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Trainer’s Tip: Counting Beans


This tip from Nikki Brun makes a simple and practical starting point for time management training.

Give each pair a bowl with (pre-measured) dried beans in it and ask them to put in a few larger objects (I use fruit). The beans spill out, and the candidates will be doing their best to pile them back in again. Then show them the trick of putting in the fruit first and the beans around them. It illustrates the point of prioritising the big stuff and fitting the smaller things around it. Interruptions for the rest of the day can be referred to as beans.

View the original posting:

Time Management Ice-Breakers

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4 Responses

  1. Always room for beer
    I remember a longer version of this which has a nice twist.

    A trainer stands at the front of the room and fills a large container with rocks. He asks the delegates – is this full? Yes, they all answer.
    Then he pulls out a bucket of pebbles and tips them into the container, right to the top. He asks the delegates again – is it full now? Yes, they all answer.
    Then he pulls out another bucket, this time of sand, and again empties it into the container, flattening it off so that it’s all level. Is it full now? he asks. Yes, totally, they reply.

    Finally he pulls out a pint glass of beer and pours it into the container.

    So the lesson is – fit the big things into your life first, then fit the smaller tasks around them. And remember that, no matter how full your life is, there’s always room for a beer with a friend.

  2. Great idea!
    I prefer your version Livia, so will steal it at once!
    Many thanks for sharing,

  3. Think the beans are more practical…
    I have also heard the one about the rocks and I remember being quite impressed – a nice visual with real props, but can just see the looks from other passengers as I carry on buckets of rocks, pebbles and sand on the train !


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