The productivity of architects and city planners depends on more factors than other professionals can imagine. Beyond the conventional productivity tips, architects need actual inspiration and smooth cooperation with many other parties that participate in a construction project.
We’ve worked with architects for years and know how sensitive these matters are. Below is a list of practice-based productivity hacks for architects you’ll find helpful to grow your practice in 2023.
Manage your time better
First things first, your time management is where you lose most of your drive and willpower.
No matter if you bill by the hour or by the project, you can’t afford to even spend a minute on things that don’t get you closer to your and your clients’ goals.
Use proper time management software and be mindful of it. Always know your numbers and the amount of time you spend on mundane work vs the work that truly gets your business forward.
You could consider adopting a time management technique (or switching the one you are using for a new one), e.g.
Pomodoro – breaking down work into 25-minute intervals (called “Pomodoros”), with short breaks in between. After four Pomodoros, take a longer break. This helps to stay focused and avoid burnout.
Eat the Frog – putting the hardest or most unpleasant task first thing in the morning when your energy is highest.
Time blocking – setting aside specific times for specific tasks to avoid multitasking.
If you have never really assessed your time management abilities, now is the best time, because time management is the #1 skill that can make or break your progress.
Whether you pick a system or stick to rigorous planning and tracking on your own, make sure you prioritize tasks and know what type of work you are doing and why.
Use the right tools
This is absolutely essential. If you stick to notepads, Excel spreadsheets, and a bunch of separate software products for accounting, client communication, and document storage, you will end up wasting all of your creative energy organizing your work.
We’ve built PlanMan, an all-in-one project management software for architects, specifically so that professionals like you could focus on doing the work, not thinking about how to do the work. PlanMan has built-in document management, accounting, client communication, co-consultants module, and so on.
The best part is – it’s all based on practical needs and routines architects we’ve surveyed for years. Sign up for a free trial now to see how smooth it is!
Apart from project management, make sure you stay updated on the latest versions of all the professional go-to tools you need to use, like drafting software, or architectural iPad apps to use on-site.
Automate as much as you can and always follow the latest developments in the architectural software world, e.g. the very specialized construction management software, collaboration software, project scheduling, and a lot more.
Create a distraction-free workspace
Consider designing a workspace that is quiet, well-lit, and clutter-free. The best case scenario is to have a thinking and a talking spot at your office to train your brain for different kinds of effort.
Set clear boundaries
Let colleagues, clients, and family know when you’re working and when you’re not. Set specific work hours and ensure everyone knows disturbing you is not a good idea.
Turn off notifications
We are constantly assaulted by all kinds of useless notifications on our devices. Disable all of them when you work. This will minimize distractions and interruptions that can derail your focus.
Outsource and delegate
A good rule of thumb is to outsource and delegate any work that does not move the needle in your business. There are tasks only you as an architect can do – those that build your brand and your legacy, and other professionals should ideally do everything else.
Check out some of our ideas on hiring architectural assistants. Among other things, we see the best results when architects use the help of contractors in CAD drafting, 3D modelling and rendering, construction document creation, Building Information Modeling, code compliance, and administrative tasks.
PlanMan lets you set permission groups and add all of your contractors and assistants as team members and easily assign tasks to them and track their progress.
There is a certain learning curve to delegating and outsourcing, but most high-end architects report that this has been the breakthrough point for their business.