These activities involve planning, prioritizing, scheduling, and tracking tasks and activities.
The top three time management activities for employees are as follows:
1. Prioritizing Tasks: Evaluate tasks based on importance and urgency, and focus on high-priority activities first. This ensures that critical tasks are completed on time and prevents time and effort from being wasted on less significant tasks.
2. Time Tracking: Utilize time tracking apps like Buddy Punch to monitor and analyze how time is allocated. Tracking time helps identify areas of improvement, reduce distractions, and optimize productivity.
3. Setting Realistic Goals And Deadlines: Break down larger tasks into small groups, set actionable goals and realistic deadlines. This helps manage workload, maintain motivation, and ensure timely project completion.
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The key to managing time at work lies in effective planning and prioritization.
In the US alone, 70% of workers reported feeling regularly distracted, with 16% highlighting feeling unfocused.
The main culprits?
Excessive emails, pointless meetings, and interruptions.
A distracted team with poor time management means two things for business – unproductivity and money loss.
So, what can you do to help your team find their way?
Time management activities are the answer!
Why Is It Important to Teach Employees about Time Management?
|As highlighted above, workers are increasingly distracted and unfocused.|
This isn’t good news for companies because a distracted worker will struggle to meet deadlines. When this happens, they’ll become unmotivated and unproductive.
On the other hand, when your staff has better time management skills, they’ll be able to meet (and sometimes even surpass) their goals. This will positively reflect on both your financial results and employee satisfaction.
Sometimes managers ask themselves: How do I teach time management to adults?
It’s much easier than you may think.
Time management strategies can always be learned.
The right approach to cultivating more productive time usage will not only improve your business, but it will also improve employee satisfaction as they get the most out of each workday.
What Are Some Of The Benefits Of Good Time Management?
|Productivity 📈: Achieve more, efficiently.||Reduced stress 😌: Peace of mind.||Improved focus 🔍: Sharpened concentration skills.|
|Better organization 🗂️: Structured and systematic approach.||Increased efficiency ⚙️: Optimal resource utilization.||Enhanced discipline 💪: Consistent work habits.|
|Improved punctuality ⏰: Timeliness and reliability.||Work-life balance ⚖️: Harmonious personal-professional equilibrium.||Greater opportunities 🌟: Time for new ventures.|
|Higher satisfaction 😊: Accomplishment and fulfilment.||Improved health 🌿: Reduced burnout and exhaustion.||Personal growth 🌱: Continuous self-improvement.|
Time Management Activities for Employees
Let’s be clear: employees struggling with time management isn’t a new problem. From our personal to professional lives, it is challenging to juggle everything that comes with life.
So, if it’s a common issue, will another routine lecture be an effective time management exercise?
Well, that’s highly unlikely.
If you’re trying to connect with the 21st-century employee, you need to approach them with new-age tactics.
And gamification is the perfect answer to instil employees with effective time management tips without them noticing how you’re improving their work-life balance and decision-making.
What is Gamification?
In a nutshell, gamification is applying game elements to a regular activity.
If you’re a leader trying to encourage your team to participate more in meetings, you could add game elements, such as rewards, a points system, and even challenges, to increase engagement and make the process more exciting.
If this sounds like fun – that’s the whole point!
This approach is a growing trend in employee engagement as it helps to make routine activities much more appealing.
Some of the best time management activities are just fun remixes on daily tasks that teach employees the importance of time optimization.
Suppose you’re wondering how time management games will help with skills development in the workplace.
In that case, you’ll be pleased to learn that there are already some case studies that prove how gamification can help improve employee productivity.
Benefits of Group Time Management Activities and Games (Gamification)
Time management group activities work because:
- They lead to a happier and more engaged workplace.
- They help to improve problem-solving skills.
- They are fun and help to relieve stress.
- They help to increase learning retention.
Not to mention the fun factor – would you rather go to a meeting to learn time management techniques or go to a meeting to play games with your co-workers? Luckily, now employees can do both.
We’ve compiled a list of effective activities that will help your employees learn project management, encourage team-building, and reduce procrastination in your workforce.
Ice-Breaking Time Management Activities
In this day and age, it is common for our workspaces and teams to be continually changing.
Help your employees keep up with these changes by using ice-breaking time management activities.
They’re often quick and easy to play.
Game 1: How Long Is a Minute?
This activity is an excellent time perception exercise.
- Ask your participants to close their eyes and open them when they think a minute has passed.
- To further test your group, you can ask all participants to put their watches away and hide or remove clocks in the room.
Naturally, people will be opening their eyes at different times.
- What is their understanding of time?
Not only is this activity a fun opener, but it also helps to show how we often perceive time differently.
For instance, you might think that the little coffee breaks you take during the day amount to about 15 minutes, while they may add up to an hour or even more. This game is a shock to the system for habitual time wasters.
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Game 2: Find Something In Common
As the name suggests, this game is all about helping your team members discover the things they have in common with each other.
Each person will need a pen and paper for this exercise.
- You can allocate a time limit of about five to ten minutes for this task.
- Each participant will try to find things they have in common with their colleagues by speaking to as many people as possible within the allocated time.
- They’ll then need to write down the people they have things in common with.
- The person who has the longest list wins the game.
- What questions did you ask different people?
- Do you feel you could have asked better questions?
- How did you answer the questions you were asked?
This game will help your participants understand the importance of effective communication. Without asking the right questions and divulging the right answers, it will be a challenge for them to find these common touchpoints.
This is also an effective icebreaker exercise to help your team connect quickly.
We spend much time in the office with people from all walks of life. And although the primary focus should be to do our jobs well, we’re also human beings. We have families, friends, dreams, hopes, hobbies, etc.
Once your team members learn what makes their colleagues who they are, they can start building valuable connections.
Life Lessons Activities
One of the most beautiful things about life is the lessons we learn along the way. No matter how big or small, these lessons help us grow personally and professionally.
Game 3: Mayo Jar
You’ll need an empty mayo jar, large rocks, pebbles, sand, and water for this game.
One by one, put each of these items into the empty jar, starting with the large rocks, then the pebbles, sand, and finally the water. By now, the jar will be full.
- What would have happened if you had started with the water?
- What would have happened if you had started with the sand?
If you’d put the water in first, or the sand, it would be impossible to fit in all the other items.
This exercise will help your team understand the importance of prioritization and how, if they start with the large tasks, the smaller stuff that needs to get done will often “fall into place.”
Game 4: What Did You Do Yesterday?
To get your team to improve their time management skills, you must help them understand what they currently waste their time on.
Each person will need two pages and a pen to write with for this activity.
- On the first piece of paper, each participant should write down ten things they did at work the previous day. Let them know that the specific order of these activities doesn’t matter.
- On the second piece of paper, ask the participants to write down five topics they must discuss at the next office meeting.
- What activities from the first list relate to the second list?
- Can you think of five activities you didn’t do yesterday that will help you perform well at your next office meeting?
This little exercise is about helping your team understand the relationship between our performances and the activities we spend time on. It will also help them gain a clearer perspective on what they waste time on.
The occasional office chatter is an essential part of a healthy working environment. It should be encouraged.
However, if employees spend hours each day doing that while there are multiple emails and other work tasks to get to, this isn’t very productive and will likely result in poor performance.
Better Team Collaboration Activities
“Alone, we can do so little. Together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller.
There are many advantages to teamwork. It helps colleagues learn from each other and promotes strong work relationships, among other things.
The following two games are a great illustration of this.
Game 5: Delegation Skill Practice
One of the most effective ways to foster a healthy team collaboration culture in the office is to encourage delegation. When your managers delegate tasks, they interact more, share expertise, and can avoid silo mentality in the workplace.
For this game, divide your participants into groups of three. Each group will also need an observer sheet, which we’ll discuss shortly.
- Split your employees into groups of three: one delegator, one employee, and one observer.
- The delegator should head their team, delegating off their list of tasks to the employee.
- The observer should pay close attention to how effectively the delegator chats with the employee. Are they an effective communicator?
- These observations should all be noted in a sheet, which has essential questions, such as:
- Did the delegator explain the importance of the task?
- Did the delegator present the expected results in a SMART goal?
- Did the delegator set a deadline and checkpoints?
- Was the employee encouraged to perform the task?
- After the employee completed the task, did the delegator review the job and give constructive feedback?
- The teams will then rotate, with each person getting the chance to delegate, be an employee, and also be an observer.
- Who was the best delegator in the team? Why?
- Who was the best employee in the team? Why?
- Which areas did each delegator need to improve on?
- Which tasks were pleasant, and which were more challenging?
Delegation is essential for managers and employees who plan on becoming managers one day.
Once your managers improve this skill, they can allocate time more effectively and, as a result, get more done at the office.
Game 6: Paper Boat Factory
Speaking of effective delegation, another fun activity and exciting game is Paper Boat Factory.
All you need for this are old newspapers.
- Divide your teams into groups of four to five, and then have them select a team leader.
- After showing them how to build a paper boat, give them four pieces of newspaper and instruct them to make 40 paper boats of their own.
- The trick here is that all the boats must have the same size and shape.
- You can allocate 15 to 20 minutes to complete the task.
- Did the team leader effectively delegate roles for the activity?
- Was everyone aware of what their responsibility was?
- Was there any confusion about focus – completing the task or getting perfect boats?
- Did any of the team members feel overwhelmed at any point during the task? Why?
In essence, making paper boats can be related to everyday tasks around the office.
In addition to improving their delegation skills, this is an effective exercise to help team members learn how to manage a team and also get work done on time.
Putting Things Into Perspective
The amount of time we have each day is the same – 24 hours.
However, some people use those 24 hours constructively, while others become easily distracted and unproductive.
The best way to help your workers become more constructive with their time is to help them put things into perspective.
Game 7: How Would You Spend $86,400?
The resources needed for this game are simple: a piece of paper, a pen, and, most importantly, your imagination.
Ask your participants to write down what they would do if they received $86,400 daily. What would they spend the money on?
This can be an individual or a group activity.
- They can’t save the money for a later time.
- They have to spend all their money on that one day.
- If they don’t spend the money, they lose it.
Once they’ve discussed what they’d spend their money on, relate this amount of money to the actual time we get each day.
We have 86,400 seconds each day. And just like with the money exercise, the time we have today can’t be saved for a later time.
This exercise will help the team better understand how precious time is and how important it is to spend it wisely and not let it go to waste.
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Game 8: Time Squared
For this game, all you need are three pages with twenty-four squares drawn on each. These are literal hourly blocks representing the twenty-four hours we have each day.
- Each participant will write down the amount of time they spend on routine activities on the first page. These include taking a shower, sleeping, eating, etc.
- For the second page, the participants must fill in their activities that waste time. These activities are non-productive, such as making personal phone calls, social media, etc.
- Then they should fill out the third page using all the data from the first and second pages. The remaining time represents the time they have to be productive.
- How much time do you have available for productivity?
- What tasks do you think you’re wasting the most time on?
- How can you allocate more time to being productive at work?
This activity will help your team understand which areas they waste the most time on and what they need to cut back on so that they can allocate more time for work tasks.
Game 9: Dealing With Distractions
This activity aims to identify the little distractions that quickly turn into time eaters. For this activity, the participants will need post-it papers and a pen.
Separate participants into smaller groups.
Each participant writes down three things on a post-it paper that distracts them from their work.
They hand out their lists to other participants and pass them on until they don’t know where their list is.
Within their group, the participants discuss how they would deal with the distractions listed and then share their ideas with the whole group.
- Can you identify some familiar sources of distraction within your team?
- Have your participants listed work-related distractions, such as answering emails, phone calls, or excessive meetings? How can they work together to reduce them?
- How do other team members deal with distractions that you commonly encounter?
This activity can help your team become more mindful of the little things they waste time on.
By passing the lists around, you ensure anonymity and encourage an exchange of peer-led strategies within your team.
Time Management Activities For Planning and Prioritizing
At its core, time management is about proper planning and prioritization.
Therefore, it’s essential for each worker to be skilled in this department, no matter what their job description is.
Game 10: Picking Up Blocks
For this game, place different colored blocks on the table. The number of blocks will depend on how many people participate in each round.
- Each participant gets some time to pick up blocks with their non-dominant hand. They get points for every block they get.
- To make things more interesting, they’ll continue picking up with their non-dominant hands for the next round. However, now the blocks will be allocated with different points.
- At the end of the rounds, tally up the points and pronounce a winner!
- How do you think you could have earned more points?
- Did you feel overwhelmed at any point? Why?
This game will force your participants to understand the importance of prioritization when faced with multiple tasks at work.
Game 11: Circadian Rhythm
Are you a morning person or a night owl? Do you feel more active after breakfast, or do your energy levels often rise in the afternoon?
We all have different body clocks, and understanding our body clocks is often key to optimum productivity.
Each participant will need a piece of paper and a pen for this game. The paper will have 24 blocks for each hour of the day.
- Jot down your daily routine per hour. For instance, wake up at 7, have breakfast at 8, get to the office at 9, etc.
- Jot down in each block how you feel. To help guide them, these are the adjectives they can allocate to each time block:
- On fire
- At 60%
- Cruise control
- Slowing down
- At what time are you the most active or “on fire?”
- At what time do you feel tired?
- When is the best time to allocate your most challenging work tasks?
- Who has similar body clocks in the team?
This exercise will help your team learn how to build efficient schedules around their circadian rhythms. Besides helping with productivity, this activity will help your team better understand each other.
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Time Management Activities For Adults
As you become an adult, you get more responsibilities, meaning you have several things to keep track of every passing day.
Most important tasks sometimes get replaced with ‘urgent tasks’, and maybe tension or stress (from personal life) can hinder or slow down an adult’s performance in the workplace.
That’s why time management activities via gamification are a great approach.
Sitting in a room taking a presentation on time management is far worse than playing a few games that will not only teach you something to help you in your personal life, but also relieve some of your stress.
Game 12: Jigsaw Puzzles
Solving a jigsaw puzzle requires focused attention and mental engagement.
It helps divert your mind from distractions and encourages you to dedicate time to the task.
By immersing yourself in the puzzle, you can effectively manage your time by setting aside a specific period for mental stimulation and relaxation.
- Select a jigsaw puzzle of your choice.
- Set a designated time for completing the puzzle.
- Focus on organizing and assembling the puzzle pieces to form the complete picture.
- Challenge yourself to finish within the set time frame.
How did the activity of solving a jigsaw puzzle help you develop patience, problem-solving skills, and the ability to manage time effectively?
Reflect on your strategies to complete the puzzle within the given time.
Jigsaw puzzles exercise good time management by providing mental engagement, goal-oriented focus, problem-solving skills, stress relief, time estimation, and patience.
Incorporating such activities into your routine allows you to manage your time more effectively, enhance productivity, and find balance in your daily life.
Game 13: Sort the cards
Sorting cards based on suits or numbers requires concentration and attention to detail.
Setting a specific time limit for this activity encourages you to work efficiently and stay focused on the task at hand.
It helps develop the skill of allocating the appropriate amount of time for specific activities, which is essential in effective time management.
- Prepare a deck of cards.
- Shuffle the cards and lay them facedown on a surface.
- Set a specific time limit for sorting the cards based on their suits or numbers.
- Sort the cards as quickly and accurately as possible within the allotted time.
What techniques did you employ to sort the cards efficiently?
How did the time constraint impact your decision-making process and the speed of your sorting?
Discuss the importance of prioritization and quick decision-making in managing time effectively.
This exercise helps improve decision-making skills and the ability to prioritize tasks effectively. By practising these skills during the activity, you can transfer them to real-life situations and manage your time more efficiently.
Game 14: Pomodoro
The Pomodoro Technique breaks work into focused intervals (typically 25 minutes) followed by short breaks. This timeboxing approach boosts productivity by creating a sense of urgency and providing dedicated time for focused work.
It helps prevent procrastination, maintain concentration, and achieve more in less time.
- Choose a task or project to work on.
- Set a timer for 25 minutes (one Pomodoro).
- Fully dedicate yourself to the task for the duration of the Pomodoro.
- Take a short break of 5 minutes after each Pomodoro, and after completing four Pomodoros, take a longer break of 15-30 minutes.
How did implementing the Pomodoro Technique help you manage your time and maintain focus on your task?
Did breaking your work into time blocks enhance your productivity and help you combat procrastination?
Discuss the benefits and challenges of working in concentrated bursts of time.
Working in set intervals with timed breaks increases time awareness and efficiency. By tracking the number of Pomodoro’s required to complete tasks, you gain insights into how long certain activities take, enabling better time estimation and allocation.
It helps identify productivity patterns, eliminate time wastage, and optimise your workflow.
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Game 15: Kanban
Kanban boards visually represent tasks and their progress, allowing for clear organization and tracking.
Visualizing your workflow gives you better control over your tasks and time.
It helps prioritise tasks, identify bottlenecks, and manage work-in-progress limits to ensure smoother task completion while looking at the big picture.
- Set up a Kanban board with columns representing different stages of your workflow (e.g., To-Do, In Progress, Done).
- Create cards or sticky notes for each task or activity.
- Move the cards across the columns as you progress with the tasks.
- Limit the number of tasks in progress to maintain focus and avoid multitasking.
How did using the Kanban method assist you in visualizing your tasks, tracking progress, and managing your time effectively?
Discuss the benefits of having a clear workflow visualization and limiting work in progress to enhance productivity and task completion.
This exercise helps prevent overwhelm, promotes focus on high-priority tasks, and ensures time is spent on activities that align with your goals and deadlines.
How can time management activities improve team collaboration and communication?
Using the gamification approach as your go-to time management activity, you’ll find your team members coordinating and planning workloads among each other more effectively. Also, group time management activities foster effective communication between team members, thus, allowing them to discuss problems, issues, and ideas more clearly and quickly.
Are there any time management activities suitable for remote or virtual teams?
Yes, there are several things one can do to manage their time better, especially if working remotely:
– Avoid & Eliminate Distractions
– Create a To-Do List
– Measure Your Time Spent On Each Task
– Set Deadlines and Timelines
– Identify Rabbit Holes
Why are time management skills important?
Time management skills are important because they enable individuals to use their time efficiently, prioritise tasks, meet deadlines, and reduce stress. They help individuals maintain focus, increase productivity, and achieve a better work-life balance.
Help Your Employees Manage Their Time Better
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Although time management can be challenging, helping your team learn this important skill will improve their productivity and efficiency.
And as you’ve seen from the above games for time management, this process doesn’t need to be routine-like or uninspiring.
Fun time management activities for employees can help to drive home vital skills such as team collaboration, planning, and prioritisation.
So, get out there and follow these exciting time management activities to help your team manage their time better.
Lastly, suppose you indulge in time management activities via gamification in your business environment. In that case, you won’t need to conduct regular performance reviews of your employees as their performance, attitude, and motivation will unfold right in front of you while playing games!