Time Management Activity : How specific can you be?

Simply setting a goal will not help you much unless you make sure it is specific. This quick activity highlights how objectives or goals must be specific otherwise the whole point of setting a goal will be lost.

Tell everyone that they all have 1 minute to improve their current seating arrangement. Do not give any further instructions and decline responding to any requests for clarification. Start off the timer and tell everyone that the 1-minute starts now!

Once the 1 minute is over, discuss what just happened and ask questions like:

Did you meet your objective?

How did you know that you reached your objective?


(Yes, because I’m close to the window; No, I’m not sure what the objective was;..etc.)

Highlight the value of setting clear and specific goals to ensure everyone know what is needed specifically.

Ask participants what assumptions did they make? What was their objective? Was it clear? Could improving the seating arrangement mean to get more people up front?

How does this situation relate to our day-to-day life in the workplace? We often try to accomplish things when we are not clear on the real goal or the specific criteria for success and failure. We also sometimes fail to ask for clarification, even if we do sometimes, we don’t really press the matter hard enough to get what is really needed to be successful.