.  By transferring this "terrific idea" to your To-Do List, you are taking the first step toward implementing that idea, and perhaps making a change in one of your resident's lives.


List of Seminar, etc. ideas I plan to try:





•   Administrator or Consultant fright?  Some Activity Directors get a bit rattled when they meet with their Administrator or Corporate Consultant, and the questions they intended to ask are oftentimes forgotten. List all of your questions, and ideas you would like to bring up before you go into the big meeting. And please!!! Take notes during these all-important meetings.  These are busy people!  Why should they have to waste their valuable time repeating something they told you in the meeting or reminding you of something you were to do?  So afterwards, enter your notes (because, of course, you remembered to take them), suggestions, or instruc­tions you received, into your To-Do List.  Then, as mentioned earlier, they are…
--transferred to your Daily To-Do List, which might be located on your calendar;
--transferred into a "Future Action" folder, or
--delegated by putting a staff members or volunteers name by the item on your To-Do List along with the date of delegation.

List of questions/comments for an Administrator or Consultant meeting :





•  Remember Success Therapy®!  Of course, add to your To-Do List ideas you have gotten from our Alzheimer's and Low Functioning Activities Series of five Courses. Maybe you were particularly inspired by Geometric Puzzle in Volume One, or the Pillow Maze in Volume Two, or maybe the Las Vegas game in Volume Four.  Writing down ideas in your To-Do List for activities as they occur to you may make way for a wel­come creative session, perhaps regarding an activity project that might work with a resident.  You might schedule in your calendar a staff Inservice Training for viewing one or two tracks of a DVD or listening to a CD, followed by discussion as to how the ideas on these Tracks might be adapted to your residents.  These courses are so content-dense, I suggest you do not view the entire DVD at once for training purposes.  But maybe view it all the way through to get an overview of what is offered.  Then, for staff and volunteer training, have them view only a couple of tracks at a time followed by discussion of the material in the "Inservice Training Instructor's Guide" and "Inservice-Training Reproducible Note-Taking Booklet."

List of Activity Project Ideas " I'd like to try":








If you are not feeling highly motivated to implement any of the preceding ideas, think again!.  The Implementation of Culture Change requires cooperation from other departments.  You are requesting schedule changes, transporting, and doing activities.  In order to make these requests and provide training for other staff, the more professional and organized you present yourself, the more likely the other department heads, therapists, CNAs, etc. are to treat you with respect and take your Culture Change requests seriously.  Agree?  So I suggest you strongly consider rereading the preceding section more than once.  Sift through it to find the ideas you need to implement.

Forward to Section 19
Back to Section 17

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