Archinect
anchor

Finishing things before time

Wall-E

Hey. I think this is quite a necessary topic to discuss. I have in my academic and professional career seen two types of people when it comes to finishing things. 

One who finish everything before time. Good quality and everything is almost perfect. 

And the ones who finish everything just in time and sometimes miss the deadlines. 

I would love to know what do people in first category do differently assuming both the category are not procrastinating and have same time 

 
Mar 25, 21 2:00 am
Wall-E

One thing that I read about was some people work on all the projects that they have on daily basis.. Instead of working on a single project for few days and then returning back to other one.. 



Mar 25, 21 2:04 am  · 
 · 
natematt

I would argue that it's not time-management, but volume-management. 

If you have more work than you can do in an amount of time, it doesn't matter.... you will not get it done. The people who are really successful at this are those who set expectations and make the volume of work match the time they have. 

People naturally have different capacities for how much work they can do an how efficiently, but actually having a polished/done thing before it's due is often not reflective of this. Some of the most productive people I know are in the second category because they take on more work than humanly possible (by their choice or not).

Mar 25, 21 2:30 am  · 
4  · 
randomised

Great thread, I’m the “just in time” kind of person and would love to learn how to be more the “finishing everything on time” type...

Mar 25, 21 4:00 am  · 
3  · 
Archi-nerd

In school, I think it can relate to perfectionism because the standard is set by the individual student and not a manager. So you have students who may spend disproportionate time on making perfect output that essentially won't matter as much.

On the other hand, I have seen people in practice who try to squeeze every minute of productivity. So they are both productive and last minute people.

I am a fan of the incremental approach, which is developing all levels to a good standard before proceeding with doing more.

Mar 25, 21 5:24 am  · 
1  · 
Wall-E

I myself belong to the second category and I think most of the architects lie here. Trying to perfect everything till the last minute squeezing time. 


I would love to hear someone who belongs to the first category though. 

Mar 25, 21 7:51 am  · 
1  · 
senjohnblutarsky

I used to be the type that knew my volume and the allotted time to do it.  I finished on time and spread the work out.  I made it known that I could take on additional volume as needed, and would warn when the volume was going to cause overtime.  Now I have a lot more volume than regular time, so those strategies are out the window.  

From a management standpoint, it's all about distributing volume and types of tasks to the right people.  You should know what each employee can handle, how they'll handle it, and how quickly.  I've had people I couldn't trust to do any design document work on time and correctly, so they did as-builts and basic schematic work.  I knew the kind of production to expect, and did my best to keep them productive.  Throwing anything else at them would be a waste.  

Mar 25, 21 8:41 am  · 
5  · 
Non Sequitur

I never missed a deadline while in school (all undergrad work was hand-drawing/painting and bass-wood models - no computers allowed).  I Got "As" in studio and whatever, but that's meaningless in the real world anyways.  What is important is that I kept this pace while also working 20-25hr/week part-time (first retail, then in a small arch office) and holding a social life outside of studio.  I did do an average of 3 overnighters per week but that was do to my other commitments outside of school.  The discipline I needed to maintain to make this work is the real lesson here and it has served me very well outside of school.  

Grad school had very little in terms of real deadlines since thesis is pretty much self-governed but I treated it like 2 full time jobs but very rarely worked overnight.

In an office setting, deadlines are more flexible so you can put some things aside to finish those on the critical path.  There is also drawing hierarchy to respect as well as the allotted time/fees and last minute client changes... but there is always time to do it correctly once (also, nothing is too important that it can wait a day).  So when I complete drawings for permit, I expect them to be good enough to go straight to tender/construction... I expect those I work with to do the same, but that never works out.

Mar 25, 21 8:54 am  · 
3  · 
Wall-E

Hi. Yup. Maybe discipline is the way to go.

Mar 25, 21 10:29 am  · 
 · 
monosierra

Some of it boils down to client/team management and nailing a viable schedule even before the work starts coming in. With projects requiring complex coordination between multiple parties, deadlines, and schedules, identifying bottlenecks and critical paths are very helpful in forecasting problems and prioritizing tasks ahead.

Mar 25, 21 9:15 am  · 
1  · 
RJ87

I think in both circumstances, but particularly within academic work, there comes a time when you just have to stop making changes & just produce for the deadline. I remember when I was in school kids would be "designing" until the last minute but have little to no finished work product to explain their ideas. Once I got the hang of knowing how long types of drawings took to make, I set an earlier deadline a few days before presentations where I stopped making changes & just produced work. The end result is a wall full of supporting documents.

Mar 25, 21 9:52 am  · 
5  · 
Wall-E

​@RJ87 I can tell you what goes in the mind of designing till the last moment people! Somehow they are looking for perfection and can always see improvement. Its like an urge to keep working on it till the last moment. I guess our brains are wired differently. Or maybe not. But definately I agree with you about stop designing and produce. Its not easy for some people to do that!

Mar 25, 21 10:27 am  · 
1  · 
Archi-nerd

Breaking the studio work at school into design + production was one of the best realisations I ever made. However, the moment at which I realised how bad perfectionism is was when I had to work under a project architect who was even more of a perfectionist than me. It was the most mentally exhausting working experience. For the sake of being on point though, there is a distinction between having high standards and (maladaptive) perfectionism.

Mar 25, 21 1:08 pm  · 
2  · 
SneakyPete

Perfect is the enemy of good enough. Good enough has a stigma that needs to be dismantled.

Mar 25, 21 1:13 pm  · 
1  · 
thatsthat

I was a design-until-the-last-minute person in school. I am now a get-it-done-early person. In school, I had a lot of anxiety that what I was designing wasn't "right" and I didn't feel like I knew enough to make educated decisions about materials and detailing.  As a professional, I have a team around me to talk through the big decisions, talk about the technical issues, bounce ideas around, and help with the production.  This made all of the difference for me. In studio, there wasn't a lot of bouncing ideas around; it was much more critical with less feedback. Now, I plan things out so that we are at pencils down a day or two ahead of the deadline; deadline day is final plotting, compiling, and sending.

Mar 25, 21 2:31 pm  · 
3  · 
randomised

http://t.ted.com/O6QLRc3

.

Mar 25, 21 6:03 pm  · 
 · 
Wall-E

Yup. I remember watching this long time ago. Good insight

Mar 26, 21 7:42 am  · 
 · 
atelier nobody

Umm...

Mar 31, 21 4:26 pm  · 
 · 
James Bragg

When I read the OP I was going to post a video about procrastination - then I changed my mind because OP said "assuming [they] are not procrastinating". Then I got to the end and saw that that randomized posted the same video :).

The thing is, you can't look at this issue in isolation: it's really about the person and how they are as a whole. Who completes things on time/before schedule tends to arrive at appointments (whether personal or business) with the same level of punctuality.

The same can be said for the people who deliver late.

I think saying "assuming they are not procrastinating" is in fact misleading, because everyone tends to procrastinate on something.

Mar 31, 21 1:25 pm  · 
 · 
randomised

What stuck with me most as a procrastinator from this ted talk, and is the scariest IMO, is not the bits of extreme overtime just before deadlines but the apparent inability to get started when there’s no deadline at all...

Mar 31, 21 2:52 pm  · 
1  · 
zonker

It's poor time management, procrastination. It's necessary to put in hours up front on a task, not at the last minute. It's self discipline.

Nov 22, 21 11:28 am  · 
 · 
randomised

I wanted to reply but got distracted

Nov 22, 21 2:17 pm  · 
2  · 
zonker

To reduce revisions, backcheck you work, be very very thorough. Allow for revisions and mind changing. IOW, however long you think a task will take, multiply the time *2. I always flowchart out my process like I did when I was in tech. It breaks things out and you can estimate time better. 

Nov 22, 21 12:02 pm  · 
 · 
proto

if, sometimes, i get a little enthusiastic and finish before you, is that so bad as long as I help you finish too?

:p

Nov 22, 21 2:13 pm  · 
 · 

Block this user


Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in: