Maybe I’m weird but I always liked “back to school”.
I didn’t always *like* school itself but come fall, I would get excited when it was time to go back.
For me, back to school represented a fresh start. A new grade, new classes, new books and school supplies. After a summer of hanging out, relaxing and riding my bike, back to school was a time to buckle down, get serious and do some work.
When I was in primary school and even into college, I never made New Year’s resolutions. Maybe it was because I was in the Northeast. When New Year’s came around, I was already mid-way through the school year and there was usually a ton of snow on the ground. Not the best conditions for making optimistic proclamations.
No, for me, back to school is the time to make resolutions.
After I finished college, my first couple of years working felt like a grind. Though I enjoyed doing real architecture, I longed for the rhythms of the school year. I missed the build-up toward back to school, the clean slate on the first day, the intense focus on classes and projects, and finally, the well-deserved break at the end of the semester.
Sure, working on projects gave me some of that focus and direction. But when a project ended, it was on to the next one, and the next one, and the next one. There wasn’t that break afterward like there was in school. Unless I had saved up some vacation, I was back to work the next day. Granted, I was pretty useless, but I was there in body, if not in spirit.
So this year, I’m going to do something different. I’m going to organize my work to match the rhythms of the school year. This means back-to-school resolutions, a focused 10-week push through the fall and spring, then some time off to recharge. Having two school-aged boys (and one toddler) certainly helps, as this is how their year is organized.
Now, I realize this isn’t going to work for all my projects. I can’t reasonably expect my clients to accommodate this schedule. But this structure will help me organize my time and marshal my resources. I have some projects I want to work on that aren’t client related as well as some new things I want to learn, so this school-year structure works perfectly in these cases.
So what are my back-to-school resolutions for this fall? Here they are:
- Develop a regular writing habit and post a new article on ArchSmarter every week.
- Publish a new course on how to use Revit more productively.
- Launch the next version of the ArchSmarter website
- Plan an online BIM conference
- Setup and develop the ArchSmarter community.
- Learn how to program websites using Ruby.
- Read 12 books.
- Exercise 3 times a week.
I’m going to approach each of these resolutions like a class, with assignments and deadlines. At the end of the semester, I’ll even give myself a report card. Will I pass or fail? Stayed tuned to find out!
So how about you? What do you think of back to school resolutions? What do you want to do and learn this fall? Leave a comment below!