Feeling out of sync and not accomplishing much out of your miniature painting? Here are tricks to take back control of your hobby time!
Managing real life can be quite a feat to begin with. But it should not be a chore to paint miniatures. It’s a hobby after all. But, to paraphrase Jeff Goldblum: Life finds a way, and sometimes quality hobby time is hard to come by without some serious work.
The reality is, that’s how I deal with hobbying. I am very result oriented, and I want to paint myself some armies. One per month, if possible.
I get so much done because I don’t waste any time. I wasn’t always like this. But over time I must’ve read every book, blog and article on time management, and watched a great many hours of video about it too.
And little by little I added these things to my daily schedule. And I started to splice them in my hobby time because the results were so positive in my real life.
Manage your Hobby Time
Here’s the best and most eye opening explanation about what we’re trying to accomplish:
Time Management is about productivity, not about being busy.
I’m sure you know the type of person that’s always busy, seems to be painting all the time, yet has almost nothing to show for.
You might be that person, I know I was.
Some people even brag about this, as if wasting time was some sort of talent. But we don’t deal with that here. There is nothing to gain in taking an hour to finish something that takes 10 minutes.
And that’s what we want to do. Use our hobby time more effectively and staying focussed.
Losing focus means being out of the zone. And the zone is where great things happen.
Eyes on the Prize
Much like picking a purpose when you paint, setting up a goal for each painting session is a great trick. You then spend your hobby time with this sole goal in mind. It’s something I do every time I stream, where I define before going live what I’m trying to accomplish.
Pick a project that’s your priority, define exactly what you want out of it, and don’t stop until you drop.
Want to get that army on the table? Three colors on every model in the army. This model is not in the army? Not getting paint on it.
Want to learn NMM? Start models and only do the metal on them. So what they’re not finished? They’ll get there when they become the priority.
This was my bread and butter when I was commission painting full time.
It’s more suited for folks who paint in longer stretches of time. If you paint an hour every day, you can apply this over a week instead of over a single painting session.
Set a fixed time to paint on a specific task.
Something short and manageable, like an hour. And something very specific, like base coat a certain color on a whole unit.
If you have 3 hours per day to paint, set a side an hour in something specific you want to achieve and lack motivation to do, like cleaning a desk, or assembling some models you don’t feel like getting out of the box.
After an hour, no matter if you completed or not that task, stop, put and set it aside. Spend your remaining hobby time on something you want to do. I cleared through countless backlog of projects, even those of tremendous sizes, with this 1 hour or half hour of committed work.
The Buddy System
This is one of my favorite, but it’s 3rd because it can back fire on you pretty quickly.
Spend your hobby time with someone. It’s much easier to stay motivated when you have someone else working on a project alongside you.
If you don’t have people to do this live, there are plenty of online resources where you can find painters.
If you just want a distraction, find a streamer you like on twitch. If you want company, look for Discord or Facebook Groups where you can paint and chat with painters from across the world.
Just make sure that you stay focussed on your own hobby time when you do this online, it’s easy to get sidetracked.