Enforcing time management on your workforce can be quite cumbersome for any organization. If for some reason you are not able to implement time management tactics, the best they can do is provide them with time management tools to help them ensure a work-life balance, but it all depends on how well your employees make use of these tools.
If employees feel stressed-out at work then it can drastically impact their ability to work, which also creates a negative influence on the growth of the business.
To handle these troubles, many organizations have started to focus on time management activities to help their employees develop skills to make the most out of every minute.
If you are among one of those companies whose employees are having trouble managing their time, then it’s time to think out of the box and introduce these time management activities at your workplace to lift the productivity of your employees.
1 - The Mayo Jar
This activity is extremely helpful to highlight the significance of accomplishing the most essential task at the start.
In this activity, an empty jar along with large rocks, small rocks, sand, gravel, and water is given to two different teams to see how they fill it.
When they are done with filling the jar, then you can brief the teams about who filled the jar in the right way.
Let’s say, team 1 put sand first, then small rocks, gravel, large rocks, and water. On the other hand; Team 2 put big rocks first and then small rocks, gravel, sand, and water.
In that case, you can conclude team 2 as the winner because they start with big rocks which mean key tasks on top and then other tasks after that. Using this strategy, they can fit into some of everything which is the most effective way to work.
2 - Task Delegation Activity
This activity helps your employees to understand the importance of task delegation to get the work done quickly in case of workload.
In this activity, you assign complicated tasks to your team that takes time. When the workload passes the threshold, then you can introduce a new person and assign some of their tasks to that person.
It not only divides the workload of your team but also helps them realize the importance of task delegation at work.
3 - Time Squared
In this activity, you give every employee 3 pages that contain 24 squares. The idea here is to see how they make use of their 24 hours of the day.
On the first page, ask them to mention all the daily activities that they perform throughout the day like eating, sleeping, traveling and so on.
On the second page, let them fill it with all the tasks that are non-productive and don’t add value to routine tasks like tea-brakes, personal chat, calls, etc.
On the third page, you ask them to add the data of the two pages in it. Once they have done that, the spaces that remain empty show their productivity time.
Using this data, you can help them recognize the areas where they can reduce their time wastage and spend it on their essential things to become more productive at work.
4 - Organize the Cards
This activity is quite effective to help your team realize the significance of team collaboration and planning of work.
In this activity, you have three different teams. You give all of them a deck of cards and tell them to arrange these cards in a specific order set by you.
The team that gets it done more quickly will be the winners. Here, you can illustrate the benefits of the right planning and solid collaboration among the team to make things easy while working.
5 - Circadian Rhythms
This activity enables you to identify the most productive and least productive hours for each employee.
In this time management activity, you give each employee a paper that contains hourly blocks. Ask them to fill each hour according to how they feel at that time like tired, distracted, 80% productive, etc.
Using this activity, you can accurately recognize the best and worst working hours of each employee to help them boost their productivity by making most of their productive hours.
6 - Puzzle Challenge
This activity enables employees to realize the significance of having perspective and clarity of the big picture to plan their daily activities.
In this activity, you have two different teams. Provide both of them with a puzzle having a similar level of difficulty but without defining the big picture.
Now, you ask them to complete the puzzle as quickly as possible. Once they start working on the puzzle, interrupt them after three minutes asking what’s missing and making the task difficult.
This would help them understand the importance of clarity of the vision (big picture). Give them the big picture and ask them to finish it now using it.
Doing that, they will be able to finish tasks much quicker. It helps them recognize the importance of keeping the big picture in mind to finish work on time.
7 - Ace of Spades
This activity helps employees to understand the importance of work organization in time management.
In this activity, you have two volunteers along with two decks. Arrange one deck of cards in order and keep the other one without arranging cards. Give one deck of cards to each volunteer and tell them to find the Ace of Spades.
Don’t tell them that one deck of cards is arranged while other is not. The volunteer that get the arranged deck of cards will finish the job instantly compared to the volunteer that get the un-arranged deck of cards.
Using this activity, you can explain to them the significance of how organizing things before working can help them increase their productivity.
8 - Colored Blocks
This activity lets your employees realize the significance of prioritizing at work so that they never miss any essential tasks.
In this activity, you have to place various colored-blocks on a table, and brief your employees that they can pick as many blocks they can within a minute keeping these rules in mind:
a. They have to pick the blocks using their non-dominant hand.
b. They can’t pick more than one block at a time.
After one minute, record the name of each employee and mention the points they get collecting blocks. Announce the winner and then spread cards again. This time make sure that the blocks have points assigned on them and ask them to repeat the activity.
This time they not only have to focus on collecting the number of blocks but also have to concentrate on the points written on them so that they can claim maximum points.
Implementing this, your employees not only focus on only getting tasks done but also ensure that the most important tasks should be done first.
9 - Ribbon of Life
This activity is very effective to help your employees realize the prominence of time so that they can finish things timely.
For this activity, take a ribbon of 1 meter along with a scissor. The length of the ribbon reflects life. What you have to do is to cut parts of the ribbon for the days you don’t work, for the time spent on work, sleep, sickness, etc.
By the end, you will be left with a small piece of ribbon as compared to its starting length. This activity will help them in realizing the importance of time, and that they should make the most of the time they have for work.
10 - $86,400
This is also an excellent activity to help employees realize the importance of every single second at work.
To perform this activity, ask every employee to spend $86,400 individually or in a team and write in detail regarding where they spend that money.
Tell them that they have to spend that money in a day otherwise; they will lose it.
All of them will try to spend it in a way that gets them maximum satisfaction and they end up buying stuff that is dear to them. Now you explain, that when an employee enters the office they have 86,400 seconds at work. And they should be very careful and thoughtful about how they go about spending those seconds.
11 - Overcoming Time Wastage
This time management activity lets your employees understand how they can overcome time wastage.
In this activity, you have to divide your employees into four different teams. After that, you have to give them an envelope that consists of four index cards along with a time-waster mentioned on the back of them.
Tell them that they have three minutes to write all possible ways to overcome that time-waster on the index card and then pass the envelope to other groups one by one.
When all the teams are done with it, let them vote for the best way to overcome time waster so that they know how to resolve this issue in the best possible way when they face it while working.
12 - Parkinson’s Law Activity
This activity helps the employees to set specific time around tasks rather than continuing a task until they get it done.
To do this activity, divide your employees among 4 different groups and tell each of them to finish 5 tasks within 20 minutes.
Let the two groups work in an open-ended timeframe and the other two groups to spend 4 minutes on each task. Check who will accomplish tasks more effectively
According to Parkinson’s Law, the groups that are working with set timeframes will be able to achieve tasks instantly and efficiently whereas the open-ended groups have to come across problems identifying and completing the tasks.
This activity enables your employees to not only concentrate on setting task priorities but also spend some time setting a fixed amount of time for each task. This helps them in learning how to allocate time to a particular task.
13 – The Money Worth of Time Activity
This activity enables your employees to work with a mindset of getting maximum revenue for the business in less time.
In this activity, you have to ask your employees to break their work with respect to cost and profit, and then focus on working on the activities that bring the maximum value to them and the organization. Doing this, they will be able to understand the impact that businesses have after accomplishing projects that offer massive financial growth.
14 – Yesterday Work Activity
This time management activity helps your employees to see if the work they are doing is useful to accomplish their targets or they are going in the wrong direction.
In this activity, you have to ask your employees to write 10 things they worked on yesterday on paper. After that, tell them to write 5 topics that they like to discuss in the next performance review. Allow them to look into both sheets and link the activities that contribute towards the topics.
This way, they can easily identify that the time which they spend on activities was up to the mark or was out of the direction.
15 – Paper Boat Activity
This activity is all about proper communication with team leaders, and how a team leader can aid in understanding the task and get the job done rapidly.
To do this activity, you have to divide your team into two groups with equal participants along with a leader for each group. Now, describe the entire process creating a paper boat to both the leaders until they learn it to perfection. After that, ask them that you need 40 boats of the same size and appearance within 15 minutes by using the help of their teams.
Once the time is over, announce the winning team and ask the group members about the communication skills of the team leader, and how effective was the team leader in helping to meet the targets. Here, you can also shed some light on how excellent communication among the team can help a team achieve their goals on time.
16 – Desert Island Activity
This activity is quite effective to let the employees realize the importance of brainstorming before moving towards a task.
To do this activity, ask your employees to suppose that you are taking them on a trip to the Desert Island. They have to jot down all the essential stuff that they want to carry with them within two minutes. Tell them they will receive points for all the useful stuff whereas; their points will be deducted in case of any useless item.
Once they are done with it, highlight them the importance of brainstorming before starting the work and explain to them how it enables them to finish their job before time.
As you can clearly see that time management is not only limited to time management tips and strategies. Time management activities can significantly help you in teaching your employees key lessons of managing time effectively.
Now it’s time for you to pick a list of your favorite activities out of all the activities listed above to see how it works for you. Let us know in the comments below if your organization is using any activity to manage their employee’s time better.
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