20+ best time management games (2019)

  • Time management games

Time management games are fun, enjoyable, but also eye-opening, as they correlate to your real-life time management skills.

Here’s everything you need to know about their usefulness, complete with a list of great time management games you can play.

What are time management games?

A time management game is an online, video, or offline game you can play alone or in a group – these games require you meet certain objectives, in a specific order, but with limited time and resources.

Most of these games are fast-paced and require you plan and strategize in order to use the limited resource and time as effectively as you can, before meeting the required objectives.

Most of the time, you’ll be able to hone the skills you learn by playing these time management games, to solve real-life work challenges.

Why play time management games?

There are several benefits to playing time management games, both the offline and the online/video kind:

They improve your reaction time

Considering that these games are fast-paced, they help improve your reflexes – unless you’re able to react on time to the challenges in the game, you cannot progress.

They’ll help you perfect your planning and strategizing skills

Considering that these games require you think up and execute strategies to reach the later stages of the game, you’ll also improve your real-life organizational and planning skills.

Clockify pro tip

Apart from playing the right time management games to improve your real-life time management skills, such as planning, organizing, and strategizing, you can do that in real life too – check out how in our Detailed guide on how to improve time management skills.

They improve your teamwork abilities

Considering that most of these games require you collaborate with others in order to reach the desired effects, you’ll learn how to cooperate and make the most of the time and resources you have, together with your friends and colleagues.

They improve your resource management

Considering that these games require that you use the resources you have in an effective manner in order to progress, you’ll likely develop a good sense for resource management in real life as well.

They help you understand the importance of time management

Last but not least, most offline time management games are designed to help you understand the importance of time management and help you reassess your work routine. For example, how your perception of time, organizational skills, and the understanding of whether your actions lead to your goals, influence your work.

Office time management games

office time management games

Here are several engaging time management games you can easily play with your team at the office – even when you experience Internet downtime or a blackout:

How long is a minute?

Great for: Figuring out how you and your colleagues perceive time

How it’s played:

  • Bring people to a room with no clocks (or where all the clocks are covered)
  • Take away their phones and watches
  • Instruct them to stand up and shut their eyes
  • Tell them to open their eyes when they think 60 seconds have passed

What you’ll learn: Some people will open their eyes before the 60 seconds are up and some will open them after – this game will help you better estimate the time it takes you to finish projects and tasks because you’ll understand how well you perceive time, to begin with.

Circadian Rhythm

Great for: Recognizing optimal time for work

How it’s played:

  • Instruct your colleagues to plan a day in their life, from waking up to going to sleep
  • Tell them to take each period of the day and write a letter showing their energy levels next to it:

A – High energy

B – Autopilot control

C 70% energy level

D – Distracted

E – Slowing down for the day

F – Tired or hungry

What you’ll learn: You’ll understand how energy levels change during the day, so you’ll be able to make better decisions about your schedules. Your team will learn when they should work on important, challenging tasks (during “High energy” time), when they should tackle less important work (during “Autopilot control” time or “70% energy level” time), and when they should simply take a break (during “Distracted” time). You can even post all your completed charts on a wall, so everyone will know when to call their co-workers, and for what type of tasks.

Clockify pro tip

The Circadian Rhythm game is based on the time management technique called Biological Prime Time – to read more about it, check out our list of 19 Best Time Management Techniques.

What I did yesterday

Great for: Finding a link between work performance and activities

How it’s played:

  • First, ask people at the office to write down 10 things they did yesterday while at work
  • Then, ask people to write 5 things they expect to see on their next performance review
  • Look over the two lists for each person together, and make links between list items
  • Additional step: Have people rank the 10 things they did yesterday in terms of importance and urgency

What you’ll learn: Many people will try to find indirect links between the things they did, and what they expect to be praised for in reviews, in order to justify their activities. In the end, you’ll likely find that you spend too much time on activities that don’t impact your expected performance.

Colored blocks

Great for: Stressing the importance of prioritizing

How it’s played:

  • Bring different-colored blocks to work and place them on a table
  • Assign value to the blocks based on their color (blue = 1, green =2, red =3, etc.)
  • Instruct the co-workers to gather as many points as possible in 60 seconds, by picking up one block at a time, by only with their non-dominant hand

What you’ll learn: How to prioritize blocks in order to get the highest score – in the office, this translates to urgent and important tasks you need to prioritize and tackle every day in order to finish your work properly.

Race to the Ace of Spades

Great for: Understanding the importance of time management and proper organization

How it’s played:

  • You bring 2 decks of cards to work
  • You organize the first decks of cards in order, from aces to kings, and all facing the same direction
  • You mix up the second deck of cards and jumble them up so they don’t all face the same direction
  • Pick two volunteers, and have each pick one deck of cards, without them knowing what you’ve done to the decks
  • Instruct them to find the Ace of Spades
  • Unless pure luck comes into play, the volunteer with the organized deck will find the Ace of Spades much faster, and the volunteer with the jumbled up deck will likely complain about the unfairness of the game

What you’ll learn: The organized deck represent working on tasks in an organized, time managed manner, while the other deck represents working on tasks in random order and with no time scheduled  – the advantage of an organized, time blocked schedule should be obvious in the end.

Time Squared

Great for: Identifying time wasters and extra time you didn’t even know you could have

How it’s played:

  • Give your co-workers 3 pieces of printed paper with 24 squares representing 24 hours in a day
  • When you hand them the first paper, instruct them to fill out the squares with routine activities they perform every day, such as sleeping (e.g. 8 squares), eating (e.g. 3 X 1 square), watching TV (e.g. 2 squares), etc.
  • When you hand them the second paper, instruct them to fill out the squares with the non-productive activities they perform at the office, such as private calls, coffee-breaks, etc.
  • When you hand them the third paper, instruct them to compare the first two papers, and mark the empty squares

What you’ll learn: The marked empty squares represent the time opened for productive activities – your team will be able to identify unnecessary time wasters and how they can minimize them in order to leave more room for important activities.

“Big Picture” puzzle challenge

Great for: Understanding the importance of having clear goals in mind when planning activities

How it’s played:

  • Give your team a puzzle and instruct them to solve it as quickly as possible, but don’t provide them with the “Big picture” that shows the finished puzzle
  • Interrupt their process after 5 minutes, and ask them: “What makes this task difficult?”
  • They’ll likely tell you that the problem is not knowing the expected outcome for the puzzle
  • Give them the “Big picture” to continue, and see how they speed up and finish much faster

What you’ll learn: Knowing where you’re supposed to end up, makes planning the steps that will take you there much easier. Unless you have the “Big picture” of a task that shows how the task relates to the project, it’ll be harder to figure out whether the task is important, or whether you should find different priorities.

Online time management games

online time management games

Apart from offline time management games, you can enjoy various types of online time management games, either in single-player or multiplayer mode, depending on the game and game type:

Restaurant time management games

Diner Dash

diner dash

Steam rating: ★★★★★★★ 7/10

Platforms: Web, PC, Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable, iOS, Android, Xbox Live Arcade

Player Mode: Single-player

Game overview:

This top-selling game may not have started the time management genre, but it remains one of the more popular examples.

In this game, you play Flo, a hard worker who buys an old diner and has to make enough money to fix it up and expand her business.

Diner Dash Gameplay:

Essentially, you’ll be performing tasks around your restaurant:

  • as customers arrive at the restaurant, you drag and drop them to their tables
  • you guide Flo to take their orders, put the order to the “service hatch”, and once the chef is done preparing the meal, you deliver the food to the table
  • once the customers are finished eating, you prepare and give them the check, and you have to clear the tables before new customers arrive
  • customers have a series of hearts that show their mood – the longer they wait the more hearts they lose, and when they’re out of hearts, they leave the restaurant and you lose points

In all tasks, accuracy and speed are key – you earn points for all successful tasks, and if you perform the same set of tasks fast, you get combo bonuses. You also get color bonuses, if you manage to match customers and seats by color.

If you earn enough money from checks and tips in one level, you progress to the next, and once you progress enough, you’ll be able to open up new restaurants and expand the game setting.

You can choose between two game modes:

  • Career mode – you follow and help Flo’s career
  • Endless shift – you must last as long as possible in a single frantic level

Cake Mania Collection

cake mania

Steam rating: ★★★★★★ 6/10

Platforms: Web, PC, Adobe Flash Player, Nintendo DS, Mobile Phones, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2, Wii

Player mode: Single-player

Game overview:

Cake Mania is a series of games where you guide the baker Jill Evans, as she bakes cakes, runs her own bakery, and deals with tricky customers, business challenges, renovations, and time travel.

Cake Mania Gameplay:

The gist of the game is to take orders and serve customers:

  • customers come in, form a line, and place their orders
  • you direct Jill to make the cakes the customers asked for before the customers grow impatient and leave
  • you can use cupcakes and television to entertain customers and stop them from leaving too soon

You can use the money you earn in the game to buy a new oven, a better frosting machine, a microwave, or faster shoes to help Jill keep up with her work.

The default concept is simple, but you can spice it up a little by playing in “Bakers Challenge” mode that allows you to renovate Jill’s kitchen and adjust her business hours.

Overcooked! 2

overcooked 2

Steam rating: ★★★★★★★★★ 9/10

Platforms: Web, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox One

Player mode: Single-player, Multiplayer

Game overview:

Overcooked! 2 is another great outing in the restaurant time management subgenre, one that enhances the original concept – you and your team of up to 3 additional players have to serve a variety of recipes, such as pasta, cakes, burgers, and sushi to customers in a limited amount of time, all while cooking in unusual kitchen settings and dealing with obstacles.

Overcooked! 2 Gameplay:

The game essentially follows the usual cooking game principle, but you have to do the cooking in absurd and unexpected kitchens (such as Wizard schools):

  • you’ll need to coordinate orders and streamline teamwork – otherwise, you’ll be bumping into other players and the whole organization will collapse
  • apart from limited time and frantic fellow chefs, you’ll also have to deal with fires, moving floors, portals, and changing settings – one especially memorable level has you preparing salads while flying in a hot air balloon before you conveniently crash in a sushi kitchen

When compared to the original game, this sequel offers additional interactive levels, restaurant themes, elaborate chef costumes, more cooking techniques, and more exciting recipes to prepare while the kitchen (usually) crumbles around you.

Burger Shop 2

burger shop 2

Steam rating: ★★★★★★★★ 8/10

Platforms: Web, PC, iOS, Android

Player mode: Single-player

Game overview:

Burger Shop has aliens sending you the blueprint of a machine that creates food from nothing, so you build a successful restaurant – the sequel Burger Shop 2 has you waking up in a dumpster to discover your restaurant chain has been put out of business, and you don’t remember why. But no matter what, it’s time you rebuild your burger kingdom.

Burger Shop 2 Gameplay:

This is another game that requires fast and innovative thinking, as well as a good organization system:

  • cook for and serve your regular clientele in a speedy manner
  • add twists to your menu to attract new customers by upgrading your kitchen to serve pancakes, pasta, steak, cakes, pizzas, and more.

To spice up the usual cook-and-serve-as-fast-as-you-can formula, you’ll also have to look forward to solving the mystery of what happened to your original burger shop.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Overcooked!, Burger Shop, Mary le Chef, Cooking Academy

Fantasy and history time management games

Elvenar

elvenar

MMOs rating: ★★★ 3/5

Platforms: Web, PC, Android, iOS

Player mode: Single-Player, Multiplayer

Game overview:

The Elvenar game requires you choose a fraction (Humans or Elves), build and manage a city, and discover the mythical fantasy world you’re in.

Elvenar Gameplay:

You’ll play as the ruler of your new city, so you’ll need to make sure your citizens prosper through strong leadership and effective resource management:

  • you start with a small village and later upgrade its factories, worker huts, other buildings, and facilities until you make a kingdom
  • you research new technologies and go on quests to find new relics and materials that will help you boost production and productivity

Apart from that, you’ll also have the chance to test out and improve your organizational and planning skills on the battlefield, once enemy fractions attack.

Roads of Rome II

roads of rome 2

Steam rating: ★★★★★★★★★ 9/10

Platforms: Web, PC, Mac, Android, iOS,

Player mode: Single-player

Game overview:

Roads of Rome II is a resource management game with a simple premise, but with a rich level structure and gameplay execution – in order to cure a poisoned Caesar, you’ll need to build a road that leads to the Gods and deal with many challenges along the way.

Roads of Rome II Gameplay:

Almost everything you achieve in this game will be tied to proper resource management and workforce organization, so you’ll need to:

  • gather up the people and materials to build bridges
  • gather food in farms, woods, and bushes in order to survive the journey
  • pursue  specific goals in each level, and make sure you work on tasks in a specific order to get the desired effect

As you progress through the 40 available levels, as well as gather and manage resources properly, you’ll gain upgrades both for your workforce and the buildings they construct.

Legends of Atlantis: Exodus

atlantis 2 exodus

Steam rating: ★★★★★★★★ 8/10

Platforms: Web, PC, Android, iOS

Player mode: Multiplayer

Game overview:

In Legends of Atlantis: Exodus, you’ll need to build roads and gather resources to save your people who are experiencing terrible floods – and all that in a short time, while the sinking of Atlantis threatens the land.

Legends of Atlantis: Exodus Gameplay:

This game is a classical race-against-the clock escapade:

  • you’ll need to repair houses, build roads, and save people from drowning all over Atlantis
  • you’ll need to gather energy, collect magic crystals and stack up on resources by chopping down trees and collecting water
  • you’ll also need to pursue specific goals within the 5 available episodes and subsequent levels in the game

If you manage to allocate your time and resources properly, you might actually help the city evacuate before the tidal disaster strikes.

12 labours of Hercules

12 labours of hercules

Steam rating: ★★★★★★★★★ 9/10

Platforms:  Web, PC, Android, iOS

Player mode: Single-player

Game overview:

In Ancient Greece, the evil Hades has kidnapped Hercules’ wife, and now you have to help Hercules manage his way through 12 mythical challenges in order to save her.

12 labors of Hercules Gameplay:

On your way to beating the 12 challenges of Hercules, you’ll need to:

  • sort and assess tasks, because you’ll need to postpone some of them until you’ve collected the right resources
  • collect items and use bonuses that help you run faster or stop the ticking clock for a while
  • deal with obstacles such as lava pits, harpies, and ghosts

Although the Hercules’ premise hints at a one-man-show with a lot of fighting, this game will have you mostly testing out your organization and management skills with companions – Servants, Medusa, Pegasus, and Cerberus all have specific skills you can use, and you’ll frequently need to build stores, farms, bridges, and gather supplies.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Jack of all Tribes, Viking brothers, Adelantado Trilogy, Lost Artifacts series

Lifestyle time management games

Delicious: Emily’s new beginning

delicious emily

Steam rating: ★★★★★★★★ 8/10

Platforms: Web, PC, Android, iOS

Player mode: Single-player

Game overview:

The Delicious series comes from the GameSeries Original Stories and offers a lot of different scenarios where you time manage the titular Emily’s life – this installment has you re-open a restaurant business and balance your work life with raising a baby with your husband.

Delicious Emily’s New Beginning Gameplay:

With this game, you’ll experience the struggles of balancing work and motherhood – in gist, you’ll need to:

  • take the customer’s orders and serve them
  • prepare the food by clicking on it in a specific order
  • make sure the 4 available types of customers are happy enough to leave a tip
  • serve several customers in a row to unlock bonus chains
  • keep customers occupied with entertainers
  • keep your baby occupied with toys, and “use” her cuteness to appease to certain customers
  • unlock trophies to have someone help check on your baby, and make use of other shortcuts

For extra flair, you can try to catch Carl the Mouse – he appears in every level, and, if you click on him, you’ll be rewarded with +100 points.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: House Flip, My Life Story, Miss Management

Business management games

YouTubers life

youtuber's life

Steam rating: ★★★★★★★ 7/10

Platforms: Web, PC, Android, iOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Player mode: Single-player

Game overview:

YouTubers Life is a business simulation game with time management elements –  the goal is to manage your character’s life while he balances his private errands, education, and the dream of becoming a YouTube personality.

YouTubers Life Gameplay:

This game simulates the life of a real aspiring YouTuber, so you’ll have to:

  • create videos for your channel
  • manage your content creation network and employees
  • decide whether you’ll accept making videos for friends
  • participate in advertising agreements in order to make money to upgrade your equipment, and level up your skills

On top of that, you’ll need to find time to attend events, interact with fans, and make sure your private life and educational aspirations don’t get sidelined in the process.

Game Dev Story

game dev story

Steam rating: ★★★★★★★★★ 9/10

Platforms: Web, PC, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Nintendo Switch

Player mode: Single-Player, Multiplayer

Game overview:

You take control over a game developer working in a start-up – your goal is to come up with hit video games and new consoles, perform fast and quality game development, win over the critics, and earn money.

Game Dev Story Gameplay:

The gameplay mimics the life of a real-life game developer, as you’ll have to control a number of factors in order to sustain your business:

  • hire staff
  • control the direction, quality, and speed of game development
  • create games that please the critics – each game you finish is given a score from 1 to 10 and a review from a critic
  • high scores mean higher sale’s numbers, and higher sale’s numbers mean your game will rank higher

As you progress and earn more money, the building you’re working in will start to improve, you’ll be able to hire additional staff, and create better games.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Game Corp

Hotel management games

Airport Rush

airport rush

Steam rating: ★★★★★★★ 7/10

Platforms: Web

Player mode: Single-player

Game overview:

Airport Rush is an airport management game where you play the traffic controller who has to manage the constant flow of airplanes and make sure no one crashes.

Airport Rush Gameplay:

The gameplay is simple, and once again, you have to make sure you manage your work as fast and accurate as you can:

  • help the passenger buy the right tickets, check in their luggage, and go through the right boarding gate
  • help the airplanes take off in the right order so that you avoid any accidents
  • help the airplanes land on the right runway, and drop off passengers

The better you are at these tasks, the higher your score will be – you can choose between 3 different terminals, each with its own quirks.

Sally’s Spa

sally's spa

Steam rating: ★★★★★★★ 7/10

Platforms: Web, PC, Android, iOS

Player mode: Single-player, Multiplayer

Game overview:

You play as Sally, whose job is to arrange saunas, manicures, baths, and massages for her clients in order to maintain and expand her business.

Sally’s Spa Gameplay:

This game promises a relaxing rush, while you:

  • move customers to the right station (Spa, Sauna, Massage Table…), once they arrive
  • Build spa’s, hire employees, choose between 65 items (such as body baths and massage oils) you can buy to help your business survive and grow
  • Deal with various client personalities, such as fashionista, brides and cal couples, and make sure they’re all satisfied with your services

The game offers 50 levels and 10 different locations, as well as many mini-games you can play to spice things up, such as mud masks, hot stones, bath bombs, and more.

Hotel Dash: Suite Success

hotel dash

Steam rating: ★★★★★★★ 7/10

Platforms: Web, PC, Android, iOS

Player Mode: Single-Player

Game overview:

Hotel Dash: Suite Success has Flo (of Diner Dash fame) and her friend Quinn renovate 5 worn out hotels for their clients.

Hotel Dash Suite Success Gameplay:

Within this game, you’ll need to handle a number of typical hotel management tasks:

  • help your customers settle in the hotel and make sure they get their requested meals and other unique services before they lose their patience
  • tend to your customers to keep them happy – happy customers give higher tips
  • as you earn more money, you can buy more upgrades, and grow your business,

Just to make sure you don’t feel too comfortable about your abilities within the game,  you’ll often have to deal with a mysterious woman who wants to sabotage all your efforts – and find out who she is.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Theme Hotel, Sally’s Salon, Airport Mania, Amber’s Airline, Now Boarding: First Class

Farming time management games

Big farm

big farm

MMO rating:  ★★★ 2.8/5

Platforms: Web, Android, iOS

Player mode: Single-Player, Multiplayer

Game overview:

Uncle George has left you his farm – but the farm is in bad shape and you have to use all your skills and help from companions to build a reputable farm business.

Big Farm gameplay:

Your objective in Big Farm is to grow products, harvest them, and take care of your animals by:

  • building upgrades and expanding your land
  • making sure your workers are happy
  • strategizing and planning your way to a more functional farm

You’ll have plenty of items to buy to help you achieve your goals – you’ll need gold to do so, but the game also allows you to make the most of your hard work, without paying for additions within the game.

Farmerama

farmerama

Facebook rating: ★★★★★ 4.4/5

Platforms: Web

Player mode: Multiplayer

Game overview:

Farmerama is another farm management game where you’re a farmer who tends to animals, grow and harvest products. The only twist to the usual formula is that you may suffer alien attacks from time to time.

Farmerama gameplay:

The game promises you’ll get to experience the real farm life (minus the aliens) and test out your gardening skills by:

  • raising and take care of many various animals (chickens, rabbits, and pigs included)
  • planting crops and make sure they stay healthy, year after harvesting year
  • trading products with the neighbors

You’ll also be able to enter contests and partake in the vast farming community.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Dreamfields, Ranch Rush, Farming Simulator series

Fashion time management games

Jojo’s Fashion Show: World Tour

jojo fashion

Bigfish rating: ★★★★★ 4.3/5

Platforms: WEb, PC, iOS, Android

Player mode: Single-player

Game overview:

Jojo’s Fashion Show: World Tour follows the fashion designer Jojo as she embarks on a journey around the world to dress fashion models in appropriate styles before time runs out.

Jojo’s Fashion Show: World Tour Gameplay:

The gameplay of this fashionista game is simple – do what you can with the time you have to get your models to the catwalk:

  • you get a model, and an array of make-up, clothes, and accessories to choose from in order to satisfy the runway theme, while the timer ticks
  • alter items you’re given, to fit your vision better
  • deal with fashion challenges from different countries, and be tasked to put together the perfect style for Amsterdam streets, or Urban Rasta and Royal Casual event themes.
  • your fashion shows and creations are then judged and rated

In the end, if you get at least 3 stars for your efforts, you’ll be able to progress to a new challenge.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Sally’s Salon – Beauty Secrets, Fabulous – Angela’s True Colors

Conclusion

Whether you pick an online or an offline time management game you’ll learn something about your time management abilities, and identify your weak areas.

Offline time management games you play will colleagues at the office will help you:

  • recognize your personal ideal time for important work
  • understand how your perception of time relates to your project time estimation
  • understand whether what you usually do at work leads to your expected performance
  • recognize how important it is to properly prioritize, manage time, and organize your work
  • identify your time wasters
  • understand the importance of having goals to lead you in your work.

Playing online time management games can be equally eye-opening. If you find that you’re having trouble seating customers, serving orders, planning your next crop harvest, or organizing planes, this may be an indication that your real-life organization/planning/time management skills need work.

Also, multiplayer games may indicate how resourceful you are in teamwork, and whether you’re a skilled communicator and collaborator.

Overall, playing time management games from time to time is a welcome practice to help you better understand your work and life habits – just make sure you play these games in moderate doses and don’t exchange your real life for a virtual one.

By |2019-07-25T10:15:41+00:00June 14th, 2019|Categories: Fun|

About the Author:

Marija Kojic is a productivity writer who's always researching about various productivity techniques and time management tips in order to find the best ones to write about. She can often be found testing and writing about apps meant to enhance the workflow for freelancers, remote workers, and regular employees. Appeared in G2 Crowd Learning Hub, The Good Men Project, and Pick the Brain, among other places.