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imPERFECT – Free Energiser

Duration: 10 minutes

Intended for:

This is a useful exercise to use during a Time Management training course where you want to demonstrate that perfection is not always required and sometimes ‘just enough will do’. The reason why this is useful is that often poor time management comes from people being too geared towards achieving ‘perfect’ where actually ‘perfect’ is not necessary and a basic standard will do.

Training course contents:

A one page set of instructions for the free energiser, ‘imPERFECT’ can be downloaded for free from the link at the bottom of this page or you can follow the instructions here.

Resources – flipchart easel Flipchart paper Pens A4 plain paper

Instructions – prior to running this energiser, place a flipchart easel in the middle of the room in between a split set of chairs, so that you have one set of people on one side of the room that can see the flipchart paper and one set of people on the other side that cannot.

You should also prepare the flipchart paper with the bulleted words below listed. However, you must do this in such a way that you only reveal one word at a time (we would say write each word on a separate sheet, but this is a terrible waste of paper).

  • Apple
  • Square
  • Rectangle
  • House
  • Chair
  • Circle
  • Tree
  • Lightbulb
  • Triangle
  • Person

Don’t reveal any of the words yet and explain to the team that can see the flipchart that they will be asked to draw some pictures, the team on the other side of the room should sit the task out as they will be involved once the other team has finished (emphasise that they must stay in the chairs however and not try and look at the flipchart).

Ask the team that are drawing to place an A4 sheet of paper in front of them and prepare to draw the items you are going to present to them. Explain that they should work at pace as you will not be giving them long.

Begin to slowly reveal each word while only giving seconds before revealing the next. You can gauge this by how quickly participants are keeping up, but a good guide is 5 – 10 seconds each.

Once you have revealed all of the words, ask the participants to stop and hand their completed A4 sheets to a person on the other side of the room (the people who could not see the words).

The people who did not take part in the activity should now write down what they think each of the pictures is.

In review – check each person in turn and see how many of the items have been guessed correctly. This should be pretty much 100% even though the pictures drawn might not win any art competitions.

This fact will help you open up a discussion about perfect not always being required and the fact that sometimes it is better to get a job done than to take too much time looking for perfection.


This energiser is really useful during a time management training course and emphasises a typical problem where ‘be perfect’ is a common driver for some people and this can cause a lot of time management issues.

imPERFECT – Free Energiser


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