Resources for Educators

Teaching Tip

From the Teacher’s Aide Newsletter

2019 March

Business Class Activity:
86,400 Seconds in a Day or $86,400 to Spend

Objective: Emphasize the importance of time and you are in control of how you spend it. Time is about making the right choices.

Procedure: Write on a board or flip chart, as learners enter the room: “Congratulations to [Sally]” (pick a participant or get a volunteer)

  1. Let the class talk about what this sign means.
  2. Ask [Sally] if she knows what it means. (She will not know.) “Something really exciting happened to [Sally] today. Her rich aunt has left/her $86,400. There are some stipulations associated with receiving this money.
  • It must be spent in the next 24 hours;
  • Most stores will be closed at this time;
  • [Sally] has to work tomorrow because her mean old boss won’t let her have the day off.

[Sally] has agreed to let all of us help spend this money. You can buy anything you want that you think [Sally] would want. Please keep it in even dollar amounts.”

Ask learners to call out purchases and prices. Write $86,400 on the board. As learners start yelling out prices, keep a running total on the board with items and prices. When the $86,400 is spent, ask [Sally] if she agrees with the purchases. (most of the time, the learner will keep some of the items and change the rest).

Then state: “What does this exercise have to do with time management? Each of you gets 86,400 seconds—no more, no less—every day. How you spend that time or allow others to spend it for you, determines what you get done and how you feel about those results.”

Discussion: Ask how [Sally] felt about having other people spend her money. Then open the discussion to the group. How did you feel when you got to spend [Sally]’s money? Was it hard to tell someone else how to spend their money? Is $86,400 a lot or a little amount of money to spend? Did you have a hard time coming up with ideas? Did you ever think about your 24 hour day as 86,400 seconds before? Are you in control of your time or is someone else? Why are they in control of it? What can you do to gain control over your time

Materials Required: Board or a flip chart; play money if you prefer.

Approximate Time Required: 20 minutes.

Source: More Games Trainers Play, by Edward E. Scannell and John W. Newstrom

Excerpted from the Business Mastery Teacher’s Manual activities, Chapter 3.