You chose architecture because you are a creative, three-dimensional thinker who wants to make a lasting, artistic impact on the culture and the landscape. Or you just love buildings and want to design them. No matter what motivates you, at the end of the day, architecture is a unique pursuit in that it is equal parts art and business.
Unfortunately, managing clients, collaborators and contractors, keeping up with ever-changing design technology, and staying on deadline are as critical to your success as your talent.
As the competition intensifies, and buildings become increasingly more complex, expectation and reality are often miles apart—with you caught dangling stressed out in between. Today’s effective architects are learning how to work smarter, not harder. To streamline your work life, check out these efficient architect tips below. You’ll minimize your stress and maximize your ability to showcase your work in its best light.
More is Not Better
Spend a little time up front to eliminate wasted time later. Before you begin, make a list of the tasks involved and see where you can eliminate unnecessary steps. More hours of work do not guarantee a better product. You will be glad to have created a focused, efficient plan when you are home having dinner at a reasonable time instead of bringing takeout to the office.
Is that Meeting Necessary?
Meetings are notorious time eaters. Before scheduling a meeting, ask yourself if a phone call or email can accomplish the same result. If you decide a meeting is in order, come prepared with a clear agenda, keep the attendees to an absolute minimum and set a fixed time limit.
Take Advantage of Technology
Technology can be the architect’s best friend both creatively and managerially. Think back to the last time you had any formal software training. Take a quick refresher course and break old patterns with new, time saving software. Once you are up to speed, try automating repetitive tasks that take up valuable time. Also, be sure to stay current with design software. At the very least, most clients today will expect a 3D walkthrough of their project in the design phase. The more up to date you are with the latest tech tools, the smaller the margin for error and miscommunication.
Prioritize and Delegate
Tasks that produce the most value should go to the top of your priority list. That said, if someone else can handle a job better and faster than you can, don’t be shy about accepting their help. A little delegation goes a long way in freeing you up for the work that requires your skills alone.
Maximize Your Value
By leveraging your BIM model to provide additional services to your client, you will increase the value of your work. This might include anything from post construction building management to real time data visualization services. This provides an ongoing revenue source even after a project is completed.
Effective and efficient are two separate concepts. The former means taking the right action. The latter means performing that action in the best way possible. Create a work model that combines the two and you will be an architect who achieves both better results and a better work/life balance.
Want more architecture tips? Check out our design resource center.