Hello! This post is made with some irony, as I wrote this a couple of weeks ago. However, I feel like now that the first year workshop has started, this might be the best time to post it.

Physics is nearly over, and cultures is also coming to an end. So I finally have time to write again! In cultures we are studying the beautiful and dark Gothic architecture, leading into the Renaissance that we pick up again in Cultures II in a year or so.

Also, the first years are here! The workshops began this week, and they can be seen walking around the N building with their sketchbooks and clipboards in tow. I will be posting a visual review soon (I promise!) of the entire first year so that any curious first year people can have a good idea of what to expect. I also hope that this post will help any that come across it in the next few weeks as they go through the workshop. Time management is an issue for a lot of architecture students; we have demanding schedules while juggling work, free time and studying/designing. I’ve learned a lot about how to better manage my time during first year and will share this little bit with you. Please add any other suggestions you might have. 🙂

Schedule the little things. I schedule in the big things like final reviews, work hours, due dates, big events and my fish’s birthday. If I get to noticing that a particular day is loaded with a critique scheduled, an exam, a paper draft due and a night out on the town, I figure in my downtime plus commute (and yes, I have gone as far to schedule in a shower) and the other smaller things that need to be done during the day so that they do not fall behind. Those tiny chores or assignments can often later add up to time-consuming tasks if not managed properly. Its all about knowing your priorities and what you can handle in a given time.

Countdowns. My agenda is full of “T minus X days!” to be a reminder for the big events that might sneak up on me like reviews or a paper, and more notably my birthday.

Breakdown workloads. Don’t attempt to do everything at once. Tackle big projects slowly, by making little checkpoints for breaks–after all, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Taking a break doesn’t mean a 6-hour nap (schedule that separately), but getting up for lunch or just a walk around studio will do. I tend to stroll about, looking at what others might be doing. It’s good to take a breather and maybe get some fresh ideas when you set back to work. If you have multiple projects, don’t work on one at a time. Help to keep concepts interesting by reengaging ideas at different points. Several people have different ways of handling multiple projects, and my method might not work for people with slight to severe ADD.

Be wise with your free time. This is not to say you have to be constantly thinking about architecture as you rest. In fact, it’s best not to. Keep a sketchbook close by to store any spontaneous ideas you have while away from the studio. That way the idea will still be there when you have the time.

How do you manage your time between studio hours, other arch classes, working and social life?