Tag Archives: Procrastination

Proactivity (GAME)


Teens, Adults


30 minutes

This game helps participants to recognize the need for being proactive in addressing problems rather than procrastinating, hoping things will change or avoiding the problems altogether.  Participants will make decisions about which problems (from a given set of scenarios) to address with their limited time and resources.



2 Samuel 13-18 (for the story of Amnon’s rape of Tamar, Absalom’s revenge and coup against David and the war that followed – Had David intervened early in the conflict, much of the destruction and loss could have been avoided.)



o  Copies of the worksheet, “Proactivity – Game Card” (one per participant.  This document can be found on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachingthem.com.)

o  Bible (if you choose to look at the Bible verses mentioned above to give context for the game)

o  Prize for the winner (optional)


o  Print out the “Proactivity – Game Card” worksheet (one per participant)



Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “We’re going to play a game called ‘Proactivity.’”
  • “The purpose is to show you how important it is to address problems at the early stages before the get unmanageable or cause too much disruption.”
  • “On your worksheet, there are six different problems.”
  • “They are each at a different level of intensity on a scale of 1-10.”
  • “A level 1 problem is not causing much tension or having much impact.”
  • “A level 5 problem is causing measurable tension and negative impact.”
  • “A level 10 problem is totally disruptive and requires immediate attention.”
  • “The game is played in four rounds.”
  • “At the beginning of each round, you have an opportunity to make an intervention on two of the six problems.”
  • “You ‘intervene’ by placing an ‘X’ over the square for the upcoming round on two of the problems.”
  • “This indicates that you have taken action to prevent the problem from getting worse.”
  • “If I announce during the next round that the problem has gotten worse and that it has increased in levels, you do not have to count those extra levels on your sheet.  You prevented them from happening.”
  • “In the following round, you can choose to use your two interventions for the same two problems, for two new ones or for a mix of one new and one old.  It’s up to you.”
  • “Your goal is to finish with the lowest overall score, and your score will be determined by adding up the levels from each round for each problem.”
  • “For example, if one problem starts at a level 3, increases three levels in the second round, increases two levels in the third round and increases four levels in the forth round, your total score for that problem would exceed the maximum level of 10 (unless you used an intervention during one or more rounds.)”
  • “If your score reaches or exceeds the maximum of 10 points, you incur a 5 point penalty for that problem.”
  • “In the same example, if you used an intervention on the second (3 pts) and fourth rounds (4 pts), you don’t have to count those points in your total.  Your score for that problem would only be 5 pts (3 pts in the first round and 2 pts in the third round).”
  • “The trick is anticipating which problems are about to escalate the most in the coming round so that you can avoid the points by using an intervention.”
  • “What questions do you have before we begin?”  (Answer questions.  Then, follow the process outlined below.)
  • “Here are the six problems you are currently facing.”  (They can read what you are saying on their Game Cards.)
  • “Problem #1: Two staff members are in a relationship, but they are currently not speaking to one another.  This is currently at a Level 2.”
  • “Problem #2: Two senior leaders are having a conflict with one another.  This is currently at Level 4.”
  • “Problem #3: A staff member has shown up late to work several times this week.  This is currently at a Level 3.”
  • “Problem #4: A project has missed two of the early deliverables.  This is currently at Level 5.”
  • “Problem #5: You have a sore tooth.  This is currently at Level 2.”
  • “Problem #6: Your spouse is irritated that you are working too many hours.  This is currently at Level 3.”
  • “Before I announce the changes for Round 2, pick two of the problems that you want to intervene on (i.e., take action on to prevent them from getting worse).  Place an ‘X’ on Row 2 in the column for that problem.” (Allow them a moment to mark their “X’s.”)
  • “When I announce the changes, you don’t have to write any change in these two places, because you have taken action to prevent them from getting worse.”
  • “Here are the changes for Round 2.  As I read these, write the number of points in the box on Row 2 for each problem.”
    1. ROUND 2

                    i.     Problem #1 – The couple won’t work on a project team together. Add 2 points.

                    ii.     Problem #2 – No change.  Add 0 points.

                    iii.     Problem #3 – The staff member missed an important deadline.  Add 2 points.

                    iv.     Problem #4 – The project team is forecasting that they will go over budget.  Add 2 points.

                    v.     Problem #5 – You can’t eat out of that side of your mouth.  Add 3 points.

                    vi.     Problem #6 – Your spouse made several sarcastic jokes at a party about you being “home for a short visit” in between trips.  Add 1 point.

  • “You should have something in every box on Row 2 now.  Two squares will have an ‘X,’ and the rest will have a number.”
  • “Before I announce Round 3, mark an ‘X’ in two boxes on the third row to show that you are doing an intervention on those problems.”
  • “Here are the changes for Round 3.”
    1. ROUND 3

                    i.     Problem #1 – The couple had a loud argument at the office.  Add 4 points.

                    ii.     Problem #2 – The senior leaders’ teams are taking sides. Add 3 points.

                    iii.     Problem #3 – No change.  Add 0 points.

                    iv.     Problem #4 – The team reworked the budget and got the costs back under the limit.  Subtract 2 points.  (If a team used an intervention on this problem for this round, they can put an ‘X’ over the 2 points in Round 2.)

                    v.     Problem #5 – A piece of tooth fell out.  It’s hard to focus on anything.  Add 4 points.

                    vi.     Problem #6 – You had a fight about your travel schedule.  Add 4 points.

  • “All the boxes on the third row should have something in them now.”
  • “Before I announce Round 4, mark an ‘X’ in two boxes on the fourth row to show that you are doing an intervention on those problems.”
  • “Here are the changes for Round 4.”
    1. ROUND 4

                    i.     Problem #1 – The female member of the couple filed a sexual harassment lawsuit.  Add 5 points.

                    ii.     Problem #2 – Staff on both teams are sabotaging the efforts of the others.  Add 5 points.

                    iii.     Problem #3 – The staff member missed three days of work in the last two weeks. Add 3 points.

                    iv.     Problem #4 – A major milestone has been missed.  Add 3 points.

                    v.     Problem #5 – Your tooth is abscessed, and you need a root canal.  Add 4 points.

                    vi.     Problem #6 – Your spouse took the kids and left to stay with her parents.  Add 6 points.

  • “Now it’s time to add up your scores.”
  • “If any of your scores is equal to or greater than 10, you have to add a 5-point penalty for allowing that problem to blow up on you.”
  • “Anytime you ignore something important for long enough, it will be both urgent and important to get your attention.”
  • “Add this penalty to your Total to get your New Total.”
  • “After you’ve added each column, add each of those totals together to get your Grand Total.” (You might want to award a prize for the lowest overall score.  Afterwards, have them discuss the Debrief Questions below.)


Debrief Questions

  1. What was challenging about the game?
  2. What are some of the major teaching points?
  3. How will you apply them to your life and work?

Leave a comment

Filed under Decision making, Games that Teach, Initiative, Priorities, Problem solving