When I returned to miniature painting a few years ago, I didn't have a dedicated workspace. Instead, I'd have to pull my supplies from a hall closet and set up on the kitchen table every time I wanted to paint. I'd drag my work light up from the basement and then set out my water cups, brushes, paints and miniatures. 20 - 30 minutes would pass and I'd not even wet a brush! Setting up and taking down was so time-consuming that I'd let months pass without painting. That apparently was why I could only manage to paint 2 Warhammer armies in 2 years.
The single best recommendation I can make to a new painter is to create a dedicated workspace for your hobby. My productivity skyrocketed once I dragged an old table up to my bedroom and set up my painting station. Some nights, I only have an hour to myself but with my dedicated workspace, I can put 2 minutes into prepping and 58 minutes into painting. By having my paint station next to my bed, painting is sometimes the first AND last thing I do in a day!
A couple of notes:
1. I need a lot of light to paint, 500-1000 watts via a halogen work light to be specific. I've tried working with other lights but I don't like the results. The benefit to working with 1000 watts of light is that my room is the warmest place in the house in the winter. Unfortunately, it's also the warmest room in the summer as well.
2. To alleviate stiff neck syndrome, I stack a box on the tabletop to create a painting platform that puts the minis closer to eye level.
3. If you paint with reading glasses, buy a pair that's a couple of steps higher than what you use to read the newspaper. Last week I bought a pair of 1.75s on a whim and the knights I painted recently looked extra sharp because I could actually see.
3. The Robart Hobby paint shaker is a must have for me and my Vallejo paints.
5. Lastly, here's proof that I was destined to paint ancients. It's a lamp my son made for me for Father's Day 2006 in his 6th grade wood shop. That was 3 years before I started painting ancients. Good boy! Now if only he had time to game with his old man.