In both the working world and in personal life, time management plays a major role in the success of attaining goals and objectives. Time management is not necessarily a natural skill; group activities for time management provide individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to carry out effective time management in all aspects of professional and personal life. Though group activities are often hosted through the workplace, time management games and activities can also play a role in households and families.
Effective time management is closely linked to productivity. In the workplace, productivity can determine the security of an employee's job. Personal time management strategies like keeping lists or creating time lines can be effective, but group activities for time management are particularly effective because they provide an opportunity for a realistic simulation. There are several external or uncontrollable variables that may interfere with effective time management including the management of other members of a team. Group activities for time management provide opportunities to practice skills in situations which contain multiple variables.
Effective time management depends on several factors including prediction skills, communicative ability, organization, innovation, forethought and follow-through. Group activities for time management allow participants to witness the strengths of others so that they may internalize strategies for effective time management. Group activities allow participants to practice skills that require interaction such as clear communication, active listening or collaboration. Group activities also create the chance to simulate potential conflicts which may interfere with effective time management such as conflict about the task.
Time management group activities are most common in workplace or school settings. Group activities in professional settings are aimed at providing and rehearsing skills to increase time management skills as well as productivity. Group activities in home settings are less common because they require structures and organized preparation; however, families may also benefits from time management activities aimed at managing appointments, setting schedules or completely household tasks.
Time management activities for groups may also be used in high-risk or public service jobs in crisis management. For example, emergency response teams may use simulation activities to demonstrate the role of time management in a crisis situation; emergency response personnel must demonstrate an ability to accurately assess the severity of injuries and manage time efficiently to ensure that all patients receive adequate care.
Group activities for time management may focus on short-term time management skills such as organizing daily tasks or prioritizing responsibilities, or they may focus on long-term time management skills such as developing a savings plan to make a large purchase or creating a time line for obtaining an advanced degree. Some group activities for time management yield immediate results; for example, a supervisor may host a time management activity in which teams of sales representatives develop time lines for achieving sales goals for the day. Other activities require consistent rehearsal and practice before the desirable behaviors become internalized. Group activities for time management can be adapted to suit available time constraints; simple five minute activities such as preparing and delivering a group position statement can be just as effective as whole-day professional development activities.
One common activity for time management involves challenging teams to create a simple, functional object like a soapbox car within a limited amount of time with a limited amount of supplies. Teams must develop a strategy, delegate tasks and build in time for construction, testing and revising before the teams compete in a race. The exercise would include a discussion with teams about the way they used their time and what changes they would make in the future.
A more advanced time management activity is to create a simulation exercise for a particular industry. For example, in a training session for teachers, a group leader may create a mock school board meeting in which teachers are asked to speak before the board regarding an upcoming freeze on salaries. The group must develop a strategy for navigating the simulation effectively within the time allowed. After the simulation, team members should be asked to write reflections of the experience and then share them. A discussion could focus on the variables that decrease effective time management and strategies to navigate those variables successfully.