Time Management for Architecture Students – 5 Tips To Boost Your Productivity | SAS Podcast 3

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Hey! My name’s Kyle.

From a sample of 25,000 students that applied to enter architecture school:
15.30% of them were accepted.
8.50% of them made it through to the second half of their education.
2.04% of them were awarded a degree in Architecture (post-graduate)
0.78% of them ended up working a job in architecture.

Successful Archi Student is a platform for architecture students to learn off one another to become the LESS THAN 1% of students who end up being successful in the profession.

On the podcast, you’ll hear from practicing architects, other successful students and myself, Kyle, a third year architecture student from South Australia.

Doing so, you’ll learn the tips and tricks to excel past the rest of your cohort and build the skills needed to take your work to another level.

On today’s episode, I run through 5 time management tips to boost your productivity as an Archi student. Especially in your first years, it’s difficult to understand why you have so much work to do and so little time to complete it. Trust me, it doesn’t get easier, you just have to get better, and, you will over time. But, you need to practice these 5 time management tips if you want to see improvement in your time management, organisation and productivity.

Specifically, I’ll talk about:

  • Removing distractions
  • Organising your work space to be clean
  • Organising your files and folders – online and offline
  • Creating systems
  • Setting goals and reviewing your time using a diary

I hope you enjoy the show! Feel free to discuss anything in the comments below. I try to respond to every comment 🙂

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This is the Successful Archi Student’s Podcast, episode three.

Hey guys, welcome to the podcast. Today I want to talk about managing your time better as a student, as the more time you spend on your projects, the better your projects are going to be. And in the real world if you’re working for yourself, time is money, you don’t get paid by the hour you get paid for every project you get finished. So how you use your time and how efficiently use your time is very, very important as an architect.

So tip number one for managing your time as a student is to know when to put your phone away. We’re living in such a digital world now that checking our phone is a regular habit that most of us have had. It’s not really a great habit to have. Because every time you check your phone, you’re depriving yourself of being in a flow state when working on your architecture work. And what I mean by flow state is that when you’re working away in the hours of passing by, and you don’t realize just how much work you’re getting done, because you’re not getting distracted, but you’re just working on one thing, and you’re deeply working on it, so that you’re not thinking about something else, you’re not multitasking, you’re just getting one thing done.

However, when you check your phone, maybe every 10-15 minutes, you’re getting out of that flow state and it’s driving your attention somewhere else. So rather than thinking about solving the problems that are on the paper, You’re distracting yourself and procrastinating by looking at your phone and checking your messages.

And you might be thinking it’s something important by checking your emails, but most of the time, it doesn’t have to be checked. And most of the time there’s nothing even to check but we’ll check it anyway. Just as something to do to drive our attention away from the work we’re doing. I think it’s really important to not look at your phone when you’re working. Only check it at specific and deliberate times. So you might schedule out from eight to 11am, you’ll be working on your work. And then at 11 o’clock, you have a scheduled break for 15 minutes where you can check your phone and have something to eat. And you need to be disciplined about this to so that you’re actually staying on schedule. Because if you’re checking your phone and getting distracted during those three hours, it’s really going to affect your productivity and you’re not going to get as much work done. So my tip for you is to either turn your phone off or better yet, just keep it in another room, put it downstairs, put it in the backyard and it doesn’t matter where you put it but just don’t have it next you are working because it will really stray you away from the work you meant to be doing.

My second time management tip for you is to have a clean working space. By having a consistently clean desk, you’re going to build up constructive habits for studying and you’re going to be able to concentrate so much more than when you’ve got stuff scattered all over your desk. You’ve got a bit of model making stuff here and some drafting tools over there and rulers just scattered all over your bed. Trust me, I used to have all this crap all over my desks and everywhere but I found myself losing my train of thought. And I was trying to get into that flow state where I wasn’t getting distracted by anything. I was looking around the room, finding all the stuff everywhere I’m being taken away from my work unwillingly. Not only will it save you time, but having a clean desk and working space, you have a clear mind and you’ll be able to concentrate a lot more. Because of this one thing of just having a clean desk.

My third time management tips for architecture students is to organize your files online and offline. So what I mean by this is don’t have all your files, scattered all over your desktop on your computer, because it’s really going to make you struggle to find things when you need it. And it’s gonna take more time. Hence why this is a time management tip rather than organization tip but the fact that if you’ve got stuff scattered all over your desktop, it’s going to take a lot more time to find that for starters, it gives you a positive feeling. So when you get open your computer, you’ve got something clean to look at and it’s just like cleaning your desk, you have a positive feeling when coming into your room and you’ve got nothing on your desk, and it makes you want to do work. However, if you’ve got this stuff scattered everywhere, it’s going to really affect your productivity and it’s going to demotivate you and really cause you to not want to study.

So that goes for offline as well. You need to put all your files and your printouts into folders specific to your classes. And this will really help you organize yourself and your train of thought and you won’t lose concentration. And when you need something, you’ll be able to find it really, really easily.

What I like to do at the start of every new semester is create a new folder for each of my classes on my computer, and then categorize them into the different assignments I’ve got. This helps me realize what submissions I’ve got during the semester. But it also helps me organize all of my files into those folders and so that I don’t lose track of where I am. So the more narrow you get down, the more you organize your files into folders, the easier it’s going to be to find things and you’re going to save a lot more time because you’re going to be able to stay in your flow state then and you’re not going to spend time having to find files that you’ve somewhere put on your desktop or some ridiculous place on your computer.

My time management tip number four for architecture students is to create systems. And this is very similar to the previous tip that I had, which was to organize everything into folders. This is kind of the idea of if you must do something twice, you should create a system for it. So rather than downloading new textures every time you do a project, so if you need to find a concrete texture, rather than going online and downloading a new texture and spending five minutes to find one texture, why don’t you create a texture library so that when you do an assignment, you grab all the textures you’ve used from that project, and you put it into this library so that the next time you do a project and you need a concrete texture, well you’ve got one there and you can just use that one and you save yourself that five minutes of search time.

This is an initial investment of your time. You put in a little bit of work at the start, organizing all your folders and everything, but the time it will save you in the future. It’s well worth it. Architects and firms organize everything into folders, and they create systems for all their files and their projects. If you can’t do this, you’ll be left behind.

My time management tip number five for architecture students is to use a diary, the smallest thing you can do is write in your class dates. And when you’ve got your submission dates and your due dates, but I encourage you to write in your daily goals and review them in your diary. So keep looking back at the goals you’ve said. So you might say for tomorrow, you want to get your plans done, or you want to have your model done. You actually need to keep yourself accountable for that and have some integrity and review your day and see if you actually do what you set out to do? And this will involve discipline again, and to have some integrity but these are great skills to have. And by doing these tasks, it’s really going to help you succeed.

So the way I do it is when I go to bed, I’ll bring out my diary and I’ll look over the stuff I said I wanted to do today, and I will tick off the things I did and I’ll put a cross through the ones I didn’t do. This helps me understand where I did well and what I didn’t do so well. Then, for the next day, I’ll start to write in what time I want to wake up. So I might say wake up at 6:30. And then from then on for every 30 to 60 minutes of my day are writing the tasks that I want to achieve and the things I want to do. So if every 30 to 60 minutes, so say, at nine o’clock, I’m working out, 10 o’clock, I’m having breakfast, 11 o’clock, I’m starting on my model or so forth.

You might think this might stress you out because you’re planning out every single minute of your day, but it actually does the opposite. You don’t have to stay dead on track with the goals you set. However, they are meant to be changed and they’re meant to be revised throughout the day. But by having a written down plan, it really helps you understand what you need to have achieved and when by. What it really does is it clears your mind of any stress.

To recap over today’s podcast, we just went through 5 time management tips for architecture students. Tip number one was to keep your phone away from you when you’re working. Also have deliberate and purposeful break times where you can check your phone so that you’re not distracting yourself while working. Tip number two was to have a clean working space. And number three was to organize your files online and offline so that you’re not wasting time trying to find things you need. Number four was to create systems for yourself so that you’re not wasting time doing stuff that you’ve already done before. If you have to do something twice, then you should create a system for it. And number five is to use a diary and to review your daily goals and set daily goals for the next day every single night doing so you’ll have a clear mind and you understand exactly what you need to get done in that day. And it will really help you take your education to the next level.

I really hope you guys found this helpful, and I’ll see you guys in the next episode of the Successful Archi Student’s Podcast.


If you have a project you want to delve in to and discuss, or you have some useful tips for other students you think would be helpful, please, send me an email to kyle@successfularchistudent.com and get in touch about it!
Otherwise, direct message me on Instagram @successfularchistudent and I’ll be keen to set up a skype call.

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