Top 3 Tricks to Get It All Done for Presentation Day.
Here's a technique from the book:
....that suggests you work as furiously as you can for 25 minutes and then reward yourself with a five-minute break.
Then, do it all over again....doing this will help establish good habits for blocking out distractions and pushing ahead on really difficult tasks.
As you experiment with this, you will may find the time interval may be different
for you, so try it out and see what gets the best result.
Set up sprints for different tasks or drawings that are needed for pin-up: plans, sections, elevations, details, models, massing.
If you're spending a lot of time on any one thing you might not be effectively managing your time.
If for example you spend an entire day developing the plan without touching the sections or elevations, you're investing too heavily in only one dimension.
THE PARETO PRINCIPLE
The Pareto principle states that 80% of your results come from just 20% of your efforts.
When people think about time management often their first inclination is to write out a to-do list, but the reality - given the Pareto principle - is that most of the tasks on there are low value.
Ideally, you want a list that has only the 20% tasks those that lead to 80% of your results.
Now, to find these you want to take your to-do list and assign weightings based on impact and effort.
And I know, this sounds like too much effort already, but if you have difficulty managing your time doing this illustrates where the
problems with a standard to-do list are.
Let's say on your to-do list are the following hypothetical tasks: draw a site plan, develop
a code checklist, build a context model, and
generate three design concepts.
Start by ranking your to-do list from lowest
to highest according to the amount of effort
it will take to do a certain task.
Now, rank these same tasks for impact.
What does the task stand to realize for you;
how important is it?
Then, I want you to make the following diagram.
Now, each task will fall under one of the
following four quadrants: high impact and
low effort, high impact high effort, low impact
and low effort, and low impact and high effort.
And so, once these tasks are in each one of
these boxes you're going to begin with the
tasks that are in the high impact low effort
box first, followed by the high effort high
impact ones, and then on to the low impact
low effort ones, and finish off if you have
any time with any low impact high effort jobs.
If you find yourself wasting time on repetitive
tasks you want to create a template to deal
And, you can do this with email, texts, details,
specs, drawings; almost anything.
Template your marketing funnel, or code checklists,
or your responses for new client inquiries.
Rather than waste mental effort on crafting
an original response each time, I like to
think about what the outcome I want to achieve
is, and then put systems in place to accomplish
those goals for me without my involvement.
Automating tasks with programs is a good place
to start, but this strategy also includes
- by the way - hiring someone to take over
tasks that don't make the best use of your
Now, you know the drill here: files, tools,
assets, folders, materials, documents.
Managing your time efficiently means you can't
waste time searching for the basic things
you need to do your work.
And, of course keep your workspace organized.
Alright, enough said.
Recognize that your phone calls, texts and
emails are all someone else's to-do list and
priorities being imposed on you.
Managing your time means keeping a schedule
of what's important to you.
If you want to manage your time better, you
have to get selfish with it and guard it.
If you're always responding to someone else's
demands, you're helping them manage their
time, and their schedule.
They're effectively outsourcing their important
tasks to you.
Owning your schedule is your only chance to
accomplish the goals you've highlighted as
Find your most productive working times and
do your work then.
For me, I divide my day between making and
In fact, I've recorded a few videos on this
topic already and I'll post the links in the
Mornings are strictly set aside for making,
afternoons for managing.
Finding your most productive time of day to
work ensures your effort inputs achieve similar
results and outputs.
Trying to fit too many design tasks into your
schedule only divides your time and increases
the chances you won't complete all of them.
As time boxing requires you to reduce scope
to meet a deadline, saying no provides you
the latitude to spend more time doing the
things you deem most important.
Eliminating tasks prioritizes those things
that are significant.
This doesn't only apply to your bad social
media habits - the places you click first
when you're bored or stuck on something - but
your email, texts, phone calls, visits by
vendors, or consultants, and even friends
And, these things, these are designed to make
us pay attention to them and they're exceedingly
good at that.
Recognize that anything that says urgent needs
to be intentionally managed by you if you're
serious about getting things done.
Urgent things often pretend to be important,
but they can actually keep us from getting
the things that actually matter done.
Set aside time for these activities and try
not to use them outside of those times, they'll
steal as much of your time as you let them.
Don't waste time here.
Getting stuck can disrupt all the good time
management practices you've put in place and
it can do so very quickly.
If you get to a point where you know you're
grinding and not making forward progress,
stop, take a break; put some room between
you and the design problem.
Seek out counsel from someone else, someone
not familiar with the project that can look
at it objectively.
Ask yourself what assumptions you've made
that might be false or that might be holding
Everyone gets stuck, but pros recognize it
quickly and don't waste time fretting about
At times like these, I like to get away from
the studio and get some exercise.
In fact I've made it a daily habit to leave
at a set time of day.
I put a podcast on, listen to something completely
unrelated to the problems I'm trying to solve.
Now, your unconscious mind will still be working
on the problem, don't worry.
This is actually a studied and documented
part of the design process.
It's called incubation and it immediately
precedes illumination and that's the part
where the idea is revealed or discovered.
It's not something you can necessarily rush
or force to arrive more quickly.
If you continue to try and work through the
problem once you reach this point, you risk
taking time away from other, maybe less resource
intensive, tasks that could benefit from slightly
less of your design horsepower.
Now, good time management requires recognizing
these waypoints and redirecting your energies
Often we struggle to put something out there
that isn't perfect.
Yes, with an infinite amount of time and budget
you can get close to perfect, but that's not
You can't let perfect be the enemy of the
The perfect version of your architecture does
us no good if it's never built, or we never
get to see it.
As you search for that perfect scheme, others
are actually completing things that are less
Your work has no value without execution and
execution means managing your design time
in a way that delivers your ideas to the world
on a schedule.
You've heard the expression, “what gets
monitored, gets managed.”