Pass Architecture Without Sleepless Nights: How to Maximise Productivity as an Architecture Student! | Yousif Al-Daffaie | Skillshare

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Pass Architecture Without Sleepless Nights: How to Maximise Productivity as an Architecture Student!

teacher avatar Yousif Al-Daffaie, PhD Researcher in Architecture

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (22m)
    • 1. Intro - Welcome!

    • 2. Gantt Charts and Managing Tasks

    • 3. Minimising Distractions and Breaking Down Tasks

    • 4. Tools To Increase Your Productivity

    • 5. Unproductivity and Combating it

    • 6. Outro - Accept the Challenge!

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About This Class

In this class, I will present tools and tips to pass architecture years without red eyes and all-nighters. I will discuss multiple tips, including managing time using Gantt charts, using technology to minimise distractions, getting a schedule that works for you, and understanding the nature of architecture and how to come to terms with it. As such, the class will be divided into the following sections: 

1. From Brief to Submission: Time Management. : we will discuss tools to maximise and develop your time management skills, and creating a schedule of action that actually works.

2. Minimising Distraction: The Workplace. : In this section, we will discuss tips to avoid common pitfalls that most architecture students fall into, and how to break down modules to achieve the expected outcomes whilst maintaining an achievable pace for completion.

3. Tools to increase productivity: Expensive, Cheap and free. : I will cover multiple tools in technology (and outside tech) to double your productivity and minimise distractions. Whether you are willing to spend or don't want to spend anything, this section will be helpful.

4. When you cant be productive. Some days are just like that, and it's okay! We will discuss the mindset that maximises productivity, even on break days.

5. Accept the challenge and push. I present to you the harsh truth about architecture and how to come to terms with it. 

If that sounds helpful to you, let's get started. :) 

Meet Your Teacher

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Yousif Al-Daffaie

PhD Researcher in Architecture


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1. Intro - Welcome!: Hello everyone. My name is Yusef and have been doing architecture for as long as I remember. I finished my architectural degree in 2017 and I graduated with a very good GPA, and I've done it all without having Tibet past 10 o'clock. I'll present tools and tips to help you pass architecture years without red eyes and all nighters. I will discuss multiple steps, including managing time using Gantt charts, using technology to minimize distractions, getting a schedule that works for you, and understanding the nature of architecture and how to come to terms with it. As such, the class will be divided into the following sections. Number 1. From brief, the submission, time management, we will discuss tools to maximize and develop your time management skills by creating a schedule of action that actually works. Section number 2, minimizing distraction the workplace. In this section, we will discuss tips to avoid common pitfalls that most architecture students fall into and how to break down modules to achieve the expected outcomes whilst maintaining an achievable pays for completion. Actually, number three, tools to increase productivity, expensive, cheap, and free. I will cover multiple tools in technology and outside of tech W of productivity and minimize distractions. Whether you are willing to spend on don't want to spend anything. This section will be helpful. Section number 4, when you add can't be productive. Some days are just like that and that's okay. We will discuss the mindset that maximizes productivity even on break days. And finally, section number 5, accept the challenge and push. Present to you the hard truth about architecture and how to come to terms with it. If that sounds helpful to you, Let's get started. 2. Gantt Charts and Managing Tasks: Okay, so let's get right into it. Gantt charts are very important tools for time management. They help you have an overview of all the tasks that you have to do from brief to submission. For example, this, these are typical tasks for any design submission and architecture. You suddenly the site analysis and precedent studies. And if you have a client, you have to work with the client profile and then create conceptual models, site model massing models. And they start with the initial plan and the sketch models and develop the plans, et cetera, et cetera. With the gantt charts, you have to lay them down on the left. And on the top here you can write down the days for the tutorials and it is for the submission. In this example, we have weekly tutorials, as you can see on the top here. In these weekly tutorials, I have written what is expected of me to have in each week. So for example, on the left when I was supposed to have precedent studies, client's profile conceptual model, one conceptual model to ascites model, and the massive model. Now these are optional on orange, so this is just an example of how to lay them down and then any yellow highlight, how much time do I think each task will take me. Now say, for example, I have expected that my client profile will take four days to make. And then when I actually start working on it and I finish it on the seventh, I can then highlight all these three a different color. And this will indicate to me that I have finished this one the earlier, which then allows me more time to work on the conceptual models and the site model. I really encourage you to start your own template, but I will share this template with this class. You can find it in the class project. In this class project I want you to create your own Gantt chart for the submission and share them with me in the discussions to gauge how much time everything will take. You are usually triple that time. I think it will take me, for example, I have three days setup for the conceptual model. Realistically, I think it will take me one day. You never know what happens. So I tripled the amount of expected time. Theoretically, if you follow this by the end of the submission, you will actually finish everything one week before, which leaves one week for just adjusting the submission. And the start of each submission, I would start this Gantt chart that will start to develop it over time as we go through. And I would update it on weekly basis to make sure that I'm on top of my tasks by the end of the last live, even if you do not have a formative review towards the middle of the project, I encourage you to have your own formative review for yourself towards the middle of the project. Formative review to help you reflect on the work, what went well, what didn't go so well? And how will you tackle and address the issues that you're encountering so far, which will provide a richer tutorial that you have with your tutor. Therefore, these Gantt charts are very important and I look forward to seeing what you guys do with your own Gantt charts. 3. Minimising Distractions and Breaking Down Tasks: The second important factor in submitted on time and avoiding sleepless nights is minimizing distraction. Your workplace is your second studio. When you're in the studio, you might have distractions such as your friends and the generally noisy atmosphere and culture in architectural studios. But at home, you're in control of the environment and you absolutely have to minimize the distractions as much as possible. It's a bit difficult in student's accommodations to separate your desk from the bad. But the first thing to do is to not work on the battle. Each certain accommodations were probably have a desk and make sure it's a priority for your house hunt to find a place with a desk. Research has shown that working from bed decreases sleep quality, which decreases work productivity, energy levels, and quality of life. Using the bot as a workspace means you're bringing work with you to bed, both literally and figuratively. If you've been working all day from your bed, you're you're likely to continue thinking about work and have a hard time turning it off once you slide under the covers for sleep. A third tip for minimizing distraction is actually listening to music. Architecture. Research has found that listening to music actually lowers your cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone that is usually responsible for feelings of stress and anxiety. So not only it doesn't use AIC help you focus more, but actually it keeps your anxiety at bay. And this will be especially helpful for the night before the submission. Luckily, architecture is not like other courses that are required to sit on the desk and study in architecture, you can actually have fun. You can watch your favorite show or listen to your favorite artists while making the design or cutting a model. Now there will be times at the design stage, especially in the conceptual stages where you need to focus. But as a general rule, when you know what you're doing, you can listen to your favorite artists while making a Moodle. And I encourage you to do that, especially if you have noisy flat mates or your house is located on a busy street. Another tip for minimizing distraction is breaking down the tasks into groups of fun and boring tasks, obviously, or fun and fun tasks. So not all aspects of architectural design are exciting. I admit that there are parts of it that are very Estelle and I do not enjoy me personally. I really don't enjoy technical drawings. So what I do is I organize my tasks on what appeals to me and group them together to create a mixture of both. And that's how I get this tail bit's done while still getting some enjoyment out of the design process. So for example, I like site analysis. I think SWOT analysis is a very fun task, but I don't enjoy precedent studies as much. So what I do is group them both together and call it Task 1. So I work on both that analysis and precedent studies in the same time, making them into one task. So that's how I'm mixing both fun and boring tasks. Equally. If I like both development, developing the concept and creating the conceptual model and make them into one task. But if I have both boring and Fun Tasks and merge them together to create one task that is both fun, that has both fun and boring sites. And this is how you get all the work done, including the boring bits, while not feeling the boredom as much. 4. Tools To Increase Your Productivity : And now for my personal favorite bit, I'm going to introduce three types of tools that help you increase your productivity. I broke that out. I broke the tools down into free, cheap, and expensive. Free tools are those that you don't have to pay for cheap. Our apps are some tools that you can buy that will not cost you more than 10 or 20 dollar. And expensive ones are visited devices that will help you accelerate your workflow. All the three tools will help you become more productive. And I encourage you to look at all three and make a decision for which wants to go for. Starting with the free tools, one tip to keep you on track to achieve your goal and having and stabilize your productivity is giving yourself ten minutes break per hour. So for every hour you work, you give yourself 10 minutes break. This will help you refresh and get you some time to get some snacks. Which leads me to the second bit, a free tool, which is technically not free, but I would count snacks is free. Snacks are more than just tools to lose your fitness very quickly, but they are also very important to rewire your brain. Brains are kinda like dogs. If you treat them well upon their success, they will start behaving better and they will become better brains. And if you keep treating them as if they're machines that they need to keep achieving things. The New Mode burnout very quickly because their brain would not get any treat for its hard work that it's doing. So therefore, if you get yourself snacks and for the little Wednesday you do for each hour of work, you throw yourself on a little snack. This will encourage your brain to work, to working more and more in the next hour. So in a way, you're setting yourself small stones every hour. And upon achieving the small milestones, you're treating yourself to a surprise. So for example, say if I have finished one plan, I'm treating myself with some dairy built marvellous creations, which are the superior candy bars. In this way, your brain will think that whenever I finish something, I will get a bit of enjoyment. That's how I will finish this thing without burning out. Because I know there is an end goal and there's a tangible outcome to my efforts. Now starting with the softwares, you can start using Microsoft ToDo. If you're in a university, chances are you have, you have Microsoft 365 included with your university account. So you can download Microsoft ToDo on your Windows, Android, iOS, iPadOS, MacOS, basically every operating system out there, and Microsoft ToDo, you can add tasks to your day. In this case, for example, I will add finishing the precedent studies. And once I add them, there'll be added to this day. So I can add more tasks. For example, make for sketches for the conceptual plan. And they will be automatically added to my day. Now, keep in mind that these sync with your phone. So this will be added to the reminder app if you have an iPhone. So in this case, I will add three tasks to achieve on that day, which are start thinking about the conceptual model, make for sketching the conceptual plan and finish the precedent study. Now, to do something that I have to do tomorrow or next week, I go to the plan section on the left side and I start typing in things that I want to be planned for later. So suddenly the initial plan say for example, I want to start it next week or tomorrow. So you click on it and then on the right side you change it to do tomorrow. If you click on that star, it will change it to important. So it will highlight it as an important task. And obviously these will have to feed back into your Gantt chart. So whenever you plan on the Gantt chart, I suggest you put it back down on the Microsoft ToDo app. Not only will this visualize everything that you have to do on daily basis, but it's also very easy and satisfying way to keep track on your progress. So when you're done, you just click the circle next to the task and it will make a very satisfying tick, marking that your task has been done. So now that we have talked about the free tools, let's talk about some of the cheap tools that you can use. Far off the cheap tools that I use are notability, agenda, forests, and Meroe. So let's take a look at each of them individually. Notability is a 9, is a $10 app that works on iOS, iPadOS, and MacOS. So it doesn't work on Windows. But what notability is, it's an app that not only does it keep your notes, as you can see here, but you can also create projects and create notes. And it was interesting about it is that you can click on this icon to record while you're writing down the notes. So it will not only record the sound while you are taking notes, but it'll also show you €1 to certain things. So if you can't read your own handwriting, you can listen to the recording and it'll tell you exactly where you when you wrote what I use notability on daily basis and it really increases my productivity. And it makes me feel safe when I'm in lectures or in tutorials, knowing that everything that I might have missed or that I have taken a bad node four. Are safely stored in this app. The second app is kind of a hidden gem. College and the NSF freemium, so you can have it for free. But then if you want more features, you have to pay 25 pounds. What's available on iOS, iPadOS, and Mac OS. I use agenda to create this course. So I write down the tasks that I need to record where it says courses here. And it also can show you the calendar so it'll tell you where you have upcoming or we have now. And then you can also take the tasks that are done, or you can highlight them. Or I can highlight. Or for example, I can highlight the tasks that I'm doing right now. Like in this case, showing you the apps. Agenda is very agenda is very powerful and it's more than just a note-taking app because it's merges, reminders, calendars, and notes in one very powerful app, forests is a very simple app that helps you be mindful, especially if you have a problem with constantly checking your phone while you're supposed to be working. For us is a simple app that literally only contains a tree. You can set the time using this slider, and you can choose from different types of trees. And then when you press on start, it will start growing that tree. And you can't leave the app while the timer is working. And what that does is that it helps you make sure that you don't open social media and get distracted. You can actually also work with your friends when it comes to forests. So you can plan to your persuades together and you can help each other. Focus 3 is very simple. It costs two pounds or $2 on iOS, iPad, and Mac OS on Android, it's a freemium, so you can download it for free, but you can upgrade to the pro version for 199. Miro is a white board that you can use for free for one board and you have to pay for the morph for more of them. So mind-mapping tool that will help you, then it helps you connect things together. So for example, if you have your precedent study and you want to do three precedence. So these, you can start to really mind map the tasks that you have to do. This will be helpful if you want to start with that before reflecting it on the Gantt Charts. I really like mirror. I use it on daily basis. And that helps me create very quick and nice man, mindmaps for understanding my tasks better. If you're a less that key person, you can just buy a planner and really commit to using it. Lastly, we have expensive tools that will help you increase your productivity as well. With expensive tools, we're looking at products that will help you accelerate your work. And all, albeit they might be expensive, but they pay for themselves in the value that they provide to you. By accelerating your workflow, enabling you to finish your task in a quicker way than the traditional ones. Some of these examples are the iPads. So all the range of the iPad currently supports the Apple Pencil, and they're all equally good. But the iPad Pro, we'll offer you 120 hertz secret screens and a bit Anna, better processor, which if you're buying Procreate, which is another app, it can take more layers and it will draw more smoothly. But the iPad Mini and budget version iPad will work equally well, especially if you're in first year, where two-thirds are more lenient towards the quality of the final product. Ipads are great tools, not only for drawing, but there are some three D's of towards as well that you can download and make some basic 3D drawings. Ipad Pros give you the best experience of iPads, but they can't be cumbersome to carry. So if you want something that you can also take notes on for your regular lectures, you can go for the iPad Mini. And if you're tight on cash, The iPad will do just well. But keep in mind that you have to purchase the iPad, the Apple pencil separately for 120 dollars. Investing in an iPad could be a very good idea, but you have to first ask yourself if you're going to use it enough to justify its price. Especially if you plan to go for the pro. When it comes to buying a laptop, there are few things that you have to keep in mind, which are the processor, the graphics card, and the RAM. So further processor, I recommend you go with the horizon at the time of recording this, the latest iteration is a fifth generations is 5,900. And if you planet to do some rendering with it, I strongly recommend going with the high-end graphics card like the 38 and 39 t. This can be very costly. But when it comes to rendering, finishing your render in two minutes in opposed to an overnight surrender will really pay for itself because time is money. When it comes to ram, please don't respect your laptop because you want to save some cash. Rums are not expensive, but I recommend you go with 32 gigabytes if possible. Rhymes will help you open more than one software at once. For example, if you're rendering something on Rabbit and you wanted to get, to get something done with Photoshop, you will need the 32 gigabytes of RAM. If you look into get a Mac, I recommend you go for the M1 Pro, the M1 Macs, especially for 3D rendering. One thing to keep in mind for Mac computers is that there is no compatible revit version for Mac. So that's something to keep in mind. And this wraps it up for the other tools that I wanted to show you, whether than being free, cheap, or expensive. I have so many apps for creativity. So if you want to know more about apps, please let me know in the discussions and I will make sure to make a new course exclusively showing you apps to help you with the architectural course. 5. Unproductivity and Combating it: Now I don't want this course to be a peptide course, but one thing to understand it, it's okay to not be productive at times. It's okay to be confused, especially if you're in first year and in university you are not taught everything. So there's a journey that you have to embrace. You have to go through this journey that is dependent on you. First, you have to do your own research. You have to, you have to overcome your own issues. You are not taught everything in a university and that will make you confused in the beginning. But it's okay. It's believe in yourself and start researching. Architecture can be very draining. So make sure that you embrace your hobbies. Make sure that your weekends are sacred and your brakes are sacred. I'm not saying do not work on weekends if you have submissions on Monday. But make sure to balance your work and life. Because balancing work and life is not just important for your mental health, but it will maintain your productivity and it'll help you become more and more productive over time. And it'll help you maintain the same level throughout the whole year and throughout the years of architecture in general. 6. Outro - Accept the Challenge!: And one last thing I wanted to tell you is to accept the challenge of architecture. No one set architecture will be easy. In fact, architecture is the hardest course to learn. So if you were to Google, how does degree in the UK, the first one will pop architecture and they're not wrong. It's very demanding. Tutors will ask you for lots of things and you'll have a limited timeframe to do with them. But you have to accept the challenge and make sure to remind yourself of the reason why you go into it in the first place. So good luck in your studies. You will define if you require any support in software. I have classes for all kinds of software. I have a class that teaches you how to create a professional portfolio using Adobe InDesign that you have, that you can check out. I have another one for teaching you AutoCad. And this will be very helpful if you're, especially if you were a first year student. Also, I teach you how to create a stunning Exterior render using Photoshop in just about an hour. And speaking of hours. I also teach you how to get started with arguably the most complex software and architecture are 90 and just about an hour. So feel free to check out my courses. And I hope I see you there. But in the meantime, I hope you have enjoyed this course. And best of luck in your journey in architecture.