Evolution Weekly 71 // Now What? How Architects Come Down From Major Deadlines

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It's a simple fact - Architects have deadlines.

Don't get me wrong, I think that it's good to have them. We need them. Otherwise, I'm pretty sure we would never stop designing.

Perfection is a mythical unicorn many of us chase. It alludes us and we can't help but search for it through the process of our work.

It's even worse when we care about the project we're working on. When you're in the thick of it all (in the trenches of the impending deadline), we sometimes find our groove. This, of course, only compounds our obsession to make everything just right.

Over the past few weeks, I've had more major deadlines condensed together in such a brief period of time than I ever have before. A few were for my job, a few for the blog, and one comprehensive course launch. Each had a different 'client.' Each had a unique set of problems and solution requirements. Each came with its own series of inevitable hurdles that appeared right when I needed absolute focus.

Now that the deadlines have all passed and I can breathe, I'm left thinking about what's next.

My wife would be right if she were to tell you what I'm usually thinking, "what project can I get started on next?" She knows that I'm in it for the process more than the deadline.

This time feels different though.

I'm excited for what I've accomplished, but I know that I need to make a change. I don't yet consider myself 'old,' but I'm not a student hovering over my mayline at 4:00am in studio anymore either.

This time, I'm going to decompress a bit. I'm going to enjoy my time and get back to me.

My friend, Lora Teagarden (of the L2 Design blog) just wrote a wonderful piece about burnout that I really think you'd enjoy. After I read it, I thought about how I used to just check the boxes of my never-ending list of goals and move directly from one project to the next.

I don't breathe sometimes. I just keep moving, searching for that unicorn.

This time though, I'm going to let the unicorn go. Part of what I'm learning as I evolve is when to step back and realize that it's okay to push yourself, but not at the expense of everything else.

Perfection can wait.

Thanks for being awesome!

Mike


P.S.

I don't know if you are aware, but I was a podcast guest for the first time ever this past week! My friend and Young Architect Mike Riscica just started a brand new show for emerging professionals called the "Young Architect Podcast." He asked me to be one of the first guests and can't tell you how proud I was that he did. It's an awesome program that you should definitely check out.



Ok, that’s all for now. In the mean time, let's connect on Linkedin and discuss more topics like this on the Blog.

Michael LaValley

Buffalo, NY