As an architect, you surely have been in an excessively stressful situation directly related to deadlines. Due dates are architects' worst enemies. If you want to overcome deadline-related fears, you should check our tips and learn how to determine realistic deadlines.
Back in the time when I entered the world of architecture, I was extremely confused with deadlines. Every professor was all about due dates, so I got used to it. Lots of sleepless nights, huge cups of coffee, and a mess all over my desk were an everyday occurrence. After a while, I decided that such a lifestyle is unacceptable, so I gave my best to overcome ''due date'' issues.
It's true that college due dates always must be respected, but in the world of architecture, you have all the rights to determine deadlines with clients. Deadlines will always be our biggest problem, but the only possible solution is learning how to be realistic and give yourself enough time!
At first, it's important to realize how important deadlines are. In the world of business, everything is about due dates, so you must work under pressure if that's the only way to meet the client’s requirements. The market is overflowed with professionals, so you must be one of them in order to succeed.
The following tips will help you organize your time better and learn how to estimate the time you’ll need to complete a project.
Murphy's Law is always lurking behind the corner
If you have the option to set the deadline, always think twice before you say something. Even if you know exactly how much time you need to finish a project, always say that you need a little bit more time. As Murphy's Law suggests, unexpected situations always appear when we least hope, so you'll frequently find yourself in such circumstances. In the world of architecture, time is priceless!
If you forget to click those crucial keys ''Ctrl + S'' and your work disappears in a second, or if your brand new computer starts bugging when you add an additional line, you'll remember all I just said. So, always predict such situations and try to add an additional day before your realistic deadline.
Moreover, an extra day before the deadline will help you relax and work without pressure, but be careful, and try to finish all the tasks like you have one day less. That way, you'll be sure that you'll sleep the night before the deadline and you won't let anything ruin your deal.
Discuss the complexity of scenes before you start
Using advanced apps and tools, you can give your client a peek at what you're able to draw. Before you determine a deadline, you should discuss the complexity of the project. Sometimes, especially if you are a perfectionist (and you should be), you'll invest much more effort than you should.
If a client requires less than you're planning to do, consider the client's wishes and finish your work in the shortest amount of time possible. If you say that you need much more time than you actually need, you might lose a client.
Anyhow, it's always important to explain to a client how sophisticated the project is. Sometimes, seemingly simple scenes might require an incredible amount of time.
Stay in touch with your team members
Architecture implies teamwork, so let's assume that you're working with several colleagues. Since you must rely on your team members, always check with them if they have enough time to finish their part of the project.
Instead of texting them in the middle of the meeting, you should consider using some of the available project managing tools. Such solutions will give you insights about everything your team members are doing. Besides, thanks to such apps, you'll never miss a due date because everything will be scheduled by priority.
After you determine that the entire team has enough time to finish a project, you can arrange a deadline. Don't forget that delays will cost you time and money!
Don't accept more than you can do
Even if you know that you can double your earnings if you accept lots of work in a short deadline, don't take it if you aren't sure that you can complete it on time. One of the biggest issues in the world of architecture, as well as in many other industries, is a recommendation.
If you keep asking your clients to extend the deadlines, be sure that no one will refer you for cooperation. Since recommendations are the best possible form of marketing, your engagements with clients will decrease over time.
Furthermore, if you can't finish the project at the agreed time, you'll put your entire team of architects under pressure. Architecture is art, and no one can be creative while hurrying to finish lots of tasks.
The bottom line
As long as you can finish projects on time, clients will appreciate your work, and they'll return and recommend you. Every single delay will reflect that you aren't reliable, and you know how big the price for mistakes can be in the world of architecture. If a client can't trust an architect, there are no reasons for further cooperation.
As long as your ideas can please your clients and if you can meet the deadlines, the clients' experience will be a good one.
Be creative and finish everything on time. That way, you'll show that you're reliable and responsible. Trust me, I'm an architect!
How do you cope with the deadlines? Share your experience and tips in the comments!