21 Replies
Kim Statom

A few threads of thought that will hopefully spark an idea for you…

One thing that comes to mind is the white rabbit who’s always running late.  You could have the learner use your time management tools and methods to help the rabbit organize/prioritize/plan out the things he needs to do so he can stay on time.  

You could get more realistic and place the learner in a work related scenario where they have to use your time management tools/methods to organize/prioritize/plant out their workday.  Give them a list of tasks that they have to accomplish during the day (attend a meeting, write a trip report, respond to email, call a customer, etc.) and they have to assign priority then determine what time during the day they should complete each one.  Note: some tasks may occur more than once.  Then they have to re-prioritize/plan when “something comes up.”  

You could show the learner vignettes in which the main character has a time management meltdown.  The learner has to identify what went wrong compared to time management best practices and make recommendations to help the character turn things around.  

Bob S

Hi Audrey,

If you have the political leeway to do so, you might really go out on a limb and challenge thier time management skills in the course itself!

At the beginning of the course, maybe set up a challenge scenario where they have a limited amount of time to decide which topics in the training they are going to spend their time on. Be sure and give an estimate of how long each topic might take, what they might expect to get out of it, and the total amount of time they have to "spend". Be sure to set the total amount of time they can spend low enough so that they can't get through all the topics!

From there you have several options, but in any case you get to hammer home the idea that the need for effective time management is critical. Remember, once they've experienced a scenario like this (or ANY good challenge scenario) you can call back to it repeatedly to reinforce many of the tenants of time management.

Just a crazy thought, good luck!

Bruce Graham

Audrey,

Whatever you develop, and however you design it, please do not just develop a course that addresses "How to deal with stufff that hits you", (the usual 4-quadrant, Urgent, Important, Not important, Utter-crap matrix).

Please ensure you also address how to stop it hitting in the first place, such as turn the phone off, and only deal with emails 3 times a day.

This is a particular pet-hate of mine vis a vis Time Management courses, they normallly just deal with prioritizing constantly reducing time, and seldom address how to get more time back.

Time management also should include how to create "spare" time. Get them to keep a log, and find out what % of their time had to be created. That is a GREAT way to prove that actually, spare time is a specific type of time that they need to allocate IN ADVANCE, then if nothing fills it, it is spare to deal with the "non-important" stuff.

Stopping the feeling and perception of panic can be partially achieved by accepting that you CANNOT plan completely, and that you have to plan for the unplannable.

End of rant

Bruce

Bruce Graham

No worries.

This is one of the things that I used to ask companies who tried to sell me stuff, to tell me about their time management course.

The vast, vast majority of companies selling them have no idea about time, the concept of time, and the way people see time as a concept.

One way is to think of time as a currency.

Now....when we have to tighten our belts in tough economic times, what can be done?

We can either...earn more (which gets us more money), or spend less, (which means that we have some "spare" to use in different ways).

The other thing we can do as well is to look at the reasons WHY we spend.Can you see where I am going here...perhaps a metaphor that you can use for your course?

We spend to make ourselves feel comfortable.....(just like "being busy").

We spend because we feel that others around us are spending...("Well mate...I did not leave the office until 2000hrs yesterday! That's the 3rd time this week!!) etc etc.

Time is a concept that very few people ever give serious thought to....(I have to get out more don't I?).

Most companies that sell time management courses miss this completely, but it the absolute crux of "time management".

Here's a nice visual introduction for this concept....

You can take this on the "quadrant" level, but that completely fails to address some of the major factors; the things that require "time management" to be done in the first place! Whilst people can address the "Important>Urgent" stuff etc., what they can "control" is much more important in creating a personal environment  that is conducive to work - quiet control.

Now...for the doubters, I developed this concept whilst working on the 2nd largest/busiest trading floor in the UK, in the height of the trading boom in the 80's, and whilst it did raise a few eyebrows, it worked.

For example, I led a team of technical support people. The argument was that we were "too busy" to do a lot of the reactive work - calls kept on coming to the desk. So I suggested only looking at the support calls 3 times a day, but that the absolutely crititcal ones would be flagged. Suddenly, we had loads of time free to do "other stuff".

Time management is not just to do with organisation, to some extent that can be like shuffling the deckchairrs on the Titanic. More powerful, (but much harder to verbalise, and harder for people to do), is to encourage personal change in the things thatare not "jobs" which interrupt. As our workplaces are actually designed to encourage them, (phones, email, coffee machines etc.) it means some serious personal behaviour re-alignment, but it reaps huge rewards.

 I can do this for hours...but can't at the momeent, I'm too busy

Bruce

Cathy Beitz

Hi Audrey

Here is a preview login and link to our course.  It will stay current for 3 days.

The link to view it is:
http://moodle.learnbugs.com/ourBizniss/TimeChallenged

 (Note: no space between time and challenged)

Your username:   kumi
Password:  Preview-only101

This is currently our Australian version.   We also have drama segments that have american accents (same story) which we will be releasing soon.

Good luck with your course.  I have every admiration for anyone attempting this kind of e learning - because it's really difficult to make it fun and engaging and really, truly change behaviour.   It would be great to see yours when you are done.

Enjoy.

Cathy

Bruce Graham

Thanks Cathy.

I have been going through this, (will post you some comments by PM later), but had to stop half way through, (other items higher up the priority list I'm afraid...  )

I have to say that this is the best Time Management course I have seen, in any format, and since 1985 believe me...I have been on and seen a few.

Refreshing, fun, and COMPLETELY focused on the correct areas, which usually lack in these courses.

Well done.

Bruce (no links with Cathy's company).

Audrey Kumi

Hello Cathy,

I just finished the course and I must say that it was not all that I expected it to be. It was much better. It not only talked about the need to prioritise, you also addressed how important it is to make time for yourself by scheduling breaks, etc. The whole format of using a "support group" makes it interesting because to me, that concept takes makes time management a real problem people deal with. We may not realise this but there are very little things we ignore and squeeze into our work time which can take away from the concept of effective time management.

I love the acitivties in the course. it is not difficult and there are really great take aways from it. The energy map is brilliant because I am less active between 2pm-4pm. with the map, I will be able to schedule my tasks appropriately. The summary is also a good resource to go back to.

I think the content is great. nothing overwhelming just the right level of information. It is engaging and not at all boring.

I do have one suggestion although not very critical, how about including the option to email certificate.

But overall I loved it! and thank you so much I am very grateful to you for letting me take this course.

Have a Great day.

Audrey

Cathy Beitz

Thank you so much Bruce and Audrey

It's been a journey to get this product to this point.  We only finished it and put it on the website for sale this week.  The great thing about e learning is that you can still go in and tweak things, so I will be incorporating Bruce's comments and feedback in our next run through. In fact it can have an organic growth element that we haven't been used to with making a DVD resource - and that is so fantastic.

We are looking for re-sellers throughout the world.  If you want to use it, sell it on your websites, offer it to customers or train with it, we are looking for strategic partners.  You can probably see from our website, that we have dozens of drama titles that we will be making into similar e learning programs - narrative driven, less text, more learning, really immersive.  We know that this is just the beginning.  Overcoming all the IT hurdles has given me more grey hairs than I wanted, but we're on the road now.  We feel like we are up to speed with the language and the parameters....the next generation which will include uploading of student content from the cameras on their laptops and other exciting possibilites - this will be the next challenge.  Plus we are looking forward to re-shooting a lot of the drama segments.  We sincerly believe that people learn vicariously through the characters and keeping that fresh, engaging and really targeted is so much what we're about.  Just need to make some sales and get some dollars coming back from the huge investment this first one was.  We are a boutique company with just two of us - but we need to scale up. 

One last favour, do you mind if I use your comments on our website as quotes?  I am happy to link to your websites and give you some free logins for your customers or students.

Once again, thank you.

Cathy

www.ourbizniss.com

Our website will give you some more details about us. 

grace bjorn

Hi,

Your course should help participants and they should understand how to optimize their time management in dealing with daily life activities they have to get done.

At the end of your training, they should learn how to schedule their time more effectively. Recently, I read one article related to time management and new technology. Here's the link ( http://www.replicon.com/white-paper/todays-evolving-workforce ). 

Read the article, I hope it helps you!