Sometimes a load of projects come along, happens to everyone at one point or another. So how do you deal with it? I know that over the years I've come to find that I need to make a list, and set an order of priority to the projects. Prioritizing helps minimize snags in projects, as well as get the things done in a reasonable order and timescale. This post is about my method of prioritization, so it will have examples that others may not have to deal with, bear with me.
Over the years I've worked out a system that works reasonably well, with minimal conflicts. It is a listing system with three 'tiers'.
Personal Projects (low-medium priority).
Commission Projects (medium-high priority).
Outside Work (high priority, as it includes family, school, and non-miniatures things that MUST be done).
As an example my current priority list looks like this.
1) University work (I'm working on my bachelors in Business Admin): 2 hours per day
2) Remodelling work with father (He flips and rents houses): 2-4 hours weeknights
3) Family time (several hours a day) 1-2 hours weeknights
1) Hordes & Warmachine minis painted/based (5): 2 hours per day (approx 20 hours to finish
2) Blood Angels force (500 pts approx): 2 hours per day (approx 20 hours to finish)
3) Malifaux mini (basing): approx 2 hours to finish
1) Knight of Bal Timorea (basing): approx 2 hours to finish
2) Repurpose marines to new Star Drake chapter (roughly 50 marines, 1 LR): as time allows
3) Deathwatch Killteam (10 marines, possibly 1 rhino): reworking painting style to be used on them, approx 12 hours to finish. On hold until commission work finished.
Now this might seem like a lot of things going on for some people, but this is kind of typical for me and actually a light to moderate load of projects. If I stick to my priority list, I will get them all finished in about 2 weeks. And by then I'll have a half dozen to a dozen more projects to prioritize. Needless to say my Outside Work section doesn't change too much, an addition here or there, but overall it's pretty well set in stone. Commission work includes things I'm working on to put on eBay, as I am doing this as a home business as well as for the enjoyment of the hobby. And Personal Projects is by far the most flexible, as I work those around everything else.
Knowing how to set up these lists helps a great deal, as I can look at the list and know what I should be working on first. Such an example is looking at the list and saying 'I'll put in 2 hours on the Blood Angels force by priming and cleaning up the figs and bits' and also saying 'while the paint dries I'll organize the Star Drakes so that I get them done a section at a time'. Maximizing time spent is very useful, as some work is time long, but effort light, or short time and needs a lot of effort. Priming figs being the former, doing highlighting being the later.
Many people I've known over the years get into a ton of projects, then can't seem to ever finish them. And a lot of that comes from not being able to prioritize and make the best use of their time. They get going on one thing, then another, and another, without actually finishing any of them. It's a shame really, since many of those projects are pretty cool, but the person just couldn't figure out a way to 'schedule' their time to work on things in a reasonable fashion.
Hopefully this article will help some people, by showing a way to prioritize their work. But it would be nice to get comments on ways the readers use to make the best use of their time.