#1 Good Music
There is something about good music that helps our productivity. The right playlist can boost your productivity and help you focus. When it comes to drafting, I personally can’t listen to all types of music. For example when I have to type notes I can’t listen to anything with lyrics. On the other hand, when I design a floor plan or draw details, I’m open to any type of music. Sometimes though, music can become a distraction, especially when your coworker plays something you can’t stand. This leads me to my next point.
Sometimes best work is done in silence. Just you, CAD and your project… Sounds kind of weird when I put it this way, but you know what I mean. Right?
#3 No Interruptions
Don’t you hate it when you are just getting into the “zone” and someone keeps interrupting you. Coworker, boss, email or phone call, there is always something that will stand between you and that perfect workflow. In fact, according to this New York Times article, study shows that “each time a worker was distracted from a task, it would take, on average, 25 minutes to return to that task.” If you want to get anything done, you must protect your workflow.
#4 Good Equipment
Having a good computer (laptop) that doesn’t freeze, multiple monitors, mouse that you like and keyboard that fits you well is crucial for the perfect workflow. This equipment is the most important tool for a drafter and worth investing into.
#5 Fast Internet
If you are not careful, this one can become a “double edged sword”. Having a good internet connection is important for productivity, but can serve as a distraction at the same time. Without discipline, one minute you can be working on a section cut of a house and next minute watching funny cat videos. Software like StayFocused, can be used to block certain websites for specific period of time to help you… well, stay focused.
Sometimes during work I get random thoughts and ideas that keep bugging me and unless I write them down, they may disrupt my workflow. I found it a good practice to have my Moleskine nearby or Evernote open to capture these thoughts and ideas. I especially love Evernote, which I use for everything. You can read more about how I utilize Evernote in my drafting firm here.
#7 Comfortable workstation
If your chair makes squeaking noises every time you move, mat under the chair serves absolutely no purpose because it’s held together by duct tape and your desk is almost falling apart, you need to ask your boss to set up a new workstation for you. Also, these and other similar things may stop you from being productive. You may want to consider setting up standing/sitting workstation, it works really well for me. I talk about my workstation set up here.
#8 Customized AutoCAD Workspace
I don’t know what it is, but I can’t work with “standard” AutoCAD workspace setup. Call me old fashioned, but I like the simple “minimalistic” look of the classic workspace. This whole “ribbon” thing is too distracting, I’m more of a “command” kind of drafter. Less clicks I do with the mouse, the faster I draft. After eleven years of drafting with AutoCAD, I think in commands, well maybe not but you know what I mean.
#9 Task Batching
Trying to multitask kills my productivity. Some say they can multitask, but I believe it’s a myth. To be highly productive in a limited amount of time I like to use technique called “time batching”. Basically the idea is simple, you dedicate blocks of time to similar tasks. This helps your brain to focus on one task at a time and as a result become more productive. It really works! You can read more about this concept here.
Maybe that’s breaking the rules of drafting office standards, but I’ve never been a big fan of coffee. I love tea though, and found it to be one of the factors that contributes to my perfect workflow.
What are your thoughts? I would love to hear from you. What helps you create that perfect workflow? Anything that was not mentioned in my list? Please comment below with your observations and tips.
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