Out of your brain and into your plan

Hello Fuzzbutts!

In the quest to achieve a distraction free environment or life (about as easy as seeking perfection itself), we have to keep on our peets. Are there things around us that stick in our brain? Is there a project or thought you keep considering but avoiding, burning up precious brain power while you decide whether or not to go for it? Could be something significant like pursuing the life of a fursuit builder. Or it could be something small. One thing in my head is I want to investigate the plumbing under my bathroom sink. It seems to drain slowly so maybe there’s a clog somewhere? It pops into my head every single time I brush my teeth or clean my hair. I then proceed not to do anything about it except say “Sooooon.”

Don’t do that when it comes to something that keeps popping into your head. If it keeps coming up on a regular basis, then it’s time to do something about it! Set up an appointment with yourself, set aside some time, and then start working on it! I’ll be in the bathroom! You, on the other hand, might be tackling a project in the yard. You might be shopping for materials to advance your art. You might be looking up classes for something you’ve been wanting to learn! Whatever it is, take the time to look into the subject!

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Just Doing What You Can

Hi Fuzzbutts.

After over a couple of weeks of 10-hour days, I was starting to fade pretty bad at work. It’s hard to feel competent when you’re drowning in work and have to keep reaching out for assistance from coworkers. Granted, I recently did an interview with one of the managers and it put things into perspective. Mostly, I got absolutely slammed with an unreasonable amount of work. I know I’m not the only one to experience this kind of thing. Plenty of you go through it where it becomes easy to get overwhelmed. So what should you try to do when things get too hectic?

Well first of all, DON’T close yourself off from others. Sometimes people get so busy so they start to avoid any interaction with coworkers to try to focus on the job and get it done. Your coworkers might be available to actually help lighten your load. Also, when you do it all alone, you may start to resent anyone around you who isn’t helping or isn’t even aware of how insanely busy you are. Keep the lines of communication open and you might be able to get some help.

Next, just do what you can. If you look inside your bedroom and see a huge mess, how do you clean it? You just grab something and put it away. Same applies to tasks at work. Have a hundred things to work on? Figure out which is the most important and what you can get finished quickly (sometimes they’re the same thing) and then just get it over with. A mistake will usually end up costing you more time trying to fix it than if you get it right the first time. So try to single-task when possible and if you can’t decide what needs doing, ask whoever is in charge or just flip a coin on it depending on the situation.

Eventually you will catch up with everything. I’m still in the middle of it but I know there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Just keep a cool head, watch how you interact with people, and do your best.

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Don’t let good habits fall off!

Hello fuzzbutts!

Ever start doing something smart and you’re able to keep it up for quite a while and then it just kinda… fades away? Like it was automatic for a while and now you just… don’t?

Well, as mentioned before, I moved. One thing I just noticed is that I no longer automate some of my daily tasks. One example would be how I choose my shirt in the morning to go to work. I go to my closet, grab the shirt further to my right, and that’s the shirt. If I don’t like the shirt, I leave it there and I grab the next one. If the next day I still don’t like the shirt, then I toss it into a bin for my rare trips to the Goodwill. I don’t know why but that was something I had stopped doing after arranging my new closet. So, starting tomorrow morning, I’m going to get back to doing that!

A couple of other small things fell by the wayside too which I’m going to re-institute in my life. It’s the small things that add up to significant change. Likewise, it’s the small things that also add up to being a big hindrance to the life we want to live.

So what’s something you used to do that was a positive in your life that has somehow faded back? Grab a piece of paper and search your mind. Maybe you used to go for walks and just stopped because life started getting busy. You were eating better than you used to but then gradually went back to your old ways. Maybe you regularly meditated or prayed and now you’re lucky to remember to do it once a week. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Just start slow again and get back on. It’s like riding a bicycle. You might wobble a bit as you try to build up the habit again but you’ll be back on it in no time and you’ll be working towards those goals.

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Deliberate Practice!

Hello Fuzzbutts!

Today we’re going over the concept of deliberate practice. It’s a very general term that is intended to apply to anything you want to learn. It’s not just doing repetitive actions like memorization or drawing circles constantly, but it is focused on establishing and performing specific tasks to improve your performance. You find your weaknesses and look for ways to fix them. You look for specific ways to improve and follow those techniques.

Since I like talking about my own goals of drawing, I’ll start with that. I could spend hours upon hours drawing circles  and a few lines to represent heads. Unless my weakness is being able to draw a circle, this actually isn’t going to help me out. However, if I’m not happy with the way a muzzle or the eyes turn out, that’s something I could practice more. Not only just me practicing the eyes I draw, but looking at references and images that I admire and trying to imitate that process. I practice the eyes until I’m very happy with the way they are. I also practice variety since there’s so many types of eyes out there. It has a clear intention for me- draw better by drawing prettier eyes. If I eventually feel ok about eyes but now find I don’t like the way I draw hips, then I apply the same exercises I established and proceed from there to improve my art.

If you want to improve math skills or something more school-related, you can still apply deliberate practice. Study the problems and the solutions to them in the book. Then practice a few problems on your own and check the solutions. If you made a mistake, review where it happened. Try again and see if it works correctly this time. Unfortunately, in many math textbooks I’ve encountered, many practice problems have only some of the solutions and zero explanation of how the solution was even reached. In that case, a classmate or tutor might be able to shed light on where things went wrong in your thinking.

A good read on the principles of deliberate practice along with a ton of great examples can be found at James Clear’s Website and I recommend you look into it even just to get some ideas with regards to things you could apply the idea of deliberate practice to.

 

Good luck Fuzzbutts!

Write Down Those Thoughts!

Hello fuzzbutts!

Ever have random thoughts when you’re out and about? You’re at the store and remembered a quick thing you need to take care of when you get home. You’re at work and think of a hundred small things you need to get done. You finally get home and realize you don’t remember what you were going to do. It happens often and you end up blowing a bunch of time not doing anything important because you can’t remember any of the tasks you wanted to do.

So how do we combat such a faulty memory? Writing things down! Keep a little notepad and pen in your pocket. As you go throughout your day, something will pop into your head with the unstoppable force of a shower thought. So take out your pad and write it down! Write it ALL down!

On a usual day at work, I’ll come up with anywhere from 7-15 items to complete. Once I’m home, I just sort the list and dump anything I can’t finish that day. I don’t write it on an eternal to-do list. I just dump the idea. If the idea pops up on another day, it goes through the same process and I might sort it out or take time that day to handle it. Weekends tend to be a good time to catch up on any of the larger projects that come across my brain.

So try to keep a pencil and pad with you at all time and be sure to write down anything you need to do. It doesn’t matter if it’s to light some incense or write a productive blog post. Once you’re able to sit with your list, look it over and do whatever it is you want to do for the day to call it a great day!

Good luck fuzzbutts!

Reviewing the Pomodoro Technique

Hello fuzzbutts!

So I’ve been trying the Pomodoro technique some more lately. As a refresher, the Pomodoro timer relies on a 25-minute set of focused work, whether it be studying or working on a task, then a 5-minute break. Rinse, repeat as needed. It sounds interesting-taking a task at a moderate pace with specific time constraints so you know how long you’ll spend. It helps against things like procrastination when you’re thinking about the billion other things you can work on. Just 30 minutes and I’m done. If you’re still feeling good at the end of your break, you can go for another round!

So what do I like about the Pomodoro technique?

First, it’s simple. You can get a timer (or an app) and just turn it on once you’re ready to begin your task. 25 minutes tends to fly by pretty fast once you get started. You can schedule it ahead of time and you’ll be able to finally tackle those tasks with focused work. If you prefer structure, this would be very helpful for you.

What don’t I like about it?

Well, it can feel very unnatural as you get to work. If you get into the task pretty deep, you can reach the famous Flow State. The last thing you feel like doing once the timer goes off is actually stop! You’ve got your groove going, you’re accomplishing stuff! So maybe you end up ditching the Pomodoro technique anyway to keep working. Or maybe you follow the Pomodoro, grudgingly stopping, taking a breath, and then try to dive right back in. Maybe you’ll hit it with gusto or you blew the flow state and can’t quite get back into it.

So what’s the verdict?

The Pomodoro technique works for anything you don’t actually want to do. Always procrastinating something? Use Pomodoro. Dreading studying for a test? Use Pomodoro. What about things you want to do? Just do them! You like drawing? Drop Pomodoro and just draw. Hate drawing hands and want to get better? Use Pomodoro. It’s just a matter of discovering what is difficult for you and using the Pomodoro technique to help you overcome it. If 25 minutes seems too short, you can always increase the work time.

So start experimenting with it and see where you might be able to make more progress!

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Have a good day!

Hello fuzzbutts!

It’s the end of the day and you lay your head down. You got a lot done today but you don’t feel so good about it. Your mind wanders around to the other things you didn’t do. Suddenly you’re in that limbo where you’re tired but you also feel bad for neglecting this or that so now you’re kinda resisting going to sleep. It’s a terrible mindset to have because it hurts your sleep and doesn’t help you feel any better. You’re practically drowning in guilt!

So how do we take care of that? Start off your day with writing down the things you want to get done. Take the time to think about your day, the time you have, and what you need to finish in order to actually feel like you had a good day. These things will jump out at you when you wake up in the morning. You focus on those tasks, get things done, and you’ll feel so much better at the end of your day. Sometimes it might just be one thing. Sometimes you might feel like doing NOTHING would be a good day because you’re such a busy vixen and, so long as that’s actually what you feel would make a good day, make sure you do that.

Then, you make to make an agreement with yourself that you will do those tasks and be guilt free, regardless of how you spend the rest of your day. The reason is that if we actually manage to accomplish our goals, we think about something else we could have done and then feel bad when we think about not accomplishing that last thing. This also means you need to pick your daily goals appropriately. Pick enough that you can actually get them done without aiming so low that you don’t make any progress.

Good luck, fuzzbutts!