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Time Management Course Modules

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Time management is an invaluable skill for everyone. Good time management, including effective planning and prioritising, setting goals and knowing when and what to delegate, helps participants to be more effective and accomplish more.

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Breaking Goals Down

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 45 minutes.

Aims:
• To show the value of breaking goals down into smaller chunks.
• To provide participants the opportunity to practise breaking long-term goals down into a series of short term objectives.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 35 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 45 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To show the value of breaking goals down into smaller chunks.
• To provide participants the opportunity to practise breaking long-term goals down into a series of short-term objectives.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
We have provided you with a suggested Gap Analysis about learning to juggle. If your participants all work in a similar role or for the same organisation, you might wish to substitute this example with one that is more relevant to your participants.

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Building Strong Bridges - Basic Leadership Skills

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 75 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to consider planning and preparation as part of leadership.
• To facilitate discussion around playing to the team's strength.
• To consider factors that motivate staff to perform well.
• To encourage staff to self assess, review and reflect on performance.
• To encourage leaders to consider their communication skills.
• To encourage leaders to consider the question of keeping people motivated.
• To demonstrate leadership skills in a practical task.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 55 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 75 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to consider planning and preparation as part of leadership.
• To facilitate discussion around playing to the team's strength.
• To consider factors that motivate staff to perform well.
• To encourage staff to self assess, review and reflect on performance.
• To encourage leaders to consider their communication skills.
• To encourage leaders to consider the question of keeping people motivated.
• To demonstrate leadership skills in a practical task.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
First line managers and supervisors.

You'll Need:
• Broadsheet newspapers (one per team).
• Sticky tape (one per team).
• A tennis ball.

Notes:
In this exercise, participants will be working in teams of 4 or 5. Each team will need one broadsheet newspaper (for example, the Financial Times) and a roll of sticky tape.
In addition, you will need a tennis ball (or similar) to test the strength of the teams’ structures.

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Delegation - Sink or Swim

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 60 minutes.

Aims:
• To introduce participants to the subject of delegation.
• To explore what constitutes effective and ineffective delegation.
• To consider best practice when delegating.
• To identify some pitfalls to avoid when delegating.

About

Time:
The exercises in this module can be completed within 40 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 60 minutes to complete the module.

Aims:
• To introduce participants to the subject of delegation.
• To explore what constitutes effective and ineffective delegation.
• To consider best practice when delegating.
• To identify some pitfalls to avoid when delegating.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Team Leaders and managers.

You'll Need:
Blank sheets of A4 paper.

Notes:
For this module, you will need:
• Plenty of A4 paper.
• Copies of each handout for every participant.

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Effective Delegation

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 120 minutes.

Aims:
• To agree the important principles of effective delegation.
• To review and learn from the experience of being delegated to.
• To recognise potential barriers to delegation.
• To prepare a checklist for effective delegation.
• To identify tasks that can’t be delegated.
• To plan for delegation.

About

Time:
The exercises in this module can be completed within 60 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 120 minutes to complete the module.

Aims:
• To agree the important principles of effective delegation.
• To review and learn from the experience of being delegated to.
• To recognise potential barriers to delegation.
• To prepare a checklist for effective delegation.
• To identify tasks that can’t be delegated.
• To plan for delegation.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Supervisors and junior managers.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
A useful discussion based exercise that encourages participants to really think about when to delegate, why to delegate and when not to delegate.

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Gossip! - An Exercise in Communication

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 45 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to communicate effectively in order to gather all the information available.
• To encourage participants to think about how they communicate.
• To encourage participants to work co-operatively to solve a shared problem.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 30 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 45 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to communicate effectively in order to gather all the information available.
• To encourage participants to think about how they communicate.
• To encourage participants to work co-operatively to solve a shared problem.

Group Size:
The optimum number of participants for this exercise is 8, however it can be used with fewer. If you have more than 15 in your group, split them into teams.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing, other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This communication exercise is based on a logic puzzle.

The optimum number of participants for this exercise is 8. However, we have included additional ‘gossip sheets’ which enable the exercise to be used in groups of up to 15. (If you have more than 15 in your group, split the group in to teams of 8 or more and get each team to complete the exercise separately.) Please note that where there are more than 8 participants in a team some of the ‘gossip’ will be duplicated.

It is possible to use this exercise with groups of fewer than 8 participants, but as all 8 Gossip Sheets must be used it means that some participants would need to be given more than one sheet each.

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Hotel Doldrums Part 1 - Where Are We Now?

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 120 minutes.

Aims:
• To build an understanding of the key steps in strategic planning.
• To encourage participants to analyse financial and other data using a SWOT analysis.
• To encourage participants to think about where they are now, before moving on in the next module to consider where they want to be.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 75 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 120 minutes for this module if working with 10-12 participants.

It is strongly recommended that, for maximum impact and best overall use of time, this module is run in conjunction with the other modules from the Hotel Doldrums series.

Aims:
• To build an understanding of the key steps in strategic planning.
• To encourage participants to analyse financial and other data using a SWOT analysis.
• To encourage participants to think about where they are now, before moving on in the next module to consider where they want to be.

Group Size:
An ideal group size for this module is 12, with participants working in 3 teams of 4. If you have more than 15 participants in your group, you may want to consider ‘doubling up’ on some of the briefs with more than one team using the same scenario. This doesn’t detract from the learning; in fact it can be interesting to see how different teams approach the same problem and task.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels including individuals, groups and teams that need to use strategic planning and analysis skills in the workplace.

You'll Need:
Each team will need a hotel data pack (provided) and a syndicate room or area.

Notes:
Hotel Doldrums is a series of modules that are designed to be run in sequence.

Together they form a complete 1.5 day workshop, which can be run as a single workshop, or as three independent sessions, each lasting between 2 and 4 hours. We’ve also suggested other modules you could add to the programme, if you have more time available.

Hotel Doldrums can also be run as a teambuilding game, where teams are left to compete with less facilitator involvement during the exercise, but a thorough review at the end. This takes about 3.5 hours to run.

If you prefer to use the teambuilding version of Hotel Doldrums, please download the trainer’s notes from the teambuilding games section of Trainers’ Library.

This series of modules is set in the context of the hotel industry but requires no specialist knowledge of it.

The modules, when used together, also draw out skills relating to business planning, problem solving, influencing, team working and making presentations.

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Hotel Doldrums Part 2 - Where Do We Want to Be?

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 180 minutes.

Aims:
• To give participants the opportunity to identify and explore options and appraise these.
• For participants to create a 3-5 year outline strategic plan based on the fictional case study they’ve been given.

About

This module follows on from Hotel Doldrums, part 1, and is not designed to be used as a stand-alone module.

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 135 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 180 minutes for this module if working with 10-12 participants.

Aims:
• To give participants the opportunity to identify and explore options and appraise these.
• For participants to create a 3-5 year outline strategic plan based on the fictional case study they’ve been given.

Group Size:
An ideal group size for this module is 12, with participants working in 3 teams of 4. If you have more than 15 participants in your group, you may want to consider ‘doubling up’ on some of the briefs with more than one team using the same scenario. This doesn’t detract from the learning; in fact it can be interesting to see how different teams approach the same problem and task.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels including individuals, groups and teams that need to use strategic planning and analysis skills in the workplace.

You'll Need:
Each team will a hotel data pack (provided) and a syndicate room or area.

Notes:
Hotel Doldrums is a series of modules that are designed to be run in sequence.

Together they form a complete 1.5 day workshop, which can be run as a single workshop, or as three independent sessions, each lasting between 2 and 4 hours. We’ve also suggested other modules you could add to the programme, if you have more time available.

The modules, when used together, also draw out skills relating to business planning, problem solving, influencing, team working and making presentations.

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Hotel Doldrums Part 3 - How Will We Get There?

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 240 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to develop a strategy from the options generated in previous sessions.
• To encourage participants to prepare and give a persuasive presentation outlining their strategy and the work they have done.
• To reflect on the learning from the Hotel Doldrums series of modules.

About

This module follows on from Hotel Doldrums, parts 1 and 2, and is not designed to be used as a stand-alone module.

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 140 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 240 minutes for this module if working with 10-12 participants.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to develop a strategy from the options generated in previous sessions.
• To encourage participants to prepare and give a persuasive presentation outlining their strategy and the work they have done.
• To reflect on the learning from the Hotel Doldrums series of modules.

Group Size:
An ideal group size for this module is 12, with participants working in 3 teams of 4. If you have more than 15 participants in your group, you may want to consider ‘doubling up’ on some of the briefs with more than one team using the same scenario. This doesn’t detract from the learning; in fact it can be interesting to see how different teams approach the same problem and task.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels including individuals, groups and teams that need to use strategic planning and analysis skills in the workplace.

You'll Need:
Each team will a hotel data pack (provided) and a syndicate room or area.

Notes:
Hotel Doldrums is a series of modules that are designed to be run in sequence.

Together they form a complete 1.5 day workshop, which can be run as a single workshop, or as three independent sessions, each lasting between 2 and 4 hours. We’ve also suggested other modules you could add to the programme, if you have more time available.

The modules, when used together, also draw out skills relating to business planning, problem solving, influencing, team working and making presentations.

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Interruptions and Other Time Stealers

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 55 minutes.

Aims:
• To identify time stealers.
• To discuss ways of dealing with time stealers.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 30 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 55 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To identify time stealers.
• To discuss ways of dealing with time stealers.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

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Letters Solve a Problem

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 40 minutes.

Aims:
• To explore the challenge when solving a problem where a number of people are involved, particularly when those people may have other obligations that mean they can’t give your problem their complete attention.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 25 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 40 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To explore the challenge when solving a problem where a number of people are involved, particularly when those people may have other obligations that mean they can’t give your problem their complete attention.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of between 6 and 12 participants. Where you have more than 12 participants, you should consider splitting your group and running two versions of the exercise separately in tandem.

Useful For:
Anyone who is looking to develop their problem solving skills.

You'll Need:
• A set of prepared puzzle cards.
• A stopwatch (available to buy from Trainers' Market).

Notes:
This exercise requires a minimum of 6 participants. Where you have more than 12 participants, you should consider splitting your group and running two versions of the exercise separately in tandem.

It is important that all of the cards are distributed and that every participant has a card but some participants can receive more cards than others – in fact it’s better if they do.

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Meetings

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 40 minutes.

Aims:
• To consider a forthcoming meeting that the participants are attending/organising, and to identify actions that can be taken to ensure the meeting is time efficient.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 20 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 40 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To consider a forthcoming meeting that the participants are attending/organising, and to identify actions that can be taken to ensure the meeting is time efficient.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Staff up to junior management.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
We spend a lot of time at work in meetings so it makes sense to include a section on ensuring time in meetings is well spent in any time management training.

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On Target for Goal - Goal Setting

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 180 minutes.

Aims:
• To define aims, goals and objectives.
• To identify the purpose of goal setting.
• To introduce a six-step model for goal setting.
• To enable participants to practise goal setting.
• To identify and discuss some tools and techniques that support setting and achieving goals.

About

Time:
The exercises in this module will take about 100 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 180 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To define aims, goals and objectives.
• To identify the purpose of goal setting.
• To introduce a six-step model for goal setting.
• To enable participants to practise goal setting.
• To identify and discuss some tools and techniques that support setting and achieving goals.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
Although the whole module may take 3 or more hours to run, this is comprised of several smaller sessions that can, if necessary and appropriate, be separated. This module is appropriate for anyone who needs to set and achieve goals in the workplace, their career or their personal life.

You may find it helpful to work through the definitions set out in the first session and apply them to a goal of your own, so that you have a personal example to share with participants if they are a little reluctant to discuss their own goals.

Session four is a long session (2 hours) that takes participants through the goal setting process and allows time for them to define and describe in detail their goal(s). It is split into several sub-sections (linked to the stages of goal setting) for ease of use. The timing of a break is suggested but it may be taken at any time during this session, as convenient for the group.

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The Art of Prioritising

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 75 minutes.

Aims:
• To provide an opportunity for participants to practise using the urgent/important matrix.
• To introduce the ABC and matrix systems, as alternative methods for prioritising work.

About

Time:
The exercises in this module will take about 45 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 75 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To provide an opportunity for participants to practise using the urgent/important matrix.
• To introduce the ABC and matrix systems, as alternative methods for prioritising work.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This module introduces participants to two simple tools for prioritising tasks - the ABC and matrix systems.

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The Monthly Meeting - Chairing and Participating in Meetings

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 90 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to critically review a meeting and identify areas for improvement.
• To consider the key responsibilities of the Chair and other attendees at a meeting.
• To help participants understand why conventions like an agenda and minutes are important.
• To provide an opportunity for participants to practice facilitating and participating in a meeting.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 60 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 90 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to critically review a meeting and identify areas for improvement.
• To consider the key responsibilities of the Chair and other attendees at a meeting.
• To help participants understand why conventions like an agenda and minutes are important.
• To provide an opportunity for participants to practice facilitating and participating in a meeting.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Anyone who attends/chairs meetings.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This exercise involves a detailed look at a fictional meeting in order to identify what went wrong.

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The Pets' Meeting - Effective Meetings

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 90 minutes.

Aims:
• To identify key learning points for running effective meetings.
• To identify strategies for managing difficult behaviours in meetings.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 80 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 120 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To identify key learning points for running effective meetings.
• To identify strategies for managing difficult behaviours in meetings.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This exercise is based around a silly, but fun story that makes a lot of important points about effective meetings. It might not be appropriate for all participant groups, but if you are looking for something fun, imaginative and involving, this could be the exercise for you! The exercise can be used to review learning, or to test participants' existing knowledge about how to run effective meetings.

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The Wedding Planner - A Time Management Exercise

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 55 minutes.

Aims:
• To highlight the importance of time management.
• To introduce some of the key aspects of effective time management.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed within 35 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 55 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To highlight the importance of time management.
• To introduce some of the key aspects of effective time management.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Staff up to junior management.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This is a great introductory exercise, suitable for staff up to junior management level. Fun and involving it helps to identify some of the key rules for effective time management.

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