Thirty Ways to Make More Time

Format: DVD or annual licence
From: Video Arts

Creating a new learning package on time management is akin to re-inventing the wheel, but Video Arts has met this challenge with great aplomb.

The aim of the package is to make time management accessible to all levels within an organisation and to help learners develop the skills they need to be more efficient and productive.

Actor James Nesbitt, dressed as the mentor in black, holds the programme together, and with an engaging cast which includes the Royle Family’s Ralf Little, he shows how to plan ahead, handle interruptions, deal with e-mails and manage meetings without becoming overwhelmed by a workload.

Nesbitt, as usual, strikes the right chord, as he spells out the necessary principles, and flits in and out of other people’s offices to guide them and check that his advice is being implemented.

He does this through short chapters, so there are separate sections on, for example, starting the day correctly and handling meetings. Each of these sections is informative but intense, and I would recommend a break for discussion after each section.

The film is followed by a learning chapter, as we see Nesbitt re-visit one of his mentees to look at how she has implemented the learning. This works well and, again, offers plenty of scope for discussion.

There is much for a classroom trainer to build on here but the film is also available through video stream, so that it can be shared flexibly through e-mail or online. Video Arts is also going to make it available as an interactive self-study course. I have not seen this, hence the average score for that section in the ratings below.

I can see a lot of mileage, at every level of an organisation, for this film. I was particularly impressed that it combined information on the two types of time robbers: people and new gadgets. I have seen too many programmes in the past year that spend too much time on the time wasting perils of e-mail.

The film’s mantra is “be ruthless with time but gracious with people”, and Nesbitt demonstrates how to manage peers and senior managers with tact and efficiency. Its section on effective meetings is also impressive, and I think that with some time and planning the film could be incorporated into other workshops and soft-skills training.

Relevance? 5 stars (out of 5)
Interactivity? 3 stars
Value for money? 5

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