The 15 minute paint day

pocket-watchFloating about has been this idea of tackling creative projects in chunks of time. You think of all that time needed to write that story in your head and you’ll never get started. A workaround is to take it in small bits of time along the lines of 15 minutes. If you have more time and get in a groove, go with it. However if your ideas are puttering out, hammer away for just 15 minutes. Given the busy schedules we all have you can still easily find at least 15 minutes free. Keep at it for a month and you have progress on your project. No clue how this works with writing, but I’ve adopted it for my paint bench.

I do what some folks do with their minis, the figures sit around collecting dust for a while and then I get hit with the paint bug. BAM! One month of solid painting and I crank out a ton of figs. At that point I look over at that pile of bare metal and decide to hold off on painting for a while. That thought of having the time to sit down for an hour and get through my models impedes my desire for painting. I’m too busy. I have too many other things going on and just can’t justify the time to sit at the paint bench.

So I adopted a 15 minute paint day. Every day I set aside 15 minutes to work on my models. I count time once I’ve gotten my figures, paints, and water situated (less than two minutes). Set my timer up on my phone and paint. Once time is up, I wash my brushes and clean up my bench.

Face it, you’ve got 15 minutes every day. It’s a small section of time that folks can fit in their schedules. It just takes that gumption to stick with it. To be frank it’s not easy. I still fall behind this work ethic, but have been able to get in at least 5 days a week. When I have more time on the weekends and work an hour or so, I still just count that as 15 minutes (no carrying it over to count for other days).

Those 15 minutes add up. I can say that I’ve gotten in over an hour painting each week. More importantly, you are making continual progress on those painting projects. I never get that sagging feeling of guilt when I accumulate more unpainted figs to the pile, as I am slowly chipping away at that stack converting bare metal into painted minis.

Best of all, on a Sunday morning I’ve got my coffee and zero pressure to stay at the bench. If I feel like painting more I do it. If not, I put in my 15 minutes, stop, and do something else. I never feel like I have to squeeze some time in during a month to paint up that unit of troops that’s been sitting there. I just stick to 15 minutes a day and realize eventually they will get painted.

So if you paint in spurts, and have that long lag time between sessions at the paint bench, consider just trying to sit down every day for 15 minutes. Just a small part of the day, allowing you to work on your models and enjoy the process of painting them up. Just 15 minutes. You’ll be amazed at your productivity at the paint bench.

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