Deadline 30 Minutes!™ | Time Management Training Activity

This 30 minute activity is an ideal training activity to demonstrate the need for teams to manage their time, be accurate and work together. Great as a starter or icebreaker, or for use as part of a teamwork, time management or communication skills course.

Learning Objectives

  • Tests teams' ability to define a task
  • Identifies relevant team roles
  • Stresses need for attention to detail
  • Emphasises need for good time management
  • Demonstrates how to break tasks into manageable parts – and delegate

Repeat Use Licence

This Northgate training activity comes with a licence for repeat use with up to 20 participants per training session within your organisation. Please ask for a discount for use with larger groups.

  • Participants

    4-20 (up to 4 teams of 4-5 per team)

  • Timing

    30 minutes + debrief

  • Uses a computer?

    Not required

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The Activity

Team members each have different Briefs which they cannot show to each other. The clock is ticking and teams have exactly 30 minutes to complete the task. They’ve got everything they need but information is spread across several team members’ Briefs – so good team communication is vital.

Each Brief also contains a hint of a possible role for each team member. But time is tight! Someone needs to keep an eye on the time and there needs to be a good coordinator, a good finisher and some capable team members. Quality of work and attention to detail are vital.

Trainer's Role

  • Divide participants into teams and explain the nature of the task.
  • Issue Briefing Materials and resources to each person.
  • Write the current time on the flipchart or whiteboard and tell the teams to start.
  • Observe the teams at work.
  • Stop the activity after exactly 30 minutes and check who has completed the task successfully.
  • Lead a Debrief on the learning points.

Full guidance is provided in the Trainer’s Notes.

Pack Contents

  • Trainer's Notes
  • USB containing
    • PowerPoint Presentation
    • Countdown Program
    • Files for printing Team Briefing Materials and Team Review Sheet
  • Plastic Tokens
  • Money Bags
  • Post-it Notes

Used at a conference on Teamwork Training with the Audit team. All the team enjoyed the game. The best learning points were: segregation of duties to complete the tasks, communication/sharing info and problem-solving. This activity focuses the mind, whilst keeping attention to detail and having fun.

Helen Anderson, GMAC Commercial Finance Plc

Short, sharp, not as easy as it looks - a great leveller! We used 'Deadline 30 Minutes!' as an icebreaker at the start of a Personnel Development Planning Session with managers in all areas of the business in mixed groups. The best learning points were: not giving up; time management; sharing job roles and responsibilities; planning; breaking a large job into small pieces; motivation.

Edward Gallier, Head of Learning & Development, Jurys Inn Hotel Group

The group was totally engrossed right from the start of 'Deadline 30 Minutes!'. We have quite a number of Northgate Activities - they work really well not only from the students' point of view but from mine as facilitator.

J. Shilcott, WRL & Enterprise Co-ordinator, Plymouth City Council - Tamar EBP

Fun and educational which gave food for thought for individuals. We used it on a full day team-building event with a group of approximately 25 multi-disciplinary health professionals. The activity showed the group how some staff “jumped” in and others thought things through. Also how the group didn’t recognise individuality, strengths and they weren’t as good as they thought at communication. A thoroughly enjoyable, short exercise to reinforce the messages around communication, planning and playing to people’s strengths.

Gill Hannah, Training Officer, Corporate Services, NHS Lanarkshire Monklands Hospital

Many thanks for all the input Mike. The exercise went really well and - even though no-one got it right (one group almost did but made a tiny error in adding...) - there was a lot for us to talk about afterwards.

Michael Heath, Michael Heath Consulting

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