Escaping painting procrastination

I’m an incredibly slow hobbyist. A month ago I showed you a picture of a Sol Invictus chaos sergeant. This is the state he and his squad are in today.

Yeah, that’s right. I’ve glued on their backpacks – without even priming them. That’s the total progress I’ve made in a month. In the mean time I’ve started other projects, converted the backpacks, and planned how I’m going to progress with the painting.

Painting Procrastination. Project Overload. Call it what you want. I’m not the only one afflicted – Andy at Lair of the Breviks, for example, has it too as he explains in this post. Most of you have probably felt it one time or another.

My last bid in trying to prevent procrastination was to model and paint whatever I felt like. While it removed the chore status from hobbying, it didn’t work out as planned. Now my desk and cabinet are cluttered with half-painted terrain, space marines with no arms, a huge collection of familiars, and a Mordheim orc warband. Here is a list of things that do work. Some of them are actual anti-procrastination techniques, others just sound project management methods.

  • Set up small milestones. Think of them as roughly squad-sized. They’re supposed to be managable and give you gratfication, fast.
  • Write a to-do-list. But don’t get anxious if you don’t complete it. View it as a help, not a demand. This ties in closely with your milestones above. Together, they help to create anticipation for your work. I don’t reccomend going the full Getting Things Done route, but you can get some good pointers from there.
  • Turn off the television. Just do it.
  • Find your creative mood. All of us need different conditions to work well – explained by my favourite gaming columnist Mark Rosewater here. Personally, I find serenity and some type of opera or classic music works better than stressing. Otherwise, I’m a heavy metal guy, but it just doesn’t do it for my hobbying.
  • Invite a friend over, and have a workshop. Share your creativity – push each other!

This should help you turning painting into a habit. Do you have any tips on how to be a more creative and productive hobbyist?


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