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Essential Productivity Habits

February 17, 2024

Essential Productivity Habits for Recent Architecture Graduates

Upon completing their time at architecture school, the average graduate is met with the anticipation of new beginnings and the various possibilities that the job market holds. Graduating opens the door to a realm of self-reflection as you craft your CV and portfolio, collecting the unique skills you bring to a potential employer. Productivity post-graduation becomes extremely essential, and cultivating habits that enhance efficiency is the key to navigating this transformative period.

Architecture students can benefit immensely from habits such as daily sketching or honing model-making skills, integral pillars that mould them into adept professionals. Skill-building becomes a cornerstone in this journey. In this digital age, employers increasingly value individuals with diverse skill sets, recognizing the broader spectrum of talents that can be harnessed.

Habits, as James Clear advocates in his book Atomic Habits, are part of a larger system. Rather than fixating on goals, establishing systems proves more effective. Creating actionable steps towards objectives fosters genuine progress. Consider the habit of daily writing, a practice that not only unlocks creativity but also opens doors to architectural writing competitions, blog opportunities, and even book authorship.

For example, a habit like writing every day for 20 minutes can open up other avenues and ideas that you wouldn’t have been exposed to otherwise. Habits such as waking up early every day or writing a to-do list at the start of your day can also help your future self. By writing daily, you’re being creative and keeping that spark alive, whether it’s through a journal, book summary or even a piece of fictional writing. This could then build your interest in writing as a whole and as you keep practising, your craft becomes better.

Crafting a daily to-do list emerges as a fundamental habit. Whether prepared at the beginning of the day or the night before, this simple act provides clarity and mitigates procrastination. It’s crucial, however, not to burden oneself with unrealistic expectations. Prioritization reigns supreme; categorizing tasks enables the rescheduling of non-urgent ones, preventing the trap of perpetual guilt and frustration.

Looking beyond the immediate, planning for the future self becomes indispensable. While the unexpected is inevitable, preparation for anticipated events is within our control. Attending lectures on employment, for example, is more fruitful when armed with a pre-existing CV and portfolio, fostering an environment for meaningful engagement. Professionals value their industry networks and connections as they move up the career ladder, so it is essential to build this as early as possible.

Contrary to the notion of productivity, allocating time for personal growth is equally essential. This habit, cultivated during university, establishes boundaries and fosters a balanced approach. It’s a recognition that personal development is as vital as professional advancement.

In the pursuit of post-graduate goals, the looming uncertainty of job hunting can be daunting. Channelling efforts towards achievable goals within a defined timeframe, typically 1-3 months, offers a sense of direction. If unforeseen circumstances disrupt progress, flexibility and resilience become indispensable attributes. In the digital age, the siren call of social media beckons, demanding an exercise in restraint. While social media serves as a wellspring of inspiration and knowledge, mindless scrolling stands in the way of productivity. Learning to focus on the present and resist distractions can be transformative for recent architecture graduates.

Graduates often fixate on securing a job, but the journey is multifaceted. Internships and entrepreneurial endeavours, such as launching an Etsy store, are avenues that not only enhance your skills but also broaden your professional horizon. Building productive habits isn’t just a post-graduate necessity; it’s a lifelong investment. Architects-in-training possess a wealth of skills, thanks to the digital revolution. Hobbies, often overlooked, contain habits that can shape one’s character. 

The key lies in recognising the perpetual relevance of these habits, irrespective of one’s status as a graduate or the lack of a minimum qualification. Establishing a system of self-checks or periodic goals may help you to set those habits in place. As you navigate the post-graduate landscape, remember, that the habits you cultivate now will echo throughout your career—an empowering realisation indeed.


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