Time Management Group Activities and Games: Personal Development the Fun Way

Written by Domantas Vanagas

November 2, 2021

Time management skills are vital for people to know. However, you might bore a group of people if you teach them about time management in a dull way. How can you teach a group these skills in a way that is fun and effective?

If you are trying to teach your employees or another group of people time management skills, you might use group activities and games. Many companies use group time management activities to teach their employees these crucial skills.

You do not have to invent any games yourself – there are plenty of existing online and offline time management games to try. But first you should answer this fundamental question:

Does your group of people need time management games?

Poor time management can lead to deadline stress, rushed work, and employees working extra hours to make up for working slowly before.

Some employees might miss deadlines. Others might work on low-importance tasks and neglect high-importance tasks.

If you have a group of people with these problems, give time management games a try. Time management games are more effective than time management lectures, not only more interesting.


Why are group time management games effective?

Many people don’t manage time well because they have never been taught any tricks to manage it. Some people quickly learn good time management skills on their own; others need lessons about how to manage time.

group planning

Time management games are effective because they teach people tricks and strategies in a playful and visualized way that is easy to remember. Some people will leave everything to the last minute until they are educated about how to stay ahead of schedule.

Games are a better way to learn than lectures. People learn faster if they learn actively rather than passively. People retain what they learn if they have to participate and not merely listen.


Time Management Games and Activities for Groups of People


1. Jigsaw puzzles

Good old-fashioned jigsaw puzzles are great time management group exercises. Split your group into two teams and have them compete to finish a jigsaw puzzle the fastest.

When trying to finish a puzzle as fast as possible, you have to make sure everyone on your team is working, and you have to share information. People have to work fast and not procrastinate, do higher-value work first, and make sure they are contributing something to the team effort.


2. Mayo Jar Activity

This is not a game so much as a demonstration. First, start with an empty jar, and then fill it with golf balls. As the group whether or not the jar is full, and they will probably agree that it is.

However, you can add more to the jar even if another golf ball won’t fit. You could add some sand to the jar and then fill it up some more by pouring more water into it.

This can be a lesson about doing tasks in the right order. If you pour the water in first and then add the golf balls, you won’t fit nearly as much in the jar.

Tasks when working on any kind of goal are often the same. If you don’t put some thought into what to prioritize, you will end up with a worse final result.

This can also be a metaphor for the important things in life. The important stuff, such as friends, family, relationships, and work, should come first. The less important stuff (represented by the water and sand rather than the golf balls) should come second. Also, it is very useful for every adult to remember such life lessons once more.


3. Circadian Rythm

Everyone has a body clock that makes them feel energetic, tired, or normal at different parts of the day.

It is important to listen to your body clock.

Go to bed early when your circadian rhythm says you should, and aim to do your best work during the part of the day when you have the most energy.

You could get everyone in your group to write down their circadian rhythm on paper.

group of employees writing and discussing

Give them a piece of paper showing the hours of each day, and have them write down their mood at each time. Have them markdown when they are full of energy, hungry, or tired.

You might also give people a piece of paper with squares and ask them to draw or write down what they usually do at each hour of the day.

This will help them understand their daily schedule better.

They will learn what parts of the day are currently productive and what parts are less likely to be. That way, they can schedule work for parts of the day when they have more energy, not for parts of the day when they are tired.


4. What did you do yesterday?

Simply listing what you did at work yesterday can help you manage time better and become more productive.

Ask everyone in the group what they did at work (or at college, or in their lives) yesterday or over the last few days.

Sometimes, a student or employee will realize that they aren’t trying hard or are trying hard but aren’t working efficiently.

If they put some thought into what they did yesterday, they might realize that they could have done a lot more.


5. $86,400 Game. Realization.

You can teach people about the value of time by comparing time to money.

Tell your group to imagine that they wake up every morning with $86,400 in the bank. Tell them that they cannot save money and that the bank will always delete any money they don’t spend by the end of the day.

Then, compare money to time. While people are not lucky enough to have $86,400 to spend every day, they do have 86,400 seconds.

Tell your group members to use up every second they have – if life gives you 86,400 seconds each day, you should use all of them.

You can also talk about the cost of wasted time. Losing a year, a month, a day, or even a minute or less can cost you a great deal. Even a second can count – you could get in a car accident if you lose a second.


Online Time Management Group Games

Online games are a great way for a group of college students, employees, or others to learn about time management. Many online games are quick enough that you can make a single lesson out of one of them. These games can teach real-time management skills.


1. Overcooked

This multiplayer restaurant game is your first choice to teach a group about time management. You must cook food in a hurry and serve it to your customers. There are disasters such as kitchen fires to worry about, and you must prioritize important tasks.

If you don’t think ahead, you won’t do well at this game. The game has multiplayer, so the group should play the game and learn to think ahead together. The group will usually learn more from multiplayer time management group games.

Whenever fire or another small crisis appears in the game, the players will have to decide who will deal with it. Players have to work as a team to complete the cooking process on time. The cooking process is multi-step and requires teamwork.

After playing overcooked or any other online game with your group, you should discuss time management with them.

It won’t work as well if you don’t follow a game up with a discussion. Ask them what time management challenges they faced, how they were able to overcome them, and where they went wrong.


2. Diner Dash

While overcooked is very different from Diner Dash, it would probably not exist without it. This is the original time management game that inspired countless others.

In Diner Dash, you serve rather than cook food and progress through increasingly difficult levels.

The game is simpler than overcooked and is not multiplayer. However, people can still learn from it.

Each customer has a mood (represented by hearts floating over their head), which will worsen if you don’t get them their food. You must complete tasks in order and complete more urgent tasks first to succeed.


3. Happyville

This is a city management game that is much better for a time management exercise than most other city-building games. You have to juggle multiple tasks as you do in real life.

While there is a lot to do in HappyVille (build schools and hospitals, reduce the number of homeless and unemployed, ext), it is a simple enough game that you can understand the game the first time you try it. It is not too long and complicated to use for a time management group activity.

In HappyVille, you have to win elections to keep playing. Your group will have to keep an eye on the time until the next election and complete enough objectives before the time runs out. The game requires you to complete tasks with both limited time and limited resources.


How much do people benefit from time management?

Time management can be a life-changing skill. If someone learns to manage their time better, they can make more money, have a better work-life balance, and minimize their stress levels.

It is worth your time to teach your employees, students, or some other group of people to manage time properly. The group will perform noticeably better after a few simple time management group exercises.


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