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!

Balancing the Digital and Real Lives

Good morning Fuzzbutts,

In the digital age, it’s easy to be stuck in the digital world. You’re watching videos or movies online, playing games, chatting about stuff, whatever. The day ends and you flop into bed.

“Oh I could have done this! Oh I had time for that! I want to do this!” pops through your mind. There’s tons of times I’ve done this and even seen plenty of relatable memes on this very thing. Either way, you’re now tired, in bed, and regretting how you spent your time, kicking yourself now because you have to go to work tomorrow and you wasted your weekend.

In the US, the states are becoming smaller. Friends and family seem to have very few barriers anymore to moving around. You can still maintain friendships, thanks to the internet, but it’s more common now a days for people to have more friends online rather than in their own areas. So there will always be a draw to sit on your PC, doing things while waiting for friends to pop on.

There’s also the usual games, movies, and so on. These are easy time sinks where you can blow several hours trying to accomplish stuff in a game or binge watching a good show. We set a goal for ourselves (I’m going to finish this quest after all these side quests, I want to finish season 6 of this show) and it eventually is accomplished. We’re so focused on the goal and we accomplish the goal. Then, as soon as your head hits the pillow, the real goals you had suddenly fills your brain.

That’s a sign you’re a bit of of whack in balancing your digital life vs your actual life. Your life goals are being temporarily held off by other things and you’ve let your computer take over for a short period of time. So what do we do to figure out a solution? Is there a way to get back to a balanced lifestyle?

Yes! It’s just a matter of checking in with yourself throughout the day. Stopping whatever you’re doing (or at least stopping your brain) and asking yourself “Is there anything else I should be doing right now?” Then take at least 30 seconds to mull it over. If there’s something better you think you should be doing, it’ll pop right into your thoughts. Then you can decide if you want to do that vs whatever you’re currently doing.

So how do you stop yourself and check in? We lose track of time so easily. Well that’s where your phone or a timer comes in. Set a timer for an hour and when it goes off, check in. You could also set reminders on your phone for every hour or two (I use the google reminders function on my phone) where the reminder just says “Are you doing what you should be doing right now?” to prompt you. Then you get to make a decision about what thing in your brain you want to do. Hopefully you’ll find yourself having less nights where you fall into bed, hating yourself for all the stuff you forgot to do.

Good luck fuzzbutts!

Single-tasking to Success!

Good morning, fuzzbutts!

Ever wanted to get something done faster? You have a little project or task you want to get done today and yet you get distracted by something. Maybe it’s a different task that is less important but hey you have things to do! Maybe you put on a video while you work or listen to a podcast. Unfortunately, those things you’re doing are just making that original task or goal even harder to reach.

It’s annoying but the best way to accomplish your work for the day is to hammer down and focus on it without any distractions! That video you put on is pulling you away from your work. Those other things you do might be good to get done but you’re not accomplishing your goals! So why is it so difficult to sit distraction-free and get stuff done?

Some of us, including me, seem to be addicted to stimulation. As much as I’m an introvert, I love listening to music, podcasts, or youtube videos and have a hard time enjoying a silent morning when I get out of bed in the morning. However, give me a sketchbook and a youtube video and I’ll take over 30 minutes for something that should have taken me 5.

I know I said in a past post that I will draw while having a movie on my monitor because it keeps my butt in the seat so I get SOMETHING done. However, as time has gone on and movies on Netflix seem to keep getting worse, I’ve found I draw faster and often better when I keep things off. When I turn on youtube, on the other hand, I catch myself in the middle of a line to pause and look up at my screen because I heard or saw the edge of something that distracted me. Turn it all off and I’m able to get way more done in less time and it’s becoming easier.

Like most things involving discipline, willpower, etc, it’s a muscle. You have to gradually train yourself to accomplish these things and push through the need to be distracted so you can get it all done. Start light and for short periods if you can’t handle things being silent for long. Perform focused work and see how quickly you can finish whatever you’re working on.

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Notifications? More like NOPEifications

Hello fuzzbutts!

If you survived my humor in the title, you probably know where I’m already going right now but it’s still important for you to hear.

Here we go. You settle in, start working on a project that you feel is important. Then there’s a familiar beep from your other brain- your phone. You pick it up, answer the message, then settle back to what you were about to do. Then they respond or ask something else, sending you another chime. You answer again, this time holding onto your phone for their inevitable response. As you’re waiting, you get another buzz and realize your favorite game of candy destruction has finished refilling your lives so you can try again now. So you’re waiting for your friend and start demolishing colorful candies since you know you won’t get any work done before your friend messages you back. An hour later, your friend is done, the lives are spent, and now the motivation is gone.

So how do we avoid these situations and stay on task? First, disable notifications for all your games and apps that are more entertaining than useful. The entire purpose of those notifications is to keep you engaged in the app and coming back to increase your chance of purchasing things. If it was really super fun, you wouldn’t need reminders to hop back into the game.

Next, use the Do Not Disturb feature on your phone to silence any beeps and chimes from those texts. Unless you live in drama, there’s not going to be an emergency every time you’re working on a project and they can wait until you’re done and can check your phone.

Since I don’t get a lot of calls and texts, I leave my notifications on. If it’s something I’m really serious about, I’ll turn on DnD to make sure I’m not interrupted. As far as apps I allow for notifications, I leave on TimeTune since those keep me productive and thinking. If I do ever put a game on my phone, I make sure to shut off the ability to send notifications.

Anyway, I hope you continue to lead a distraction-free life and keep working on your goals! Keep up the good work, fuzzbutts!

Organize that Desk!

Hello fuzzbutts!

Sorry for the delay again. I recently started a new job and that has been eating up my time lately as I try to get up to speed as quickly as possible. The good news is I finally made it to the big leagues as far as my career is concerned. Onward to today’s topic!

So in my eternal quest to clean and minimize, I eventually get everything off the floor to wonder if I actually set everything onto my desk. Random tools from when I opened up my computer, sewing needles and thread, canned air, folded pieces of paper beyond numbering. I have a massive pile of random things and trash!

Once the trash was all cleared off, I went ahead and decided to look through the drawers. Well that shattered my illusion that I had everything in order. I’m a productive wuff, not the cleanest wuff. Sometimes, that’s just how wuffs are.

So even if it takes time, it’s important to go through your desk and work spaces and make sure you have everything you need and put the rest into its proper place (or the trash). Removing all that clutter makes it easier to find the things you need at your desk. Do you really need 5 sets of post-it notes? Maybe just keep one and put the rest somewhere out of the way. Also, keeping that fork at your desk for a prolonged period of time after eating that ramen noodle cup is kinda gross. Go wash that.

Good luck fuzzbutts!

Wednesday Tailtip: Site Blockers

Hello fuzzbutts!

Hope you’re all doing well. It’s a beautiful September Wednesday where I am and I hope you’re enjoying the weather wherever you are.

Today, I wanted to let you know about one small thing I use for productivity. I find it way too easy to look up good ole Google News, browse the stories, and end up spending way too much time in the comments section. Not just there, but also websites like buzzfeed or those slide-show websites that tell stories one picture at a time while flashing a million ads around the page. I don’t recall the last time I actually got anything useful out of those websites yet I kept clicking on them.

To overcome this distraction, I installed a simple extension in Google Chrome that lets me block websites. I block google news and I block any websites that do the slideshow thing. I still have the news on my phone so if I really need to read something, Ican force myself to do so on my small phone screen but I’m far less tempted to do so compared to my large monitor screen. At work, I still sometimes mindlessly click the google news shortcut and end up looking at the BlockSite screen. The moment that blocked notice comes up, I shake it off and go back to work. Same at home. I start getting distracted by something, see the blocksite screen, then go back to whatever I was working on, drawing, or learning.

If you can get as distracted as me, consider just cutting off everything that doesn’t serve you. Install something like Blocksite, add some websites to it that eat your productivity, and the stay on track!

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Being a Responsible Wuff

Hello fuzzbutts!

I know the title says a responsible wuff but this applies to any species who wants to be responsible. Be a responsible mew, a responsible water fox, a responsible moo, whatever. Today’s lesson on productivity is about being in control of yourself and doing the right things. Even when all your furends are at Comic-Con International right now when you could’ve been there.

I was actually offered to borrow a ticket for today too! However, I turned it down because I already committed myself to other responsibilities and I am determined to get things done. There’s always a time for play and while Comic-Con is but once per year, I have enough going on that I just don’t feel the need to put off everything I want to do today to run around a convention floor and buy more art to put up on my crowded walls or hear about the latest exclusives.

Sometimes life is that like. You have an opportunity for fun but you’re committed. You have to be in order to reduce the distractions and get things done. Maybe if things weren’t going as well as they are for my personal goals, I’d be parading around with other fuzzbutts at the convention. That’s ok, though. When you’re working toward your goals, you’ll be tempted to suddenly push away plans. I wanted to go, sure. However, this weekend I already planned to replace a window, sell my car, and do a hundred other smaller things! I weighed the pros and cons of going to have fun and decided my future and the things I want to accomplish just can’t wait. I hope you have an attitude like that. We’ll never be perfect and fun is important to have, but keep your future in mind.

Good luck out there, fuzzbutts!