Effectively managing your time at work can help you achieve your goals efficiently and, through increased performance and renewed focus, boost the productivity and success of your organization. There are several time management techniques and activities you can implement to help teach employees how to avoid distractions and find motivation, overcome malaise and achieve an optimal work-life balance.
In this article, we explain the benefits of using time management activities in the workplace and provide a list of games and techniques to consider.
What are the benefits of using activities for time management in the workplace?
Using activities for time management in the workplace can help you boost your team’s success while providing enjoyment and building rapport. Ensuring team members can successfully manage their workload during the time they have available can have many positive effects that benefit both the employee and the employer. Here are some potential benefits of improved workplace time management:
Increased work attendance
Lower employee turnover
Enhanced workplace reputation
Extra spare time
Greater career satisfaction
Higher quality of work
Increased workplace morale
Workplace time management activities
Using activities to develop a team’s time management skills can help achieve the associated benefits while supporting and respecting employees’ workplace experience. If you want to use this strategy to enhance your own or your team’s time management, here are tktktk activities you might try:
1. The 60 seconds game
Although a minute is by definition 60 seconds, many people might have less awareness of how long it feels. Try covering all the clocks in a room and asking your participants to close their eyes. Then, invite them to open their eyes and stand up when one minute has passed. They will almost always stand up at different times and notice that each participant has a different sense of how much time has passed. This can help support time management skills by highlighting the subjective experience of time passing and the importance of using time management tools.
2. Calibrate your internal clock
Ask participants to keep track of their activities for 24 hours. For example, they might use an app or a notebook to record what they are doing each hour of the day. Then, ask them to rate their productivity during each of those times. You might use a number rating scale or develop a fun system for labeling levels of productivity. Help your participants evaluate their energy levels at different times of day and brainstorm ways to use the times when they are naturally most productive to their advantage.
3. Build a puzzle
Divide your participants into multiple teams and provide each one with a jigsaw puzzle. Allow some teams to see the expected image on the puzzle box, and have the other teams complete their puzzle without a picture for reference. When all teams are done assembling their puzzles, ask each participant to reflect on how long it took to assemble their puzzle, how difficult it felt and why. Your team members will probably notice that it’s easier to put the puzzle pieces together when they know what the picture is supposed to look like.
Use this as an opportunity to discuss the importance of seeing the “big picture” or the scope of your mission at work This can help your team develop an awareness of the role of their contributions to the organization and possibly help motivate and inspire good time management.
4. The time jar
This visual representation of time management might help some team members understand the importance of prioritization. Begin by setting out an empty jar. Then pour in a medium such as sand, helping your team notice that not much else will fit. Then take out the sand and place large rocks in the jar, followed by smaller rocks, gravel, sand, and water. Encourage your team to notice that incorporating the larger items first makes room for the smaller, more flexible materials. Discuss how this can be a metaphor for time management by prioritizing important matters and fitting smaller issues around them.
5. Practice role-playing
Divide your participants into groups. Invite them to practice time-management skills using role play within their groups. For example, you might provide a list of objectives to one individual and ask them to practice delegating tasks to another participant while a third watches and provides feedback. You might use this strategy for practicing situations where a team member might want to gracefully mitigate distracting workplace conversations or conduct efficient meetings. Be sure to include a debriefing or reflection session to make sense of what participants learn.
6. Shuffle the deck
Invite two volunteers to participate in this activity in front of the group. Provide each one with a deck of cards. One deck should be sorted according to suit and facing the same direction. The other should be mixed up, with some cards facing backward. Ask both participants to find the same card. After they have both located their card, discuss which one took longer and why. Try to direct the dialogue toward the importance of organization and the ways tidiness can affect time management and, ultimately, productivity.
7. Line up
Ask your participants to line up in order of a particular criteria—for example, by height. Ask that they do so without using words. When they finish, discuss what was challenging about that experience. Then, ask them to line up in order of different criteria such as birthday. This time, they may use any communication. Discuss which was easier and why. Help your participants notice it was easier and more efficient to organize themselves when they could use all of their available resources for communication. Discuss the importance of clear and effective communication as part of strong time management practices.
8. Gathering blocks
Scatter an array of many different colored blocks in front of your participants. Set a timer for one minute, and instruct participants to pick up as many as they can using their non-dominant hand, one at a time. When time is up, count each person’s blocks and award one point for each block.
Then, repeat this exercise but assign each color block a different point value. Award points based on the colors of blocks each person gathered. Debrief and discuss how participants may have approached the task differently the second time. Encourage team members to connect this activity with the importance of prioritizing as a part of effective time management.
I hope you find this article helpful.