Architects are busy people, and their work is of utmost value. Their work requires efficiency, effectiveness, resilience, and a clear mind. While maintaining the right lifestyle can make them capable of having it all, working and living haphazardly can turn their lives into a complete mess. Being successful comes from being good at what you are doing, and being successful will make you happy and satisfied. It is a closed loop, you cannot have one without the other. So here are a few tips on how to be an efficient architect with a clear mind; and how to turn your work into a an enjoyable experience.

Image via ww.pointsupreme.com

1.Work on a schedule and make a to-do list:
Always start your day with a well-organized and timed to-do list. It will help you keep track of time, and avoid procrastination (if that is humanly possible). Try to make your heaviest tasks the earliest and divide your work into small tasks to be finished in short time intervals. Avoid working continuously for long duration. Also, include in your daily schedule, non-work related tasks, like exercising, socializing, and helping others. These activities will help you broaden your experience in ways you cannot imagine.

2.Outline your work process and formulate a checklist:
Different projects require different procedures. So, with the beginning of every project re-check your usual routine and develop a suitable plan. For example, if you are working on a design project for a school, you would normally start with your research, move on to thinking about a concept and a form, then get to the zoning, testing, and so on. However, if this is your second school project, then you might save the time for research, or part of it. You have already got some of the needed material.

3.Keep away from social media and the internet altogether if need be:
They distract you and drain your time and energy without you even noticing. It is understandable you cannot always keep away, but when you get to work try to. Turn the airplane mode on and enjoy an hour or two of noise-free quality time.

4.Be Smart with your time:
‘Time is of the essence’ in architecture, and so you need to be smart with how you use your time. Don’t give any tasks longer than they need, and don’t make mistakes that will make them take longer. The time wasted on this needless work could have been spent on any sort of refreshing entertainment. Besides following the three previous tips, you need to know your tools well. Master the software and computer programs you are using and know the shortcuts. Know all the tips and tricks that will make you be quicker and better. Use the best tools and invest time in learning the latest software which will save your time in the long run. Also, make it a habit to keep everything you need around you to avoid needless movement.

5.Monitor your diet and drink water regularly:
Avoid eating fatty foods and heavy carbs before work because they will make you feel tired and sleepy. Instead, try to eat light and healthy options like vegetables, fruits, and lean meat. Drink water regularly, no less than 2 liters per day; it will help you stay focused. If you have trouble focusing, you will always feel tired, you can check your doctor for vitamins.

6.Don’t go heavy on stimulants:
Make them occasional, or you will become addicted and you won’t be able to maintain focus without them. Of course, by stimulants, we mean coffee and other caffeinated drinks; needless to say, alcohol and drugs should be avoided at all costs. They will, eventually, make you feel lifeless and depressed. Don’t go for the public image that the creative are usually “high.” It is not true.

7.Exercise regularly and stay fit:
Exercising is good for you, physically and mentally. It will keep you in good shape, improve your mood, and make you sleep better. It will, also, reduce your anxiety tendencies, and enhance your memory and thinking skills. You can take a daily morning walk, and breathe in the fresh air, or you can go cycling; it will do you good.

8.Change the scenery every once in a while:
Having to work every day in the same place, makes work feel like routine and reduces your creativity. So, whenever you find yourself bored or stuck change places. Do your thinking somewhere else, maybe in a park where you can take in the fresh air and enjoy the sight of the surrounding greenery. Libraries are, also, a good option. If you are seeking inspiration, you can never go wrong with a library.

9.Keep a journal and talk to friends:
Let anything that may distract you out. If you are not comfortable with talking to others about your problem or concerns, then your journal will be your best friend. There is scientific evidence that keeping a journal helps in reducing stress. It clears your mind and helps you see your problems and thought from a different perspective, and hence solve them in a most effective way.

10.Wear what makes you feel comfortable
Our standards for comfortable clothing may differ, so here’s a hint: ‘Wear what will not distract you’ If you are doing work that could get you stained, like working on a physical model perhaps, then don’t wear something that will keep you on the watch all the time. If you are more focused and efficient in casual loose clothing then go for it, and if formal clothing makes you feel more confident and on par with your colleagues, then it might be the right choice.

11.Relax and get enough sleep
When you are stuck, take a break; sit, stretch, relax, and listen to your favorite music. If it is a serious case of an “architect’s” block, then it is worth a massage. Massage improves blood circulation, relieves stress, increases concertation, and makes you sleep better, which gets us to the importance of a good night sleep. It is true that architects, commonly, suffer from sleep deprivation, but try not succumb to that. Sleep is good for you. It improves your memory, boosts your creativity, and sharpens your attention. Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep daily to maintain a healthy lifestyle and a focused brain.

12.Know when to and when not to listen to music while working
It is a very common practice between architects to listen to music while working for long hours. However, studies have shown that this is not always a good idea. It depends on what you are doing. If it is repetitive routine work that doesn’t require much thinking, then listening to music could make it more enjoyable. If it is a first-time task or a job that requires a lot of thinking and complete attention then silence is your best companion. If you are working in a noisy environment, then listening to music might be less distracting than the noise but choose the right music. Instrumentals are better than songs with lyrics, and familiar songs are better than new ones.

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