Time Management and Stress Management
by Amit Mathur
Question: Can you please provide me with some games and classroom activities on stress management and time management?
1. Here's an activity on Time Management...
Time Management Activity:
This activity is used to demonstrate three principles of Time management: Prioritize, Organise and Perform (Stephen Covey's Time Managment habit).
The crux of time management is to recognise that our lives are filled with the following types of activities:
Type 1. Important and urgent - eg. crisis, pressing matters, fire-fighting, deadline-driven projects
Type 2. Important but not urgent - eg. Prevention, relationship building, planning/preparation, implementing systems, professional knowledge
Type 3. Not important but urgent - eg.interruptions, some calls/mail, some reports/meetings, unprepared meetings, popular activities
Type 4. Not important and not urgent - eg. trivia, busy work, time wasters, unproductive activity, everything else
Type 1 activities cannot be avoided. Type 2 need to be done but take a back seat because of Type 1 and Type 3 activities. Type 4 can easily be given up.
Time management is all about prioritising activities so that we have more and more time to do Type 2 activities. Then, crises will reduce and one finds more time for important but not urgent activities. Type 3 can be delegated to somebody else who is capable and responsible. This concept is based on Stephen Covey's concept of 'putting first things first'.
To demonstrate the above concept you'll need the following materials: a glass tumbler, a handful of salt, a handful of mustard seeds, a handful of lentils, a handful of peanuts, a handful of shallots/soy nuggets.
Round 1: Tell the participants that the aim of the activity is to fill the tumbler with all the above material. Tell them that they have to suggest the order in which the material should be filled in the tumbler.
Invariably they will begin with the smallest in size and move on to the bigger. Half-way through the tumbler they begin to realise that the shallots will not be able to fit in.
This is a good time to stop and reassess the sequence with the participants.
They will realise, that the best option is to put the shallots in first and all the other ingredients will fit in quite painlessly.
Do this in round 2 and any difficulty will be solved by shaking the tumbler and get the particles to settle down better.
Debrief: Compare the shallots to type 2 activities and help them realise that time should be given to this first and the rest of the activities will fall in place quite automatically.
2. Check out the stress management game on the following webpage: http://www.experiential-learning-games.com/working-in-stressful-situation.html