Time Trial!™ | Time Management Training Activity

**FOR USE IN VIRTUAL & FACE-TO-FACE TRAINING SESSIONS** ​ It's the start of the week and the General Manager at Cavendish has lots to do! A short, sharp activity to deliver KEY lessons on organising your time effectively, increasing productivity and improving wellbeing.

Learning Objectives

  • how to prioritise important / urgent / not urgent but important etc
  • when to delegate and to whom
  • when just to say NO!
  • when to hold face-to-face meetings
  • when to delegate back
  • to avoid diary overload

Five-Year Repeat Use Licence

This Northgate training activity comes with a five-year licence for repeat use with up to 24 participants per training session within the licence-holding organisation. Please ask for a discount on multiple licences to use with larger groups. Also includes access to the Northgate Trainerhub (see below for details).

  • Participants

    3-24 delegates (up to 4 teams of 3-6 per team)

  • Timing

    1 hour + debrief

  • Uses a computer?

    Not required

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The Activity

Talk to staff in any organisation and there’s usually agreement that there is “too much to do”. But often, it’s simply a matter of being more disciplined and taking a few moments, on a regular basis, to plan the time available.

In this 60-minute activity participants are faced with a stream of emails and ongoing projects.

It’s the start of a new week and the general manager at Cavendish is faced with a lot of ‘things to do’. It’s the perfect time to take a few moments to organise the week ahead:

  • to plan the diary
  • to prioritise the workload
  • to decide where/how to best utilise staff
  • to arrange meetings where necessary
  • to sometimes just say ‘NO’.

Teams - or individuals - have two forms: Your Diary and Your Action Record, on which they record their responses.

In addition, the emails reveal some organisational problems and at the end of the activity participants are asked what underlying issues they were able to identify.

A scoring system allows teams' time planning skills to be assessed and scored. Teams then have a benchmark for improving their time management skills and productivity in the workplace.

The activity is straightforward to facilitate - full details in the Trainer’s Notes.

Time Trial! has been developed from Northgate's activity, InBox (no longer available) and has been redesigned, updated and improved.

Trainer's Role

1. Issue emails to teams (or individuals).

2. Tell teams they have 60 minutes to complete their task.

3. Issue forms: Your Diary and Your Action Record.

4. Observe teams (but do not get involved).

5. After 10 minutes issue the first of six additional emails - and one more every 10 minutes so that the final email is issued just a moment before the 60 minutes is up.

6. At 60 minutes stop the session and move on to the debrief.

7. Debrief the activity by leading a discussion to the whole group. Work through the forms, reveal the ‘right answers’ and allow teams to score their forms. They can then compare their decisions - usually provoking a lively discussion and plenty of disagreement. (Remember, the principles of time planning are the issue - rather than exactly the right response to a particular email).

8. Summarise the key learning points and announce the winning score. (Performance rating indicator supplied in the Trainer’s Notes.)

9. Issue 20 Top Tips handout to take back to the workplace.

Full guidance, discussion points answers are supplied in the Trainer’s Notes.

Pack Contents

  • Trainer’s Notes
  • Team Brief
  • Sets of Emails
  • Handout 1: Your Diary
  • Handout 2: Your Action Record
  • Handout 3: Top Tips
  • Specimen Answers for completed Handouts 1&2

This activity is supplied as a hard copy pack for face-to-face classroom use and as a set of digital files for virtual classroom use (the digital files are supplied via the Northgate Trainerhub).

Northgate Trainerhub

Benefits of the online Northgate Trainerhub include:

  • Easy-to-access resource library which stores all the digital files for the activity in one place
  • Immediate access to upgrades made to the activity over the five-year licence term
  • Access to an online Trainer Forum where you can post questions, share experiences & network with other Trainers
  • Access to free activities and icebreakers
  • Option to send information to team leaders digitally via the hub using Team Access Codes
  • Unlimited Trainer logins for all Trainers based at the licence-holding site

Off the shelf, convenient, reusable... 'spot on'... excellent!

Rob Maddalena, Director, Learning & Development, Sophos

'Time Trial!' (formerly 'InBox') fits the bill in our Assessment Centre, particularly for a Planning and Organising competence. It enables us to highlight team managers who potentially have problems with prioritising and delegating.

Head of Training, UK Law Firm (name withheld)

We use 'Time Trial!' (formerly 'InBox') at the outset of management courses and also to introduce the concept of how management NVQs work. We use it with first line and middle managers, supervisors and team leaders. It provides a good way of starting discussion and helps establish team-working practices and consensus seeking.

L. Hindley, The People Development Company

A fun method of enhanced learning. We use 'Time Trial!' (formerly 'InBox') for teamwork training/time management training for Accountancy Trainees. Very interactive and creates an 'air of reality'.

Paul Rodgers, Training Wisdom Ltd

I've used 'Time Trial!' (formerly 'InBox'), 'Hotel' and 'Decisions! Decisions!' and all three are very much worth the investment. They bring out fantastic learning objectives, are easy to facilitate and the supporting materials are great; what's most important is they work!

Sam Holland, Head of L&D, Talarius Ltd

'Time Trial!' has been a useful way to showcase the skills we talk about in our Time Management course at the end of the day. Delegates have really enjoyed using it.

L&D Advisor, Redrow Homes Ltd

'Time Trial!' went down a storm! Thanks again for your assistance!

Meghan Davis, Learning & Development Coach, Furniture Village

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