He kindly offered to outline his method on getting projects underway and completed, and has been as good as his word, as this post shows.
While I read it with trepidation, his post actually makes me feel quite a lot better. Not only is it full of useful tips (set aside family time being one that my wife might appreciate!), but it helped me to realise that I approach this whole caper from a different angle, this being that 'I started late and have a lot of catching up to do'.
I know very well that my biggest problem is the time lag between the buying of lead and the getting of it onto the painting table. Trebian's solution is to not buy until you complete your current project, but this would not work for me, for my wargaming mostly is one project: the Classical era Mediterranean!
What I have tended to do is keep an eye out for good deals on the figures I need to advance this
So I think I can safely say that (aside from getting sidetracked with moderns, Crossfire or ACW from time to time...) this approach has been a sensible one in financial terms, and I can also just about square it with Trebian's method. As I said before, the Classical Med. is (technically...) one project, isn't it?
As far as painting goes, when I do paint I use the production line method. I paint in large batches, and usually choose these to augment the armies that I already have. I will do a whole consular army, or expand the Spanish, Gauls or Numidians of my Carthaginian army into a force in their own right, or perhaps enough Successor cavalry to allow me to do Magnesia, or some other similar mid-term target. So I do set myself goals; it's just that it takes a particular set of circumstances to force me to meet them.
I have to admit though that there are a number of things that will stop me picking up a paint brush and/or do get me out of rhythm, and I cannot match Trebian's discipline in this regard!
1) The seasons in Japan. Some times of the year are just not good for painting, priming or dull-coating. It's too humid, too hot, and the paint / spray doesn't like it. Summer is basically a write-off, and it can take me a long time to get back on the horse once I fall off it.
2) Whims. I have a lot of them, and they tend to be all or nothing. I'll get back to playing the guitar, or exercising, or writing, or painting, or studying, or gaming, or following the (mis)fortunes of the NZ cricket team, or commenting on yahoo groups, but I can't seem to do much more than two at once.
3) Existential questions. Sometimes I feel guilty about gaming. I know it sounds a bit odd, but I do occasionally feel that I could be doing something more worthwhile, like writing more seriously, or actually getting good at Japanese, or building up some skills that will allow me to bring the family back to New Zealand one day. These do cause the chain to drag at times.
4) Painting issues. I'm afraid that I do fuss about a bit with my painting. Unfamiliar armies can give me a bit of a headache, and as I've had to redo a large number of figures because I was a very crappy painter when I started out I now like to try harder to get it right first time. I will therefore mutter to myself about paint schemes, or research new techniques, and sometimes I just get nervous that I won't do the figures justice and so put things off.
All of these things mean that there are times that it's quite an effort to get started. On the plus side, once I do get underway I usually get a lot done in a relatively short space of time, even if I start to go a bit nutty while doing so.
Moving on to project completion, I have to say that to this point there hasn't been too much of it in the Trebian sense. I have nearly finished my 6mm Americans, but not quite; I have finished my Ancient Spanish, but even with these there are some command stands to do. I guess I see progress in terms of steps (ah, I can now do Cannae, or Dertosa, or Zama, or Pydna, or Magnesia, or lose gloriously to Luke's '70s Czechs with my own models), rather than in 'army done' terms.
So, thanks to Trebian, I've sat down and thought it over, and while it may not be obvious, I actually feel a bit encouraged. I may still take a long time to get things done and to get things done right, but on the whole I don't perhaps do as badly as I sometimes like to think!