Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Timelines, Deadlines and Adepticon, Oh My!
Considering we now have 4 weeks until Adepticon, I would think a topic discussing how to stay on task during a deadline would be very apropos. Especially considering the need to do so while distractions abound. You know, distractions like kids, trying to get healthy, a job and especially the wife.
…hmm, here's hoping she doesn't read this particular article.
Now, raise your hand if you're always completely done with what you need for a convention or tournament weeks ahead of time, without a worry in the world. Go on, raise em high.
Now, most of you raising those hands are bald-faced liars and you know it, so put those hands back down.
The truth of the matter is that deadlines can creep up on the best of us, no matter if they have to do with work, home or the hobby. So how can we combat them, and actually turn them to our advantage? Is there a way to make a deadline less stressful? Absolutely, I've got three key suggestions for us.
Get Started Early!
Yeah, I went there. No, I'm not being hypocritical, I'm just horrible at taking my own advice. The first way to deal with a deadline that you have control over (because there are plenty you don't), is to plan ahead and get started early. Many times you know the core of what you want to bring to an event, and just tweak here or there, right? So get that core done early and give yourself the time to play practice games, add to your force, sped time with family, etc. This is the easiest and best way to avoid the stress and late nights of a tight deadline.
Create a Timeline
Missed the boat on starting early? That's okay, you're in good company. You can always sleep later, time to work now, right? Actually, that's not quite true. See, if you create a timeline for yourself, what you need to do, how long it will take you, what dates you have to have certain things done by, etc., it can alleviate much of the stress that can come with a tight deadline. You might even realize that you have more time than you originally thought! That's not a reason to get lazy and continue to procrastinate, mind you, but instead it frees up time to spend with family and friends when you thought you wouldn't be able to, get just a few more practice games in, finish up a model for the painting competition, or whatever the activity.
Pull from Old Projects and Armies
This is the procrastinator's last resort. Just as you realize your event is right around the corner and you know even going without sleep won't help you complete your project, go digging into your existing forces. No, it's not nearly as fun as showing up to the tournament with a new force, but let's face it, you blew it this time, and you've go to bring something, right? The key to this final option is checking where you're at in your work in relation to when you leave, at minimum a week before. This will give you the chance to do an inventory of what you have available and maybe add a unit, or model or three to freshen up the force at least. Of course this relies on you owning another finished force for you to fall back on, but hey, most do right? Yes, I am guilty of this one myself numerous times in the past.
These are my top choices in dealing with looming deadlines, and I've employed all of them myself. There is a fourth option, which is just not attending your event, but I don't like that one personally, and will never do that unless it's a family reason.
So why bring all this up? Well, since I'm playing in the entire Infinity Track of tournaments at Adepticon this year, I'm employing one of the three choices above. Since I know none of you have seen any painted models come across this blog for Infinity (of my own at least), it can't be the first or the last, right? Let's take a look at an example of employing a timeline to track needed progress for the deadline of Adepticon, using my own.
2.21: Have all initial 30 models ready for gloss coat before bed
2.22: Pin Wash and Matte Coat
2.23 Finish any last highlights or details
2.24: Assemble the following:
• Yojimbo Box
• 3 Keisotsu
• 1 Celestial Guard Combi
• 1 Ninja
• Sniper Guilang Conversion (Turning him into a Combi)
2.25: Prime and begin Airbrushing, Finish airbrush work if possible
2.26: Tidy up any last Airbrush work if necessary
3.2: Have all models ready for Gloss coat and Pin Wash (The ones listed above, and the 5 motorcycles for the Aragatos)
3.3: Gloss Coat and Pin Wash
3.4: Finish any last highlights or details
3.5: Finish Basing construction (Need 40 bases)
3.7: Prime bases and begin airbrush layers
3.8: Finish airbrushing bases and begin working on any blends, highlights or brushwork on them.
3.9: Finish all brush work on bases
3.10: Gloss coat and pin-wash bases
3.11: Matte Coat bases and begin final assembly
3.12: Finish final assembly and add any final touches to bases.
3.18: Leave for Adepticon
So you can see I've spaced things out according to my workload and speed at which I work. You'll also see that I actually have 5 days at the end that are open after my completion date. I specifically tried to build these in just in case any unforeseen circumstances pop up and I lose a day here or there that I can't catch up on.
Have you ever had to employ any of my methods to deal with deadlines? Do you have your own way of dealing with them? - Tim