How much time do you spend on Paperwork?

How much of your work is just paper work? filling out reports, submittals, LEED calculations, or anything else that is not drawing or design related work?

Oct 28, 20 1:16 pm

I do a lot of CA, so... a lot of my time is paperwork. Easily 50-75% of my week if I'm on a project in construction and also PM. I work for a larger firm but take on a lot of smaller projects so I'm often a one-person PA/PM team after the documents wrap up.

I like construction though, and I enjoy the sort of quick problem solving that CA requires, so I don't really mind it. 

Oct 28, 20 2:14 pm  · 

Tangentially - something I really struggle with is projects where I need to switch from PM-Mode to Designer/Production-Mode frequently and quickly. The time scales of the two just don't align. Manager schedules are based on 1-hour meetings. Designer focus (for me at least) needs 3-4 hour chunks. I try, but I don't always succeed, at stacking meetings as much as possible to leave whole or half days completely open so I can get into a drawing groove. Does anyone else have this problem? Can't just be me.

5  · 

Here's a great essay about it. It's from a programmer perspective but I think strongly applies to Architecture as well


I'm not switching from PM to Designer mode, but I do need to switch between projects quite frequently. It takes a certain amount of time for my brain to catch up I think. I've got at least 4 projects with deadlines this week and working on all of them pretty much simultaneously sucks. Doesn't help at all that it's down to the wire and so when people come with project related questions they need answers quickly so they aren't wasting time waiting for my response (otherwise I'd just check my email once or twice a day to help with focus). My timesheets for these types of weeks are really fun.

1  · 

second to role switching difficulties. i often work early in the morning or late at night not because i have too much work during the day, just because i have no focus during business hours. i'm amazed how little i can get done in 3 or 4 discontinuous hour chunks during the day.

1  · 

My wife hates it but I low-key love working Sunday mornings because no one ever interrupts me. I can knock out more in 4-5 hours than I sometimes accomplish in half a week of 9 to 5.


As a PM that runs from programming to project completion, probably close to 70%.

I might get to count 20% to design?  Most of that is probably specs and redlines.  I do block off time so I can do some detailing from time to time. I just sneak in and work in random places of the model/drawings that other people aren't in at the time. 

The rest is phone calls, meetings, emails.

Oct 28, 20 2:28 pm  · 

Are we defining paperwork as everything other than production work? Isn't that just the paperwork involved in taking the idea and putting it on paper?

I'm struggling to figure out what I do in a normal day that isn't paperwork. Everything I do eventually ends up on paper, even the redlining and sketching out details are a form of paperwork if you think about it. I consider emails paperwork too. If it is discoverable in a lawsuit, I'd put it in the paperwork category. I guess there are some phone calls that aren't paperwork. But those hardly take up any time, and they are only to figure out something that will end up on paper in the drawings or specs eventually. 

Oct 28, 20 4:31 pm  · 
1  · 

All that paperwork is design related work too, in my case/opinion. The paperwork I sometimes need to do in order to draw a line on paper can really add up.

Oct 28, 20 6:01 pm  · 
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All of it. All of it is paperwork. And I don't mean "this drawing will end up on paper, therefore it's paperwork." 

I graduated in 2011. I haven't drawn a thing since maybe 2014 except the odd sketch on a scrap of paper to explain how a code item or wall assembly works. Ugh.

Oct 29, 20 10:12 am  · 

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