“I would love to paint; I just can’t find the time.”
“I wish I could play painted, but I just don’t enjoy it!”
“I am a terrible painter.”
I am sure everyone has said one or more of these at one time or another. I want to address some of these, to show that you CAN get fully painted in almost all instances.
For this edition, I want to discuss time constraints.
I should note up front – this post is based on my own, personal busy life. Between working a full time job, having a spouse, starting up a development company, being a Press Ganger, and trying to play a little bit where I can, I don’t tend to have a lot of free time. Yet, I find time to assemble models and get them painted. How?
The first piece of advice I can state is that you have to WANT to do it. This seems rather silly, but if you want to play painted, if you want to paint your models, then you have to accept that this means you will need to make time. Maybe this means less time watching TV, or not going to the bar one night a week, or … you get the idea.
Making time is hard, and it requires a focus on what you want and need to do. It requires prioritization. And sometimes you may find that painting isn’t a priority – and that is OK! But, if you are serious about painting, serious about making it happen, you have to set aside the time.
There are a few ways to do this. Note that some, or all, of these may work for you. Some might work some times of your life, and others will work better in other times of your life. Pick and choose, and above all else, try things. even if it doesn’t work, that doesn’t mean you have failed – it just means you need a different thing to try, or a different group of things to try.
Some people work best on a schedule. For example, you might set aside Thursday night after dinner for painting. This has the benefit of getting your mind into the proper space. It also helps because you can say to yourself “Thursday night is my night for painting, so that is when I do it. I can’t schedule things over that time.”
For some people this won’t help, because their schedule is too chaotic, or they have a hard time keeping to a schedule, or any other variety of things. But, if you are someone who does well with a schedule, for whatever reason, setting aside a time can help immensely.
Weekly Time Blocks
Other times, it make sense to just say “I am going to do X amount of time painting every week.” If your schedule is not static or standard, if you have a chaotic life for other reasons’, this can help allow you to be flexible with your time, but still allows you to say “this week, I am going to do 2 hours of painting.”
Random Time Blocks
If all else fails, you can do painting when you are bored. For instance, you might turn on the TV, surf the web, or whatever when you have “nothing to do.” Instead, you could take those times to paint. For some people, they have the time to paint, they just forget, or don’t think about it. They would rather be painting, but they forget. Using notes as reminders can help. For instance, if you surf the web when bored, you can put a post-it note on your computer monitor to remind you that painting is an option.
One problem with “making time” is that sometimes people have a hard time following through. I know I do at times, because of a variety of reasons.
There are a lot of techniques for helping oneself follow through, but one that works really well for me is gamifying the work. I have been using an awesome piece of software recently, Habit RPG. I use the tasks as a way to get models done. For instance, “Assemble Keltarii” would be a task that, once completed, I can check off. I might then have “Prime Keltarii”, etc etc.
You could then have, as a daily, “30 minutes of painting.” Or as a habit “Did 30 solid minutes of modeling/painting.” All of these are helpful. And while it seems silly and strange, making things that might be tough to get impetus to start a game, something that gives you benefits, is hugely beneficial. I use Habit RPG as my general task system, and I have dailies for things like remembering to take a walk, do some physical therapy items I need to do, etc etc. And it is great, because I can say to myself “I have to do my dailies” and I can. I can say “I need to make sure I work in uninterrupted bursts, so that is now a habit.”
And, I can say “I finished my Keltarii being assembled – checking that off of my tasks!” I have only been using it a few weeks, but I am planning on adding in a painting “habit” for doing sustained painting groups.
By using a tool like this, I find I am way more productive in other things as well, which means that I end up with more time to do the fun things I want to do.
If you think you don’t have time, but painting is something you really want to do, take a step back. Ask yourself if you want to do (or need to do) a particular activity more than painting. You can then take that time and paint, model, whatever.
If you find painting boring, I have some advice for that too. That will be coming in my next post.
One Last Note
While I may sound a little flippant about “making time,” I have found that many (most?) people have time they can make for things, if they prioritize those tasks above other things. However, some people actually don’t have the time – because of life, family, work, etc. And that is OK! You shouldn’t feel bad if you prioritize other things above painting, or anything else really. They are your priorities, and I won’t tell you what you should or should not prioritize. But if you can prioritize painting in, and you want to, hopefully the above will help give you some ideas about how to schedule it in.