Designers Tips and Tutorials

The architect’s guide to time management

January 22, 2016
time management

Between juggling different projects and demanding clients, architects’ usually find themselves in a time management struggle. Hence, in today’s installment of this series, we decided to give 6 time management tips that would untangle the busy life of an architect.

In fast paced working rhythms, time management often becomes an incremental aspect of the job. How many times did you look at your to-do list at the end of the day, bemused by the amount of unfinished work? Well, you can take solace in the fact that you are not alone.

However, that doesn’t mean you should keep juggling between deadlines, stacks of drawings that need to be reviewed and client calls. There are simple ways to design your time and take control of your overwhelming workload. Let’s see then 6 time management tips for the busy architect.

 

The myth of multitasking

time management

Do you multi-switch? – via Shutterstock

Firstly, let’s start with debunking a myth. Recent studies suggests that the brain doesn’t do tasks simultaneously, rather it hops from task to task quickly. So, each time you think your multitasking you’re in essence shifting through tasks, in a start/stop process of the brain.

That’s hard on your brain. In fact, you consume more time and the possibility of mistakes is more imminent. Are you still skeptical? Well next time you’ll find yourselves in front of a multitude of tasks calculate the time you’ll require for their completion by taking one task at a time.

Give yourselves a deadline for each task (10 minutes, 20 minutes?) and see whether you will complete it faster and better. Perhaps, it will be easier if you redefine multitasking into multi-switching. So, for good time management, focus at one task each time and say farewell to multitasking

Time management apps

time management

Technological time management

There is no reason denying that technology has brought many benefits to our world. It has redefine the way we work, making it faster, easier and more efficient. So, it seems only logical to turn towards technology for time management.

In the software defined world, there are countless apps that can help you manage your time. For example, storage apps like Dropbox, allow you to transfer and access content at anytime, anywhere. There are apps, like Toggl, which help you track the time spent on different projects.

An important facet of effective time management is knowing precisely how much time (and energy) you spend on a given project. What’s more, apps provide analytics that can help you manage your time more efficiently.

Get rid off distractions

time management

Distractions with destructive power – via https://www.flickr.com/photos/birgerking/

While technology is a useful tool under your belt for time management, it can also be distracting. Email notification alerts, a railway of taps on your browser and your phone constantly vibrating can be quite distracting. Especially social media platforms. Log out from your Facebook now!

Effective time management requires immense focus and these technologies can scatter your attention into a million pieces. Of course, we are not purporting to delete all of your social accounts or stop checking your emails.

But you need to find a silver lining, where their use is not hindering your work. Set a specific time that you will check your emails or that you will scroll down on your Facebook page. By putting them into a schedule, they will hardly bother you whilst you are getting some real work done!

Realize you are dealing with a finite resource

time management

Time: a precious commodity

It’s important to realize that your time is finite. That means is precious. So, you need to start making meaningful choices on how you will appropriate your time. After all, it belongs to you and you alone. However, that might be easier said than done when you have to deal with your boss and client demands.

Even so, respecting you time and being proactive on how you will use it is the bread and butter of time management. Set achievable expectations every day and be consistent in meeting them. That will put you in the driver’s sit of your daily activities. And always remember that respect is a reciprocal agreement. If you respect your time, then others will show the same respect as well.

Plan ahead

time management

Draft a plan to avoid pitfalls

Another important facet of effective time management is planning ahead. Take a pen and draft a weekly plan and break it down to hours. You will be surprise to find the limited amount of hours you have per week (168) in contrast to the tasks you have to complete.

However, by having a visual depiction of your week will help in appropriate your time better. Give more room to your priorities at work and home. Schedule time for social activities, exercising and of course, sleeping. But try not fall into micro-managing every single second of your life. The point of this exercise is to find a weekly structure that helps you manage you time more efficiently. You should always leave room for abstractness in your life.

You’re not superhuman

time management

Relax, you’re not a superhuman

Finally, you need to realize that you are just a human being. There is no reason to feel upset if you can’t manage everything. Unless, of course, you are willing to sacrifice your good health and perhaps sanity. We strongly recommend against it though.

The essence of time management is to become more efficient with the way you use your time, not to become a superhuman. Be realistic and truthful to yourselves on what you can actually accomplish and most importantly respect your time.

There you have it. A busy architect’s guide to time management. If you ever find yourselves drowning between drawings, client calls and deadlines, these simple tips will turn to be a life jacket!

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