Working groups are put together because there is

Working in a group can be extremely challenging. This lesson provides some fun activities to help groups learn about time management and how they can make the most out of their group projects.

The Challenge of a Group

Working in a group can be incredibly challenging. When you are preparing groups to work together, it is important emphasize time management skills. Teams that efficiently manage their time and delegate responsibilities will ultimately perform better.Often, groups are put together because there is a large project to complete. Together, they must complete a specific task, or tasks, in order accomplish something great.An essential part of time management in a group is having a shared vision or shared idea of the end goal. Without a shared vision, groups will have a difficult time completing a task.

In fact, they will probably push against each other and become counterproductive.

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Time Management Activity #1

In order to help the groups understand the importance of a shared vision and time management, you can guide them through different activities that will highlight effective time management skills.For our first activity, prepare by cutting out pieces of a large photo of whatever you like, such as a building, an animal or even scenery, then place the cutout pieces into plastic bags. Next, split the large group into small groups of four to five.

Give each group a cut-out picture. Do not tell the group what the picture is. Then allow the groups to start working on the puzzle. After three to five minutes, ask them if they are having any trouble putting it together.After 10 to 15 minutes, stop the process and bring the groups back together in order to discuss the experience. Ask them if they struggled to put the picture together, and if so, why? You can also ask them if they understand the purpose the exercise, and explain what it is you want them to take away from the activity.This should begin a discussion on the importance of realizing the end goal, or the importance of creating a shared vision.

You will want to guide the conversation by talking with them about how much time it takes to do something if you have no idea what the end goal is. When working in a group, it is very important to develop a clear picture of what you want to achieve. You can then set objectives and timelines. Without a shared vision, or end goal, you will waste time and be incredibly inefficient.

Time Management Activity #2

In this activity, you will once again have groups of four to five people. These groups will have a list of tasks, and they must try to complete all of the tasks. As they complete the tasks, they should track their points awarded for each task. The team with the most points at the end wins!Explain to the groups that if they get too rowdy or dangerous, they are automatically disqualified.

Safety first! For this activity, everyone has 15 minutes to complete as many tasks as possible. You can also make this more fun by having a small prize at the end.You will give each group a list of instructions with points attached to each task. You can create instructions that fit the room you will be working in or use these examples. For instance, for five points you can:

  • Have everyone in the group run up and down the stairs.

  • Get everyone in your group’s age and add them together for the total.
  • Write down everyone’s last name and find five words using the names.
  • Play two rounds of duck, duck, goose.
  • Create a three-line song on time management.
  • Have everyone in the group do 15 jumping jacks.

  • Find out how many siblings everyone has.
  • Make paper bracelets.

For ten points, have them:

  • Make five paper airplanes and fly them.

For 15 points, have them:

  • Write down the name of every team member.
  • Create a four-line poem related to this lesson.

And for 20 points, have the groups:

  • Sing happy birthday to every team member.
  • Have everyone count backwards from 50.

After 15 minutes is up, stop the groups and add up the points. Talk with the groups about their decision-making process:

  • Did they have enough time to do more tasks?
  • Why did team x only complete three tasks?
  • How can the groups be more efficient?
  • How can they improve their time management?

Help guide the discussion by talking about creating a shared vision, understanding the end goal and selecting the easiest tasks first so that the greatest number of tasks can be completed.

Time management is also about using time wisely and doing the most that you can in an allotted amount of time. Remind them that if there are required tasks, they should do those first. Generally, it is best to choose the tasks you can complete most quickly, and then move on to the harder tasks.

Wrapping Up the Activities

Examine the two exercises in regards to the value of time management in group activities.

  • What did the groups value about these activities?
  • What did they learn about time management, and will they use it in the future?
  • What else would they have liked to have addressed in the activities?

Talk with the groups about how these activities will be helpful for them in the future.

Lesson Summary

In this lesson, we looked at two examples of time management activities you can use when preparing groups to work together. Besides learning how to use time wisely, participants will learn how to work together, develop a common goal and overcome challenges.

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