Battling procrastination is something that I have been dealing with for quite a while (and admittedly haven’t been winning). We all reach that point sometimes where we just can’t find the motivation to pick up the paint brush, build models or arrange to meet up with friends.
Its actually part of the reason why we decided to start our Tale of Gamers Campaign, giving us a device that would help the four of us get more games.
I will be the first to admit that our campaign isn’t exactly running to schedule and that we are a bit behind where we really should be. Ultimately this is down to a few things, such as none of us having the space to game, all being quite far away from one another, one of our number getting married (and everything involved with that), then another having to temporarily move out of his home. I am also busy trying to maintain a long distance relationship with the wife in between house hunting.
However, I can’t blame the lack of activity solely on life getting in the way. There have been plenty of times where meeting up with friends has been put off, rescheduled or just not happened.
Similarly I hadn’t picked up a paintbrush in almost three months! Spending my free time at home playing video games or watching TV instead. I’d occasionally fire on Netflix with the intention of painting. Although more often than not, would end up getting engrossed in the show and achieve almost nothing on the army.
Getting My Motivation Back
Everything came to a head after attending Euan’s wedding, where I caught up with a bunch of the guys I used to game with when I was still able to attend the Edinburgh League of Gamers. Having not seen most of the guys for a good while, we ended up talking almost exclusively about Warhammer 40k, much to the joy of our significant others! It was great to knock back a few drinks, discuss current projects, 8th edition and everything Games Workshop is doing!
Just having an outlet to chat about the hobby face to face with some old friends really got me excited about playing games again. As did talk about a potential lad’s trip to Games Workshop HQ for a long weekend of gaming. This was the kick I needed to spark my interest again after a long hobby dry spell. A few days later and we’d agreed on a date, booked holidays off work and sorted accommodation. I also had a deadline set for getting my Death Guard battle ready.
Improving Hobby Progress & Combating Procrastination
I’ve had a long look at how I carry out my hobby progress and have made a few changes. The ultimate goal being to try and make it easier to battle procrastination and get work done more efficiently. Most of these are small and sometimes obvious changes but they do add up. I’ve found that the few simple changes below are really helping me to get a lot more done;
- Suitable Entertainment
- Good Work Space Environment
- Setting and Achieving Small Goals
- Maintaining a Good Work Schedule
Enjoying Better Suited Entertainment
I used to just put Netflix or Amazon Prime on the TV/PC screen while I was painting or building models but have been trying to get away from doing that. The problem is that I am already quite a slow painter and the added distraction doesn’t help my productivity. Don’t get me wrong, if I am spending time watching television with the Mrs I’ll still whip out the paints.
I’ve also started listening to audio books and podcasts again, which is much easier ever since Black Library novels became available on Audible. This has become my go to resource when I am working on models, with podcasts such as The Independent Characters making for a good change of pace. If you’ve not tried either I would highly recommend giving them a go.
Changing Hobby Work Space Environment
Previously I would always paint at my PC desk at home, which doubles as my space for playing video games. I realised that I was finding working at the desk to be quite distracting, hampering any hobby progress. Mainly as it took my attention away from the task at hand with notifications, instant messaging and the desire to play games.
Therefore, I made a conscious effort to start painting and hobbying away from my desk. Instead of chatting via instant messaging so often, I’ve started to call people while doing some hobby work. Whether I talk to the wife about houses or discussing the intricacies of the Eisenhorn novels with Ian. I’m finding this to be much more beneficial than the previous setup, allowing me to get work completed much quicker.
Setting a Goal of One Hour a Night/Day
I’ve set myself a goal of doing at least one hour a night/day to make sure I achieve something. This isn’t a huge demand on my time and is quite easy to set aside. Occasionally I will let a day slip and make up the time later. Although this could be the start of a slippery slope, therefore I’m trying to limit it as much as possible.
Sometimes I may not be in the mood for painting models. When this happens, I’ll make sure that I do something else with the time and try to be somewhat productive. Whether it is assembly, clipping parts off of sprues or removing mould lines. Occasionally I’ll also work on bases or with green stuff if it needs done and helps move a project along.
Having a Better Work Schedule
I’ve always been a bit of a night owl and would commonly stay up late, especially if I was working on a project. A few nights of this and I’d end up feeling pretty tired over the next few days. Which I found was also killing my motivation for painting or doing work on models.
I’ve completely flipped this around now and am going to bed at a more reasonable time. As a result, I’ve started to get up earlier and am turning up to work early each day. Giving me an uninterrupted hour in the morning to work on my Death Guard. No wonder this is fast becoming my favourite time of the day!
Struggling with Battling Procrastination Yourself?
With a few little changes I’ve made a vast improvement in my hobby progress. I am getting through things a lot more consistently and quicker. Hopefully this article helps or at least gives you some ideas on how to improve your own battle against procrastination.