Sometimes there’s no plan. Sometimes you don’t need one.

Hello fuzzbutts!

I hope you’ve all been doing well in these crazy times. I had a little bit of a scare almost a couple of weeks ago which turned out to be food poisoning and a few days off from work. Considering how many of those symptoms match the virus, work asked me to stay home until I could get over it and get a test. However, your productive wuff is doing fine now and has been busy.

The time off came off at a crazy time. I was in the process of shifting into a new position at work, taking over a new space to arrange and help get another building set up. So when I returned to work, there was a lot to do and quite a bit to get caught up on. As much as I love my checklists and planning, I had plenty of tasks in front of me, my coworkers were swamped with their own responsibilities, and I was told “Do whatever you can.”

So what did I do? Anything I could! I looked through the supplies, wrote down a quick list of things I could get, and raided the old building for anything I could find to bring over. There wasn’t even enough time to count or calculate how much stuff I needed. I just went in, grabbed handfuls of whatever, loaded messes of boxes, carted things back and forth to get it done. More people came at me asking if we had this or that. We didn’t, of course. Did I make a huge list and plan to make the most efficient trip like a disciplined wuff? Nope! Time was more important for each case so I’d go over, grab what was needed, and rush back.

As chaotic as it was, it was still a blast. I love organizing spaces and supporting others so the new position feels good. I came in without a plan and there just wasn’t time to get a plan in place. When you have a big task in front of you and no time to plan it out, all you can do is pick out some piece and get it done as quick as you can. Then continue to take it bit by bit until it’s done. As the dust settles, other things will make themselves apparent and you’ll hopefully have more time to plan those out.

Just don’t lock yourself into feeling like you ALWAYS have to plan everything. You’ll end up paralyzing yourself when sometimes you just need to get to work. With enough experience, you’ll be able to make a quick decision about whether it’s a “planning” or a “doing” task and I hope you can start getting things done!

Good luck fuzzbutts!

Keep Working Toward Something

Hello Fuzzbutts!

Things have started to settle around me in certain aspects of my life as I get ready for my new job at the same place, feeling comfortable at my place, grew out a quarantine beard, and started growing succulents to green up my home. I’m still drawing a bit but I caught myself spending too much time on video games again. It’s a constant struggle, especially when you have friends you enjoy playing with.

I did a little self-assessment and things are starting to reach a new baseline for me. Not really a ton going on aside from drawing so some of my energy has been going back to video games. Video games tend to be my default for when I’m either in a lousy mood or just don’t have anything else to do. So when I noticed I was just fooling around with a ton of games, I realized I needed somewhere else to direct my energy.

So I’m still working toward my goals but it was time to develop new things. One of which, related to my new plants, is decorating my place. I enjoy a very minimal space but I would like more artwork and ways to make things nicer since it became too boring. Next, pick up some fun little model kits and put stuff together with my hands. Anything else? Well going back to the gym would be nice. The work gym shut down so now I have to find a regular gym since those have opened, at least. None open yet but I do plan on joining a Jiu-Jitsu school. I’d like to keep building up my strength further and try not to stay as focused as I have been on cardio so I want real weights.

So there’s a couple of things I can start doing. Step up my fitness some more, work on models, design and decorate my home.

There’s a lot of science out there that if you want to improve your quality of life, you need to start setting goals and working toward something. Here’s a fun article to read up a bit more about it! The Science and Psychology of Goal-Setting 101. So try to take a look at your life and the things you’re up to lately and decide what matters for your quality of life. Hopefully you find something you’d like to work on and, once you complete those goals, pick something else to move toward like learning another language or picking up a new skill!

Good luck fuzzbutts!

So where are you?

We’re about halfway through the year so I thought it would be a nice time to check in with yourself. You should be doing this more often than twice a year but there’s a little something in your brain that gets triggered when you reach the halfway point. Similar to when we’re about to start the new year and everyone wants to make resolutions. We set some goals earlier and we need to stay on top of it. It’s not really any different than if you work somewhere that requires annual goals. You assess the goals and see where you are with your progress and if anything should be changed.

So feel free to pull out a piece of paper and a pencil and then look over your goals. First thing to check is whether or not you already accomplished the goal! Yes? Hopefully you already checked it off. Do you want to take that goal further? Reach your goal of 30 pushups in one go? Why not step it up to 40 or 50? Draw something that reached a new record in your favorites count? Why not keep up the drawing and work toward a new personal best? So if you’re done with the goal, cross it off and focus on the rest. If you want to do more with that goal, time to step up and make another plan for it.

What if you didn’t finish the goal? That’s fine! You got time. First, check in with your progress. Did you make enough progress? Are you on track to finish the goal in your time-frame? That’s fine. Even if you miss the time by a little bit, you’re still going to reach that goal. Seriously, though, try to get it done on time.

So you didn’t finish the goal and your progress is…. lacking? Nonexistent? Absent? Some other term to reflect that you made next to no progress? Well if you haven’t been working on it, just take it off the list. No reason to guilt yourself over not doing it if you’re not interested in it right now. Free up the mental space for the other goals you have.

So get started on some self-review and check over your goals and how you’re doing. If you don’t have any goals on your radar right now, time to come up with some!

Good luck, Fuzzbutts!

Time to Think

Hello fuzzbutts!

With everything going on and the urge to stay productive, it’s sometimes difficult to slow down and come up with another plan. Currently, there’s two things. One, what to write for this blog. Second, how to decorate my home since I feel like it’s not quite comfy enough.

The underlying problem when it comes to this stuff is that it takes focused thinking. It’s easy to consider something and be like “Oh yeah I should spiff up the living room,” or “I need to come up with topics to post about,” and nothing happens. Not really something to set up with a SMART goal but it takes effort. So what now?

It’s surprising how much we think about something we should do which is something that may not be as important as your other priorities. If it sticks in your brain, though, you need to focus and take care of it. I can’t decorate my condo if I’m not actually stopping and planning how I want it to look! I can’t keep up the blog if I don’t sit down and actually come up with specific topics for the blog!

So be sure to check in with yourself or the things you have going on. Carve out the time, sit down, grab a pad and paper or whatever you need to figure things out. You’re not going to get it done while working on other things or just lightly musing about it on the drive to and from work. So get focused and think hard about your subject!

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Hacks for Achieving More

Hello Fuzzbutts!

What a month lately! I’m still working but wow. Lots of things going on since we’re all locked down. Odd, right? You’d think I’d be doing less when stuck at home but it’s worked out anyway. I’ve even discovered grocery delivery and I might just stick with it after everything is over. Thankfully, I have plenty of goals that just need time at home so here we are!

Sometimes when we’re home, even if we have things to do, we can let the goals slide. “I’ll take a nice little vacation and have plenty of time to draw or work on X” becomes “Where did all that time go? I didn’t do anything I said I was going to!”

How does that happen? A few reasons.

First: With nobody coming over lately, it’s easy to let the mess start to build up in your home. Socks go over the couch, counter-tops build up with pancake mix and cereal boxes. This clutter can make it difficult when you suddenly have inspiration to hammer at your goals. Now you’re trying to clean while you find your book or tablet or whatever you’re working on. Keep your space clean!

Second: You’re letting distractions get to you. You have a goal but hey, it’s lock-down time. Might as well treat it like a mini stay-cation and just do whatever you like. It won’t last forever! Working on something? Naw. What’s on Netflix? Stop that. If you don’t get to work on your goals now, how can you expect to get anything done when your life picks up again? So don’t let that be your excuse and see what you can do.

Third: Your reason isn’t strong enough. Goals are fine and meeting that goal is nice to think about. What about the work? Do you have a reason good enough to put in the work? Think about the goal, what you want by working toward it, and decide if the result is worth the effort (It usually is!).

This is just three things I could quickly think of and I hope you’re able to assess yourself right now and how you’re doing with your goals!

 

Good luck Fuzzbutts!

Game-ifying Habits?

Hello fuzzbutts,

Given the quarantine and all this going on, I noticed recently that some of my habits started to die off one by one as I grew increasingly bored and had less things to do. Exercise is tricky since my work closed their mini gym and I’m on an upper floor at home so I can’t exactly bring in a treadmill or do anything jumpy while I’m exercising. Same goes for drawing. I sometimes end up playing games way longer than I should since I practically halted work on my goals so those usual habits got rather spotty.

Given that, I realized internal motivation is at a low in my life for things I want. So back to basics! First, understanding my Why? Why did I want to build this habit again? What was the goal of doing this?

Next, I also found I wasn’t really rewarding myself for any good habits. So I worked out or I drew something. Did I give myself a treat at all? Nope! I was relying on my self-satisfaction to keep me motivated. It didn’t last for long.

But Wuffles! You’ve mentioned these things before! Yes I have. Productivity is like physical fitness. Even if you hit your target level, you have to maintain these things and it’s so easy to let things start to slide after a while. If you’re not super vigilant, you’re going to find yourself stopping once in a while to re-assess where you are and how to do better.

So now what? Well I can still go out for runs so I can look into routes in my area and just take a jog in the morning. In fact, I went today and it was nice! I can also look up “Hotel Room workout” on youtube for low-impact, quiet, and difficult workouts to complete in my home and rebuild my strength. What about drawing? Well there’s nothing special stopping me from that so it’s just a lack of drive to get it done. Well the solution for this can be lumped in with my drive to work out.

Gamifying! How does it work? Well, like any quest in an RPG game, you give yourself a task and a reward! As an example, I give myself a little credit every time I draw something to put toward a commission! I also hold myself accountable by doing things like a random raffle sketch where I put out the expectation I’m going to draw something. There’s also apps like Habitica that let you track your habits and tasks and give you points and a score! This is how things like High Scores work in arcade games. You see the progress, the numbers, and you want to keep boosting your score. It’s meaningless in the long term (like most games) so you don’t really have an incentive to cheat and boost your score in the app, but there is something in your brain that gives you a little reward when you check something off the list. So look up some apps, give them a try, add some goals and tasks and habits you want to pick up, and then see how you respond to it!

Good luck, Fuzzbutts!

Stuck at Home! Be Productive!

Hello Fuzzbutts!

Given these crazy times lately, I’ve been hearing a lot about others being cooped up at home. I work in an essential industry so I’m still going out to work during the week but I’m just as cooped up as anyone else on the weekends. Hopefully everyone is staying safe and taking good care of themselves.

So you’re stuck at home and feeling lousy. What now? Well that’s easy if you’re being a productive fuzzbutt! Figure out a plan! You have a huge list of things to do at home, I bet. It could be cleaning, small projects around the house you have been meaning to get to, perform some internal work on yourself, or just a time to explore from your desk!

First things first! Is your place dirty? It’s almost April so you might as well start on any spring cleaning you have been meaning to get to. Organize your home, de-clutter what you can and finally make it comfortable for you to be there! I’ve met plenty of people who live in messy homes and then just say “I don’t like staying home. I like to be outside.” Well yeah if my home had several empty chip bags on the floor and couch with unfolded clothing everywhere, a thick layer of dust on everything and a desperate need to vacuum, I would to!

Next up are the projects! Some things are collecting dust and eagerly awaiting your touch. Start putting just a little bit of time into your list and see what you can get done. If there’s something you end up never touching, it’s time to address whether or not this is a project worth finishing and just switch to doing something else. Then just re-prioritize!

I mentioned internal work too! What does that mean? Are you stressed out? Do you hate being home because you can’t be with your friends? Maybe it’s something deeper than that. First thing here- If the news is making you stressed out, go on a digital detox. Stop watching the news for a few days! The world isn’t going to end for a bit and, even if it does, that’s it. If the problem is job-related like your job has cut you off, get the paperwork rolling on those government benefits being dished out during this pandemic and start checking for new work. Do some journal writing to figure out your feelings and pick the path that’s right but sitting there feeling unhappy with yourself isn’t going to be the way.

Lastly, if you’ve taken care of the rest of the list, why not explore? Maybe there’s a new hobby or craft to take up. Maybe you want to explore a new career path. Practice with something new like coding, 3d modeling or some other work that allows you to work from home. I personally believe this pandemic might change the way employers feel about employees working from home so there may be more opportunities out there for home workers. Why not get on that as businesses might move in that direction?

I wish this was more personalized for you, individually, but I just wanted to focus on very general thoughts for you to consider so you can pick your best path forward right now. Think of these things, get in your head a little bit to figure out a plan, and do your best!

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Wuff’s Log: Feelings Last Night

Hi Fuzzbutts,

Lately, work has been pretty rough. It’s been requiring a lot more multitasking than I would like so I’ve been getting scatter-brained and making some mistakes. No I don’t think it’s to the level my job is in jeopardy or anything, but as anyone else who wants to do a good job, it does shake my confidence. However, as somebody who usually overthinks, it is the kind of thing I might go home, feel down on myself a bit, and brood over the problems I’m having.

Last night was a Food Bank night, though. I went to the local food bank for a volunteer shift I volunteered for. Given the virus pandemic going on right now, there is increasing concern about spreading it, especially considering the food bank is powered by volunteers to help the less fortunate, elderly, or both. What was the big task? Bagging potatoes. Standing there, 6 feet apart from other people, grabbing 40lb bags of potatoes and turning them into smaller bags of potatoes to be passed out, I actually started to feel better.

Every single bag I made became a person receiving that bag from a distributor. Some hungry person, down on their luck, would get one of my bags and get a little relief with it. As lousy as I was feeling last night, it became a race against myself to help as many people as I could. By the end of the 90 minutes or so of just bagging potatoes, I felt a bit better. The problems I have feel so small when compared with other people. I still have my worries about work but I feel better about myself at least. This is a feeling I often have there but last night is when I really felt it.

These are my feelings. I doubt I’m the only one who has ever felt down or incompetent. I just wish more people would reach out to help others. Maybe more people would feel better too.

Being Responsible by Avoiding Responsibilities!

Hello fuzzbutts!

How’s your plate looking lately? Got enough things to do? You sure? Are you able to handle all of it? Maybe there’s one or two things too many and they’re slipping off the plate. It’s fallen off the plate like a tasty meatball that rolled off the spaghetti and now is sitting on the floor, making you feel bad as you consider whether or not to pick it up again.

Let’s face it. We can get over our heads. We have some time, volunteer for something, and then it becomes a bigger project than we planned on. We see some fun thing we want to try (me and my 3d printing) and takes that on. Before we are even finished with that, we pick something else we like! Finally, our homes fill up with unfinished projects that each nag at us whenever we’re home, sometimes things for other people with a deadline approaching! We meant well but there’s just too much going on now!

Well there’s only a few things you can try to fix the situation. One of which is hammering down and focusing on your work so you can fulfill some of those responsibilities and catch up with everything else. However, that doesn’t do any good if you end up volunteering for something else so soon. There will always be something.

Everyone wants to feel wanted or appreciated. People come to you as the fixer and you’re always available to lend a hand. You love to feel useful and help out. Even worse, if you say No to them, you’ll be letting them down and they’ll be miserable!

It’s irresponsible to take on too much responsibility. There. I told you. You want to help but you can’t. You have way too many things on your plate already. Taking on this new thing is going to just make things worse which leads to you wanting to be helpful or make up for the issue. Just stop. You have enough to worry about.

So what do we do? Well if you find yourself with too many responsibilities, you need to stop yourself and check your list of tasks. Prioritize them as needed. If it’s not in your top three things to get done, consider dumping it entirely. Do you REALLY need to do that thing? Just wipe it off the list and then come back to it later if it’s still bugging you. Sometimes I still think about 3D printing stuff. However, in the grand list of stuff I’d like to do or am doing, that ranks too far down for it to warrant serious consideration.

Next up, get used to saying No to new responsibilities. You might have a little free time but that doesn’t mean you can dedicate yourself to a whole new project. If it was something that was going to go smoothly, they wouldn’t have asked for your help to begin with! Let others handle their responsibilities and you handle your own. If you do finally reach the point where you don’t have anything to do, congratulations! You’re the only person in the world to be in that situation! Then go ahead and offer to help out.

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Intermittent Fasting to Productivity

Hello fuzzbutts!

Hope you’re doing well! I had an extremely busy and difficult week. Next month doesn’t look like it’ll be any better. When this happens, it becomes easy to want to retreat. You do your work, have a hard time, and go home to put on your potato fursuit and binge some Netflix. Who wants to be productive when you’ve been running ragged? You can push yourself to be productive for a bit but it’s easy to burn out too. So how do you maintain productivity and avoid the burn-out blues?

You’ve heard of intermittent fasting, right? There’s different ways but it’s essentially changing your diet so you’re fasting at some point. It may involve skipping a meal every day. Sometimes you eat normal one day and then you do a 24-hour fast. There’s several methods. I’ll leave the rest of the research up to you as far as any health benefits (it’s interesting). What does this have to do with productivity? Maybe you’ve already guessed.

If there’s something specific you do that isn’t productive, it’s good to take a break from it. Likewise, if you’re so productive you’re leaving a fiery trail behind you, it’s ok to slow yourself down and take a break. Maybe you need a compromise on both.

For me, it tends to be video games. I come home, pop on a chat with friends, and play some games either to stream to them or to play with them. Then I lay my head down and don’t feel so great about how I spent my time. Sometimes I come home, spend a bunch of time working on something and when it’s time for bed, I still feel wound up like I can’t relax. When I catch myself feeling these ways, it’s time to figure out what to do. If I find I’m spending too much time playing, I’ll stop myself from gaming. That doesn’t mean I force myself to work on goals. If I stop gaming, maybe I’ll write a blog post or clean my kitchen or handle some other business that’s been in my brain. Likewise, if my brain is running on empty, I’ll hold off drawing or an online course. Either way, the important thing is moderation and keeping some control over your behavior and brain.

Is there something you do that you spend way too much time on and avoid your goals? Try just saying “tomorrow I won’t touch X” and avoid doing that thing. Finding yourself burning out? Before you do, say “tomorrow I won’t do Y” and give yourself a break. Take a little of the routine out of your life and try doing something new or at least avoid the usual things. If you always binge some Netflix when you take a break, do something else like read something fun or just chill out with friends.

Good luck, fuzzbutts!