Education, Consulting & Mentorship for Aging Service Professionals


Work Smarter Not Harder with The Activity Professionals Workbook

Take a peek into this months guest blog entry from Shelley Evans from Dementia Resources of the Fingerlakes LLC 

Shelley Evans is the Founder and CEO of Dementia Resources of the Finger Lakes, LLC. She has 29 years of experience working with adults with mental health and dementia-related diagnosis.  A Board-Certified Music Therapist, Board-Certified Activity Consultant, and Certified Dementia Practitioner, she is also a Certified Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care Trainer. Shelley has a monthly column in Creative Forecasting called “It’s Party Time” and she is the Director of Communications and Marking for the National Association of Activity Professionals Credentialing Center. She has created a workbook to help activity and recreation professionals to better utilize our time & resources! 

As an Activity professional, I recognize how busy our days are. We are dedicated to providing quality programming to an ever changing clientele.  We constantly have time management challenges, as we have documentation to write, programs to prepare for and facilitate, and individuals that need our time and attention. Our productivity is measured differently every day, as it is tied not only to task related work, but also to human needs and emotions.

Planning with a purpose helps us to prioritize our responsibilities and to keep track of those moving parts. If we prioritize our tasks, we can avoid running out of precious time. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time from your day, but 15 solid minutes in the morning and afternoon can lead to great success when the time is dedicated to your creativity. An administrator one taught me to prioritize email and phone calls to one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon. Leave all of the rest of the time to getting the work done. I was impressed. If an administrator can organize his time successfully with that tactic, so could I. It was giving me permission to not be tied to my computer or phone either.

There are many different articles out there about why someone should have a monthly planner. Some of those ideas include: feeling a sense of accomplishment looking back over the year, it can help one set and achieve goals, and it creates self-discipline. The truth is, having one tool, to store your ideas, brainstorms and creativity, with the ability to look forward for the entire year, will help all of us to move forward to provide the programming needs to the people we serve.

There are many moving parts in designing and facilitating activity programs. The Activity Professionals’ Workbook is a tool that you can use to write your brainstorm of ideas. Leave the workbook open on your desk, to write in your ideas as you are inspired. We get ideas from so many places. Social media is a huge source for ideas. Have the Activity Professional’sWorkbook open as you look through Pinterest®, Facebook®, and Recreation websites and blogs.  This can help you keep on track. The workload is not going to get lighter. We are continually being asked to do more, with less time and human resources. Having theintention of what goals you have in mind can be useful in your year’s planning.

This workbook is divided into months. Many people expect to have celebrations around the holidays. Write in your details of what will make your celebration a success. Each date has a special recognition, it includes famous birthdays, days to remember to recognize the date of one’s passing and days that focus on fun food items. If you know you have summer block parties at your facility, write the dates in now, add phone numbers for entertainers, and getsome details started. When have we not had to look ahead?

This Workbook accommodates a variety of planning schemes. It has a monthly calendar for creating activity programming, an area for to-do lists and planning. It has a brainstorming opportunity, as well as a place to “brain dump”. Emptying out all those ideas can help organize them for application.

The structure of The Activity Professionals Workbook makes it easy for you to use this single workbook for both calendar planning, activity design, note taking, idea generation, and goal setting.

You have infinite abilities. Some people feel better by making to-do lists and having the satisfaction of crossing off those completed tasks. The workbook is set up for you to organize different tasks. For example, you may use the activity design page to write out a new men’s group that you have ironed out. The to-do lists can be used for those items you want to order from a catalog, or order for an upcoming holiday party. Keep your phone messages in one area, so you can refer back to them if needed. The sticky note section is for those notes you need to pass on or put front and center in your planner. Each month has a section where you can add your own sticky note pile for actions. Planning ahead is easier. As I have traveled the country speaking at National, State, and local activity conferences, I get approached about my organization skills and unique group development. I have taken the ideas I have shared on the road and placed them here in the workbook. Each month also has an activity idea, an idea for staff recognition, and an ice breaker for group or staff development. Although this workbook was designed for activityprofessionals working in long term care, it can be used be activity andrecreation professionals working in any setting.

We have a lot on our plate, I hope this tool makes your daya little easier.

The book is currently for sale for $34.95 plus shipping & handling. Payment methods accepted are currently check or money order. If you are interested in this item please visit Shelley at her website or message me for a workbook order form! 



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