Time Management for Aspiring Architects

Graduate Student Amina Alkandari shares her time-management strategies with students.

When graduate student Amina Alkandari asked a small group of Berkeley Connect Architecture students she is mentoring, “Who pulled an all-nighter this past week?,” five hands went up. With projects, exams, and paper deadlines, Berkeley students are often on the brink of exhaustion. Spending all night working in the studios of Wurster Hall is a common practice among Architecture students.

Fully aware of the stresses taxing her students, Alkandari led a time-management workshop to help them cope. Students were asked to bring in their personal agendas, ranging from hourly timetables to monthly calendars. Alkandari then asked her students to compare their personal planning habits with those of their peers. Bullet journaling and time budgeting were two interesting approaches they discussed.

Bullet journaling is a system of both scheduling and journaling. Journal styles can range from bare-bones minimalism to elaborate masterpieces. The bullet journal’s best feature is its customizability, but the journal’s designer Ryder Carroll suggests some basic practices for getting started:

1 The Index: The first few pages are devoted to indexing the journal logs and contents.

2 Daily (Rapid) Log: The daily log consists of tasks, notes, and events for the day, denoted by symbols to differentiate amongst them.

.  = TASKS


⎯  = NOTES

3 Monthly Log: The monthly log tracks important events and tasks for the month.

4 Future Log: The future log is essentially a month by month calendar, which tracks movement of tasks over a span of six months. The future log provides a space to reschedule tasks which were not accomplished through the monthly log.

5 Migrating:  Migrating is a system of reflecting upon tasks unfinished. It constitutes a set of symbols to denote completion or rescheduling of tasks.

X = Task Complete

> = Task Migrated

< = Task Scheduled

Time budgeting calls for a daily log and separate project spread. One student shared about using Excel sheets to personalize her timetable. She devoted one clipboard to her daily log and another to record all her upcoming assignments in chronological order by due date. The assignment log serves as a to-do list and time-management tool. Broken into columns of assignment name, due date, hours estimated, and hours spent, it is a great tool to budget time spent on tasks.

Whether it be a daily log, weekly agenda, bullet journal, or time budget, Alkandari encouraged students to find the system of scheduling that works best for them. The Berkeley Connect discussion presented many creative options for getting more organized and less stressed!

posted by Gloria Choi

Berkeley Connect Communications Assistant