Tips to help architects keep a clear head
Architects have a tough job. There is so much at stake and so much to keep track of. So, how do you keep a level head on your shoulders? You are responsible for an entire building, and that can seem incredibly daunting. One slip up and everything could go wrong. But you are also an architect for a reason. You have made it this far. You are part of the elite architects to get to this point.
So, although you have a lot of your shoulders, you are more than capable of conquering this mountain.
Here are a few tips to help architects keep a clear head
#1 Great architects still make lists
This may seem like a silly thing, but so many forget to do this. When you have a list, you have definitive tasks to complete. You can see in one snapshot what you need to do. Things do slip the cracks, but if they are on the list you are less likely to forget. Don’t keep it all in your head, you need the brain power for other tasks like problem-solving. Lists can go everywhere with you, so keep it in a nice notebook you can carry around. And then once you complete a task, tick it off.
#2 Outline your work process and create a checklist
The saying goes: How to eat an elephant? One bite at a time!
This is just like your project, tackle one task at a time. But also in an order that is the most logical and productive. Once you have completed a task, strike it out. It’s a rewarding feeling and you can see your progress before your eyes.
#3 Stay away from distraction
When you are working on your project plan, checklists and to-do’s keep away from any distractions. Lock yourself in a room, turn your phone on silent and close your outlook. If you dedicated a good amount of time to securing a sound way forward, once you enter the manic and distracting world beyond those doors, you can always fall back on your list which was made with a clear head.
#4 Be smart with your time
You know when you are most productive. Is it in the morning before the kids wake up, or late at night? Do you prefer to do this after a run or a quick nap? Whatever it takes, allocate that time and be productive.
#5 Monitor your diet and drink lots of water
We very often forget that our bodies run on the fuel we put into it. And by fuel, we mean food and water. Be careful of too much sugar, not enough veggies and fruits and processed food. Eat whole foods and eat often to keep your blood sugar levels constant. And drink water, lots of it! Plan your meals and don’t rely on unhealthy takeaways to fuel your brain.
#6 Don’t have too many stimulants
Coffee is great in the morning, architects can’t live without it? But your body can become reliant on it and crash when you don’t have it. Other stimulants that you get from the chemist may also help you peak but be careful of the inevitable fall.
#7 Exercise regularly
Exercise affects the brain on multiple fronts. It increases heart rate, which pumps more oxygen to the brain. It also aids the bodily release of a plethora of hormones, all of which participate in aiding and providing a nourishing environment for the growth of brain cells. Exercise stimulates the brain plasticity by stimulating the growth of new connections between cells in a wide array of important cortical areas of the brain. From a behavioural perspective, the same antidepressant-like effects associated with “runner’s high” found in humans is associated with a drop in stress hormones.
#8 Change the scenery
A change of scenery can often help you to break your mental block and give you the ideas and insights you’ve been looking for. New sights and sounds of a different working location, such as a park, a library or other non-work setting, can often serve as a powerful creative catalyst. That’s one of the great things about using a laptop — you don’t have to be tied to your desk.
#9 Write things down
When you write down your ideas you automatically focus your full attention on them. Few if, any of us, can write one thought and think another at the same time. So, pen and paper make excellent concentration tools.
#10 Get enough sleep
Sleep helps brain function and repair. We tend to not get enough sleep and our brains run on fatigue much of the time. Napping is a lost art and we do not rest enough. As a result, our brains are over-stimulated, stressed, and tired.
#11 Work with other architects
In today’s knowledge economy, most of our jobs involve interacting with others that may or may not be in the same line of profession. The need for effective teamwork is critical for any architect. The ability to simultaneously perform as an individual and together with your peers; effective teamwork is key to attaining growth and success. In every aspect of a business, the diverse skills of teams are needed for reaching success. Make use of every opportunity you have to engage in teamwork, so you develop effective communication skills.
#12 Always communicate
If you feel like something has slipped the cracks or you have dropped the ball, simply tell your client. People much prefer the truth than to be lied to. Lies will make it much much worse actually. We are all human, and being honest can soften the blow.
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