Today’s blog is dedicated to architecture professionals, a wonderfully creative profession often associated with long days and juggling multiple projects at once. It can be easy to lose track of time, jumping from one project to the other and getting caught up in the creative process. However, clients may not be happy to pay for poor time management.
Time is a precious commodity, so learning to use it effectively is essential. Learning to manage workloads and prioritise assignments will not only benefit your work but will result in a much happy client. We’ve got four simple tips to ensure your time management is just as good as your design skills!
1. ANALYSE HOW YOU SPEND YOUR TIME
To improve your time management skills, you’re going to need to understand how you’re currently spending your time. So, the first step to more effective management is to track your time, this will allow you to identify where you can improve.
It’s important to track both billable and non-billable hours, product and unproductive, sketching, meetings, coffee breaks, everything! This will give you a complete picture of how you’re spending your day. Time tracking software can help with this process (we’ll get to that later), but pen and paper is a good place to start.
2. SET MICRO-TARGETS
While designing their dream home might be what the client expects of you, it’s not exactly something that can be put on a to-do list! Rather than focusing on the end goal (and the days it’ll take to reach them), break projects down into smaller manageable tasks for yourself, then assign deadlines to each.
By working through these micro-targets and (hopefully) meeting all the smaller deadlines you’ve set yourself, you can experience little wins, each one bringing you closer to your end goal!
3. KEEP YOUR CLIENT INFORMED
Involve the client in the planning process, provide them with a detailed estimate schedule of the project as a whole. Brief your client as you move through the stages of the design process, should there be a delay keep them informed stagewise rather than waiting to the end of a project. By keeping them involved you can avoid external pressure and unrealistic expectations.
4. DESIGN YOUR WEEK
Architects design things every day of the week, so transfer those design skills into your time management by designing exactly what your ideal week will look like. Think of time management as a design problem, you have a limited number of hours in a week, and you have to fit everything in.
Identify all the things you want to get done in your ideal week (at home & work). Break these down into smaller, manageable tasks based on the time they’ll take to undertake.
Now arrange how all of these things will fit into each day and the week as a whole (don’t forget to allow yourself adequate breaks), think of it as your bubble diagram! When it starts to take shape, refine this onto a spreadsheet and set out how your ideal week will look. Use this as a guide and fill in more specific tasks at the start of the week.
CONSIDER A TIME TRACKING SOFTWARE
Time tracking software can help architects take control of their time on projects; they give an accurate report on your performance to identify problem areas that need to be addressed, provide you with clear data and proof of work to provide to clients and track billable hours to provide accurate billing.
If you’re struggling with keeping track of your time, then why try out our time tracking software? We offer a completely free 30-day trial and have a whole host of features that will help you take control of your time. Say goodbye to losing track of time and say hello to complete-time tracking software that can provide you and your client with clear insight into your projects! Sign up here.