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!

It’s the New Year! Time for a New You!

Well it’s the second day of the new year! Hope you did alright in 2018. Now that we’re both becoming more active and productive with our lives, it’s time to look ahead to the rest of 2019. You’ve gone through some of your goals for 2018 to review how you did and maybe you’ve been putting together some goals for 2019. If you haven’t got your plan going forward, I recommend you get started. The sooner, the better!

One thing to keep in mind, as you align your various goals, is to envision yourself as the ideal you. How do you behave? What are your hobbies? What kind of work do you do? Imagine your ideal life for yourself. If you find it difficult to picture or detail your thoughts, then just pick somebody you know who you want to be more like. You’re not them and won’t ever be them but they have certain qualities you wish you would have or develop. Then work out your goals to help yourself embody those aspects. Are they disciplined? Maybe start with a set sleeping/waking schedule. Are they charismatic and friendly? Plan a goal that revolves around being more social. Do they keep things or drama from getting to them? Research some personal development articles or books to learn about how to deal with those situations. Are they learning something you want to learn? Start learning it yourself!

When working on yourself, you can find somebody to compare yourself against at the START so you can get a bearing on your life but then stop comparing yourself to them from that point onward. You can only really compare yourself against YOU. Compare how much you’ve developed yourself against who you were yesterday. If you don’t feel like you took any steps forward, then you have to assess and figure out a way to move ahead!

I’ve given myself a few goals this year and a new one I added was to move back out from the folks house this year. I’m going to start looking for a new apartment in March. The folks are great but I don’t see myself staying here for another 2 years to build up enough money to buy a condo. I’ve been looking for a new job around most of the country but haven’t had much luck with the process which makes me think my career isn’t far enough along for companies to want to import me from California. So if I haven’t found anything by March, I’m moving out, signing a year lease, and then being the best darn chemist at my current job that I can possibly be.

I hope you’re coming along nicely in reaching your goals and ideal self! Feel free to share or reach out to me if you want to talk about it!

Have fun, furries!

News Years Time!

Hello furries!

The year is ended, you’ve accomplished so much this year. Have you reviewed your year and how much you’ve gotten done? Hopefully, following my blog, you’ve done more this year than you even expected! Now, I hope you’ll be able to get even more done in 2019 as we work through the processes of how to get more done!

So let’s set some goals! We need some short-term goals and long term goals for the year, keeping them in line with our life goals we’re working toward. Want to draw more or get more followers this year? Remember, these are SMART goals- Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Decide and write out your goals in that format. Then keep your written goals somewhere you can see them so you can think about them.

Have a much more general goal that’s harder to put in SMART format? I want to make more friends. Well you need to break down the issue with questions that help you make it into something you can work with. How do you make more friends? Meet more people. How do you meet more people? Find things people do that I also like to do in a social setting. How do you find those things? Look it up online. Now let’s say you found something that you want to do in a social setting with others. The SMART format could be Attend X numbers of meetups in 2019. Not bad. Of course you’ll have to learn and adapt more about the way you behave to earn more friends but you need to try.

Want to move out of the house in 2019? Find some relevant goals for that. Pick a place you want to live, increase your income if necessary, plan on how you would actually move your possessions, etc.

There’s a lot of stuff out there to try and work toward. You have a whole year to do it and if you work on it regularly, I believe you have what it takes to reach your goals this coming year! Have any SMART goals already? I’d love to hear them! Use the Contact Wuffles link to the left and let me know. Having trouble figuring out how to break down a goal? I’d be happy to help if you reach out using the same link! I look forward to hearing from you all!

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

The Protective Wall!

Good morning Fuzzbutts!

Alright so a creative friend came and asked me a little bit about commissioners but this is something I’ve heard about before that drives many artists, whether they make fursuits or sketches or whatever, to go batty. If you’re a creative type who has turned your art into your income, listen up! If you’re somebody who likes to purchase art stuff that somebody else has made, listen up! If you’re neither of those, then read this post anyway because I put in the effort!

So you create something and somebody comes to you for a commission. You do what they say and then they have a couple of corrections. You fix those and then there’s otherĀ errors they want you to fix. Those are handled and then suddenly the whole thing just still isn’t satisfactory. You’ve spent about twice as much time on this one commission without any increase in your price and they’re still walking around grumbling. Their grumbling hurts you because you really tried to make them happy and put in extra effort. They don’t seem happy either. Next time you open up for commissions, they’re right there with another handful of dollars to have you go through it all over again with them.

There’s something called the 80-20 rule that applies to a lot of stuff. If you’re a creator, 80% of your problems will come from 20% of your customers. That means if you’re spending a bunch of time with one unhappy customer, it’s taking time from customers you enjoy dealing with and most of your issues are coming from a small group rather than the majority! So it’s time to recognize the problem furries and cut them off! Preserve the sanity!

There’s a mindset sometimes that you want to be liked and you appreciate your fans for the fact they think enough of you to give you money for art. You get the money and want to satisfy their request! If there’s something wrong, even though the commissioner didn’t actually tell you the thing that should have been there in the first place, you want to make it right. They’re not very happy with what you made but can’t even explain what you did wrong without requiring you just start over.

Nope! That bad commissioner goes out the window! Next time they show up, you close that door. You give that slot to somebody who will appreciate your efforts.

One thing I think happens with artists when they get repeat bad commissioners is that they’ve already been turned away by other artists. These sour platypuses then waddle their way to you since you’re the only one who puts up with their needs. Don’t enable their behavior by dealing with them and then stressing yourself out!

Commissioners! I’m speaking to you now! If you have a specific thing in mind for your commission, describe it in detail! Have a good ref handy! If you weren’t clear in your description and they show you a beautiful artwork that wasn’t exactly what you wanted, then take it as a lesson to be more clear. Then just enjoy the artwork, even if it’s not exactly what you had in your head. Other times, the art just doesn’t look so good where the artist doesn’t seem to have put as much effort in yours as they did with the other commissions. I’ve experienced that too. Take the art, thank them, and don’t bother with them again. There’s plenty of artists out there who will do your characters justice who will also take your money. Now if there’s something that was in the ref or description that they clearly forgot, feel free to point that out to them (missing a marking on their face, the pose is way off from what you described directly, etc).

Please, regardless what side you fall on, realize the other end of the FurAffinity notes is a person and also loves furry stuff. Artists, do your best and work with your customers but don’t stress yourself out and spend too much time with unpleasant experiences but make sure you complete the work you take on. Commissioners, provide your feedback when something has to be fixed but realize the effort that goes into making artwork and don’t nitpick or change what you asked for. Together, the furries will maintain their fun, artsy economy and we’ll all get to appreciate what gets posted!

Have fun, fuzzbutts!

Taking Small Bites

Good morning Fuzzbutts!

Today I want to advise you on a small trick to accomplishing your goals: do a little bit. Open your big furry maw and take a small chomp out of whatever you need to do to work toward your goals. Just find the next small thing you need to do for your goals and get that piece done today!

Often times, you might even find yourself able to keep going. A five minute blender tutorial might turn into an hour of reviewing tutorials and you’re actually much further along than you would have been! A short walk turns into a long walk or maybe even a jog because you put on your exercise clothes and went outside! Drawing a head turns into a full pose.

The point isn’t to just get started and you’ll do a ton (though I think that’s a pawsibility). The real purpose of it is to just get a little something done toward your goals. Even if it takes you a long time to finally reach your goal by taking baby steps, you’ll eventually be way further along than just not doing anything because you make the task too daunting to accomplish. Let the goal in the far, far distance be the daunting thing. For now, take the tiny step forward and take a small bite out of the things you need to do.

Good luck out there, fuzzbutts!

The big important things first

Hello fuzzbutts!

Sorry for the late post! I’ve been busy helping the folks get stuff ready for their big move (assuming we can sell the place). Anyway, one thing I wanted to emphasize mostly applies to your days off but can easily be incorporated with those early mornings that some of us like to use to get stuff done.

Whenever there’s something to do and you know you need to do it, then just get that stuff out of the way before it drives you crazy. In helping the folks try to sell their home, I have to keep stuff clean. That means putting away dishes, sweeping, mopping the floor, and regular dusting! The house is sorta “on-call” for this so I don’t have much time to make sure things are ready if I get a notice saying to hurry up and put stuff away. There’s definitely been more than one time I’ve had to make a mad dash to clean up or sweep before people show up and I get out of the house!

This applies to anything that’s important, not just chores. You want to draw more? Get up, get a snack in you, and start drawing in the morning. Not enough time before work? Change your schedule so you get up earlier and THEN draw. Have various projects at work to do? Prioritize them however works best for you and then take the best one on first. Have errands to run? Pop out of the house as fast as you can and take care of it, beating traffic and crowds! You’ll feel a lot better when you flop down into bed at the end of the day!

 

New Goals Time!

Hi Fuzzbutts!

So I’ve pretty much done the goals I wanted earlier this year. Now I need to set the next ones. Follow the SMART goals rule!

  1. Get 20 more followers by the end of the year on my FA page. Ok. It’s very specific, it’s measurable. The actionable part is me drawing and posting me. It’s reasonable to get 20 more by the end of the year. And I got my time limit. NEXT!
  2. Finish a Blender modeling course by the end of the month. It has all the features in that short sentence.
  3. Publish a story or a collection of 5 short stories by the end of the year on Amazon. This one is going to be a stretch goal for myself. Stretch goal means I want to do it and I will try but I’m not 100% sure I’ll get it done before the end of the year while working on the first two goals. It’s not as high a priority as the other goals.

There’s my new goals for the rest of the year. I didn’t think I’d want to give 3d modeling another shot after selling my 3d printer but I realized I can easily spend hours enjoying working on Blender. The problem was the frustration of using and fiddling with the 3d printer. I probably won’t go back to 3d printing unless I invest a bit more for a quality product. No plans for that right now.

I don’t have any plans for 2019 yet (Shooting for 4 furry cons in 2019 but nothing else yet).

So I hope you’re coming up with some fun goals for your own lives! Good luck, furry friends!

Build your pack (or herd, or flock)

Hello fuzzbutts!

I realize I’ve had a couple posts about separating yourself from toxic people or anyone who doesn’t support your goals and dreams. So why not talk about the converse? Time to start finding those with similar interests and goals and hooking together with them!

Want to build fursuits? Start interacting with fursuit makers or others who want to build them. Want to draw more? Start trying to talk with other artists or, if possible, stream with artists who do similar artwork as you. If you actually end up having a couple of fans who appreciate your work, try to be available to them since their encouragement will help fuel your desire to practice and improve.

So how do we find these people? Naturally, don’t aim for the top. If you try jumping straight as a beginner to going for those like MixedCandy or MadeFurYou fursuit builders, they’re probably swamped with people already talking to them before some rando emails asking to be a friend. Same for artists like Strype or Blotch or whoever. Nope! So where do you go?

There’s groups all over the place. Multiple telegram groups for fursuit builders and artists. Multiple places to find the types of people you can interact with. Keep in mind you have to interact with them. You won’t get a whole bunch of reward from groups you don’t contribute to or be active with. Want to meet more furries, look up local meets or maybe even start your own to bring them around. Want to be more active, there’s tons of groups out there for that, whether it’s light or heavy training. Writing workshops, skill development, whatever it is. You can meet people who will help you along toward your goals.

Again, it’s necessary to vet these people too. Join an art group where everyone seems to be negative or your feel like your work gets more hate than constructive critique? Dump them and find a better group. Joining a walking club but nobody is friendly and takes it more like a job than a chance to be healthier? Dump them. You have to find people who resonate with your core values and motivate you to work toward your goals.

Good luck out there, fuzzbutts!

You don’t have to “earn” everything

Hi fuzzbutts!

In the pursuit of decluttering and trying not to bring more stuff into my home, I decided to make mini goals for myself before I bring in new stuff. However, I realized earlier this week that it doesn’t always make sense.

I wanted a graphics tablet. For those who don’t know, it’s a tablet you plug into your computer and you can draw on the screen. Cheap tablets that I’ve had before require you to draw on a blank surface while staring at the monitor. This tablet displays everything you’re drawing and you can draw right on it. Lovely.

So I set a mini goal. If I could do 5 sketches with a pencil within a month, I’ll buy the tablet. It would be a good reward and I would prove to myself that this was important to me.

Well that was the equivalent of saying you want to pour a concrete driveway but “I’ll pour and mix half of the driveway by hand to prove I’m serious before I just buy a cement mixer to do the job.”

Realizing this, I bought the tablet. As soon as I got it, I was off to the races, drawing rapidly and streaming it and streaming with friends and chatting furry stuff while I drew! It was easy to do. I loved the work I completed on the tablet and I’m excited to do more and draw with friends.

The mini goal to prove I was serious was actually more of an obstacle I was throwing up in front of myself to buy a tool I know I wanted and could really use. So this week’s lesson is that if there is a certain tool you know will help you along toward your big goals (me drawing more and getting more followers and faves) then you should help yourself to it. Remember, though, to seriously consider if that thing is actually going to help you. Good luck out there, fuzzbutts!