If you feel like you are always scrambling around at the last second to finish-up projects, then you need to hear this:
“You don’t need more time. You need to decide.”
The truth is that it’s hard to finish things on time.
This struggle is something so human that it is bigger than the realm of architecture.
But creative fields have a uniquely hard time with this issue, because design is never even FINISHED. There is always something else you can try or some other way to do it. It may always feel like you need more time to work on it, but actually, you just need to decide to call it “done.”
And this is true at every stage of the design process, not just the end. When you have been working with a design concept for a while and you start to question if it is good enough, its not that you need more time to think about concepts; you need to decide on one. AFTER A CERTAIN POINT, you don’t need more time to come up with another bubble diagram; you need to decide on a layout. You don’t need to stress over whether you should draw the section at a 1/2”: 1’ scale or 1/4”: 1’ you need to just pick one.
And when you decide on one, a funny thing happens: you are able to develop that idea MORE and FASTER than if you had wasted your time backpedalling and starting over or deliberating over more options.
Now, of course sometimes it’s best to start over! But that is actually a DECISION in and of itself, and you have to know if it’s a good one.
There is kind of a threshold of “good enough.” If you are above the threshold, you can develop your idea into a really good final product, as long you DECIDE early enough and go with it! Anything less than perfect about it can be corrected by developing the idea really well. But if you still wander around for several days or weeks until you find a “perfect” idea, then you probably won’t have enough time to develop it at all
It doesn’t matter how much potential your concept/idea/design/etc. has if you didn’t leave yourself enough time to develop it.
(I shouldn’t have to say this, but…)
FULL DISCLAMER: this post is not an excuse to produce mediocrity in the name of merely “being good enough!” I want you to give yourself permission to accept little imperfections along the process, so that you can get out of your own way and HUSTLE to design something EXCELENT!
A little paradoxical, I know.
…But thus is life.
Drew Paul Bell