Monday, 3 December 2012

The Genuine joys of tracking progress

Greetings people of the internets. I bring to you glad tidings! To my considerable surprise organisation can be beneficial, satisfying and dare I say... fun?

Poor Mulder, he does seem to get the short end of the stick
 Now be honest. Most of us wargamers, especially those like me who suffer from butterfly brain or shiny thing syndromes, are fairly disorganised creatures. It's how we wind up opening a box and finding half an army that we not only had forgotten about but can't remember buying at all. The same goes for projects, "Hey! Over here!" yells the shiny thing and we're off like a weasel chasing string (I can't really back that analogy up but it feels right). The weird thing is that finishing things feels great. To look at something all laid out and completely painted is awesome. So how do we actually get there? Well, here's a strategy that I've been using lately to achieve just that.


What the hell is a workometer you ask? Essentially it is a simple way of focussing your efforts and giving you a nice instant visual feedback that gives you that sense of progress and achievement. Start with an army list:

This makes sure you don't waste money buying units you don't need and equally will inform your planning. Watch out for ways to use leftovers from one unit to make or improve another! For instance, at least two of my Blood Angels units were made out of nothing but spares from other units. Once you've got the list convert it into something that looks like this:

Each box is a model, big boxes are war machines. As you paint and base a unit, fill in the boxes. This gives you that nice "ticking things off a list" feeling and will keep you focussed and trucking along. This may seem like a no-brainer but it really works. I've managed to complete more army projects in the last few years than I have ever in my life. That's not just because I am painting more, it's because I am more focussed. Left to its own devices my brain would have had me paint random units, wind up with lots of painted models, but no armies. Food for thought.

On a similar note, I am trying something similar with my work and I am making it public:

I'm using Tumblr to run it as it easily binds into my Facebook and Twitter feeds. The feed is called "Today I have mostly been..." and will have snapshots of the work in progress stuff I have been doing that day. Mostly this is for clients to check on progress but there is no harm in anyone popping in and getting a sense of what I do day-to-day. Check it out folks.

Until next time


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