8 Time Tracking Best Practices for US Architects

Written by Asim Qureshi
By Asim Qureshi, CEO Jibble

Hi, I’m Asim Qureshi, the CEO and co-founder of Jibble, a cloud-based time and attendance software. I have several years of experience in building and scaling software products and teams across various industries and markets. Before I founded Jibble, I worked as a VP at Morgan Stanley for six years. I’m passionate about helping businesses improve their productivity and performance through smart time management practices.

This article covers…

Overview: How Does Time Tracking Benefit US Architects?

Final Thoughts

Overview: How Does Time Tracking Benefit US Architects?

As a US architect, you can benefit greatly from time tracking. Manage your projects more effectively and optimize your overall performance. By implementing effective time tracking strategies for architects, you can:

  • Optimize Your Project Management: Receive valuable insights into scheduling your time across different project tasks and phases. These can include time-consuming activities, potential bottlenecks, and areas for improvement.
  • Improve Your Productivity: See how you work, what gets in your way, and how you can do better. Looking at different tasks you can find out where you can save time and what activities need more attention.
  • Comply with US Architectural Standards: Compliance with specific standards and regulations set by the US architectural industry is an important part of time tracking. You have transparency and accountability in your work by accurately tracking and documenting your time spent on project phases.
  • Use Resources Well: See how you use your resources, such as people, materials, and money, during a project. Looking at time tracking reports can show you where resources are wasted or overloaded.

By adopting these time tracking best practices, you can overcome challenges, deliver exceptional designs, and excel in your architectural career. Let’s delve into the details of each practice and discover how time tracking can truly benefit architects in their pursuit of architectural excellence.

Tip 1: Make Clear Goals

Setting clear and realistic goals is vital for you as a US architect to achieve successful outcomes. Clear goals provide you with direction and focus, guiding you toward the desired results. When your project goals match what clients want and need, you can plan your projects well, use resources wisely, and keep track of time. This alignment is especially crucial in the architectural industry, where adherence to standards and regulations is paramount.

When you define clear goals, you enhance your ability to communicate effectively with clients and stakeholders. This clear communication fosters better understanding, smoother project execution, and increased client satisfaction. So, take the time to set clear and realistic goals tailored to each project, and you will pave the way for success in your architectural endeavors.

Tip 2: Split Big Projects into Smaller Tasks

It is important to consider project types. Whether it is commercial, residential, institutional, or industrial projects, breaking them down into smaller tasks allows you to address each project type’s unique requirements and challenges.

Also consider US-specific project delivery methods, such as Design-Bid-Build or Design-Build. This is crucial when dividing projects into tasks. Adhere to industry standards and regulations while delivering high-quality architectural solutions. Incorporating sustainable design principles or historic preservation requirements may also be essential in US architectural projects.

Tip 3: Use Time-blocking to Plan your Day

With time-blocking techniques, US architects schedule specific time slots for various architectural tasks, such as design, research, client meetings, and project planning. Setting aside dedicated time for each activity allows you to optimize your productivity and effectively manage your workload.

Enhance project management by integrating your time tracking with popular software and tools, such as ProCore, Deel, Google Workspace, or Microsoft Office 365. This integration enables you to track your time directly within the platforms you already use, providing accurate insights into your project hours.

Tip 4: Stay Focused and Avoid Distractions

Focus and concentration are important for US architects. Detail and accuracy are essential qualities for architectural projects in the US. By using time management techniques and reducing distractions, you can boost your productivity, and create high quality work.

Time management techniques, like the Pomodoro Technique, allow work in short, focused sessions with breaks in between. This way, you can avoid distractions and work effectively. You can also identify and eliminate specific distractions in your workspace, such as noise, interruptions, or digital distractions, to create a better work environment.
Time tracking analytics

Tip 5: Use Time Tracking Software

Save time and streamline your project management processes using time tracking software for architects. Record your time automatically, sort your tasks by project or type, and show you reports with details. Keep track of how much time you spend on different architectural tasks, without spending time on writing down or adding up your hours. Integrate payroll and invoicing tools with your time tracking software, such as Quickbooks, FreshBooks, or Xero, to easily process your payments and invoices for different projects.

Another advantage of using time tracking software is that it can facilitate your billing processes and ensure compliance with US architectural invoicing practices. You can use your accurate time records to generate invoices based on billable hours, which reflect the value of your work and the complexity of your projects.

Tip 6: Track Data by Project Phase

Create specific named activities within the software to track time by phases of the project, such as schematic design, design development, construction documents, etc. Monitor the progress and profitability of each phase, and compare it with your initial estimates and contracts.

As a US architect, you can enhance your time tracking process by creating specific named activities within the software to track time according to the different phases of your projects. By assigning activities such as schematic design, design development, and construction documents, you can effectively monitor the progress and profitability of each phase.

Tracking time by project phases allows you to have a clear overview of how much time is spent on each stage of your projects. It enables you to compare the actual time spent with your initial estimates and contractual agreements, ensuring that you stay on track and meet project milestones.

Tip 7: Communicate with Clients and Stakeholders

Time tracking data provides you with objective insights into your work progress and project timelines. This information can be shared with clients and stakeholders to foster transparent communication and collaboration. You can build trust, manage expectations, and strengthen client relationships by keeping your clients informed about project milestones, timeframes, and progress.

In the US architectural industry, you can benefit from the resources and networking opportunities provided by architectural associations like the American Institute of Architects (AIA). These associations offer access to US-specific best practices, continuing education programs, and a community of professionals who can provide insights and support for your projects.


Tip 8: Take Breaks and Self-Care

Recognize the importance of incorporating breaks into your daily routine. These breaks allow you to recharge and refresh your mind, preventing burnout and increasing your overall productivity. Find relaxing activities that rejuvenate you, such as going for a walk, practicing mindfulness, or pursuing a hobby that brings you joy.

When stereotyping the architectural profession, people often think of “a culture of long hours [and] all the all-nighters,” says Bob Borson, AIA, a principal at Dallas-based Malone Maxwell Borson Architects and blogger on Life of an Architect. – from Architect Magazine.

Remember that burnout is real and self-care is not selfish but an essential practice that enables you to show up as your best self in your architectural work. Prioritizing breaks, maintaining a reasonable work schedule and self-care activities will contribute to your overall well-being and enhance your performance.

Final Thoughts

Time tracking is very important for you as an architect in the US. With time tracking software for architects and engineers you can manage your projects better, work more efficiently, and succeed in your industry. I encourage you to try these time tracking strategies and make them part of your daily habits. This way, you can overcome the challenges of your industry, work more effectively, and reach new levels in your architectural work. Cheers to better time tracking and ongoing success as a US architect!