Wednesday Tailtip: Rip off the bandage

Hi Fuzzbutts!

Today I wanted to tell you that it’s time to get those things done you needed to finish. Yes some of those things are the worst. Nobody would want to do them, let alone you or me. Those tasks on our list that we haven’t gotten around to are eating up space in our minds and causing us to put off the important stuff we want to do. We guilt ourselves into putting off the good things because we haven’t done the tough things.

Sometimes this can happen with work. There’s something more interesting we want to do, but we know we have some arduous or tedious task that has to get done. I want to run an experiment but I have to finish some paperwork and a report that nobody truly cares about before I can begin. So I do neither for a while. I finally get around to it when pressure begins to settle on it and then get to do the thing I actually wanted. I could have been working on this a whole week ago but put it off.

Same applies to play. We didn’t behave productively so we don’t feel good about playing video games so instead we settle on wasting time with youtube videos which we also don’t feel good about. Why not just do the productive thing which already gives a satisfying feeling after you’re done, and then have your time to play?

So today I’m telling you to prioritize again and force yourself to just do it. No motivation games here. Just pick up the pencil or whatever and just get to work. It doesn’t have to be perfect and, if you focus, you’ll get it done faster. Then you can work on the things that really matter. Good luck Fuzzbutts!

Expand on what works!

Good morning Fuzzbutts!

Sometimes we come up with techniques that we find useful and we keep it on the schedule. We are organized enough to keep it going and then don’t feel great when it’s time to move on. So why don’t we work on it more? We have other things to do, sure, but that doesn’t mean we can’t rework our schedule to do more.

One example for me is waking up early. I love waking up early now. I take the time to draw, study, write, journal, or whatever I want in the morning. Why does it work so well? I’m fresh with energy. Nobody else is awake so nobody is around to distract me. I don’t want to wake anyone up so I keep myself from doing anything noisy. I can always leave early enough to hit the gym before work. After work, I have less energy. After work, everyone is awake and needs my attention for something. So how do I expand my habit?

Sleeping earlier and waking up earlier, again. I sleep at 9 to wake up at 5. Now I can shift to sleep at 8:30 and wake up at 4:30 to gain another 30 minutes. 8:30 still works for sleeping because my family is winding down for the night already.

Other things I’m finding now is I love listening to inspirational videos and speeches on YouTube. Hearing these people speak with passion about how you can accomplish your goals just lights a fire under me. However, in exchange for listening to these, I drop some of the podcasts that I’m on the fence about. Sometimes the episodes on the podcasts are great and sometimes they really miss the mark for me. Yet these videos seem to universally resonate with me. So I need to drop some of these hour-long podcasts to listen to more things to inspire and push me to do greater.

So there’s a couple of ways I work to improve myself and how I live my life. You can find the things that work for you and, if it works, try to work your way into doing more of it! Good luck Fuzzbutts!

Wednesday Tailtip: Talk To More People!

Hello Fuzzbutts!

One thing our fandom can really use is better mannerisms and conversational skills. There’s a reason furry cringe videos are a thing. To be honest, it will be a dark future for the fandom when the next generation is a bunch of well-socialized kids. Oh well! You’re already in the fandom! So what now?

There’s one requirement to being better at socializing and expressing yourself to others. That’s to socialize and express yourself to others. If you’re really having trouble, read a few books on communication like body language and etiquette.  Review cringe videos/texts and see what others did wrong to make sure you don’t do those things. Either way, you have to put anything you learn into action to get better at it.

This means interacting with new people too! If you’re only hanging with your circle of friends and don’t try to meet new people, you won’t encounters the many types of social situations you need to expand your mind and experiences. So try to meet new people, analyze situations, and definitely try to take cues from how they react to things you say. It’s painful to watch somebody keep rambling about something when NOBODY CARES. It’s not interesting. Don’t try to keep explaining it as if details are going to make the rest of it fascinating. Don’t launch into sexual discussions with somebody you don’t know. You’d think this might be common sense but TOO MANY FURRIES DO IT!

Anyway, let’s keep improving the image of the fandom by working on how we express ourselves and how we interact with each other and with others! Good luck, Fuzzbutts!

The ways games keep you unproductive!

Hello fuzzbutts!

Video games are my vice. The one thing I can indulge in just way too much and be surprised when I look at the clock and see how much time has passed. It could be on my phone. It could be on my PC. It doesn’t seem to matter. If it’s a game then I can play it. Except sports. I’m a scientist. Most sports don’t interest me in real life or in the game world (Unless it’s something goofy like Deathbowl).

However, one thing I was never away of as I blew through my childhood  and much of my adulthood were the various psychological trickery that games used to keep me playing like crazy. Right up to the point I wasn’t even having fun with the games I was playing.

Achievements

Oh boy these are the worst. Nothing like a surge of dopamine in your brain every time you get that little popup on your profile that said Achievement Unlocked or Trophy Unlocked. Counting those trophies or gamerscore or the level of your steam profile. It all feels awesome. It’s also all useless. I spent so many hours  grinding for 50 points of gamerscore only to lose the entire profile (120,000+ gamerscore if I remember) because I used false info and deactivated both recovery email addresses and Microsoft won’t let escalate the issue. However, losing all that made me realize how pointless those points are. I wasn’t going to get another Xbox console so it would only work for Windows games that had them (very few of which do in my steam playlist). Then, as I further understood this, I realized many of those achievements were hours or work. Hours or work grinding at something that wasn’t fun for the sole purpose of getting that 100% clearance on the game. Yet games are for fun. If you’re not playing for fun, you’re still wasting your time. If it’s a game you’re really enjoying (Dark Souls), then feel free to keep pushing for achievements but if something requires a grind that’ll take longer than 8 hours, you’re better off playing something else.

Energy Limits and Time to Recover

This one is pretty much exclusively for mobile games. You get a certain amount of “Energy” that takes approximately 5 minutes to 1 hour to recover. You can play the game for 30 minutes tops before your energy is burnt out and you have to wait. Part of this is the money gets generated by forcing impatient fuzzbutts to spend real money for fake energy refills. Another part is to keep you coming back for more and expose you to more ads. You’ll get notifications every time you finish “crafting” something, your energy recovers, or whatever. This low energy threshold keeps you from accomplishing your goal with the game so you have to keep checking in so you can make progress. You can see now how insane of a distraction this becomes. So many times I get locked into a cheesy mobile game that I can be at my PC and its wealth of games only to fool around with bad graphics on an old unreal engine to play on a game that is obviously about profit more than telling a story or creating a fun experience!

These are just a couple of the ways games eat into your productivity. Not saying that you should never play games (Though our lives would probably be greatly improved if we didn’t spend so much time on them) but more than you need to keep self-assessing. Just like your health or anything else, you need to stop yourself and ask “Is this game still fun? Is this achievements actually worth the hours it will take? Is there something else I need to do?” If you do this, coupled with the understanding that game achievements are nonsense to begin with, you’ll find yourself enjoying your play time much more as you explore other options and then increasing your productivity as you put down the controller more often.

Good luck out there fuzzbutts!

Wednesday Tailtip: Assess every bit of your health

Good morning fuzzbutts!

As a quick tip today, look at yourself and the areas of your life that could get better. Not sleeping well, look up ways from articles on how to sleep better. Maybe you’re missing something like you need to keep the curtains closed! Waking up with a sour taste in your mouth? Acid reflux might be doing that and that will also affect your sleep so get it under control.

Get sad at certain moments? Look at your brain and maybe feel out what the triggers are. I noticed I can wake up pretty depressed but it’s usually because my sleep quality that night was so terrible.

There’s lots of small chronic things that seem so small and minor that we just feel that’s normal. It’s probably not, though! So try to catch areas of your health and look up the symptoms to see if anyone else has come across it. It’s up to you to realistically assess whether it’s an issue with mouth-breathing or if you have cancer (You probably don’t have cancer so at least try the other solutions first).

How to get promoted!

Hello fuzzbutts!

We all need to work somehow. Some of us draw, make fursuits, or just have “normal” jobs somewhere. Sometimes we’re doing great but sometimes we feel like we’re spinning our wheels. When we feel like that, we have to work smarter to find a way forward. How do?

To advance in whatever career you are in, you need to develop more skills. If you do fursuit building, you need to make better and unique fursuits. If you draw, you need to improve your speed and poses. If you work somewhere else, you need to develop skills relevant to where you are AND where you’re going to be promoted.

There’s even skills you need that aren’t the core of what you’d think you need. Fursuit building and artistic work requires organizational skills to keep commissions on track. You also need to get better at marketing and your social media presence to attract customers. All the skills in the world won’t help if nobody knows you exist. Learn your weak points in these areas and start working on ways to improve.

If you work at a “regular” job, similar rules apply but you likely don’t have to work on such a wide variety of things. Do you work stocking the shelves? Can you start cleaning or working the registers? What can you do to make yourself more valuable? Not just to your current employer, but to any other places you might like to work at.

I work as a chemist in a biotech. I need to learn way more biology than I ever wanted to so I can better apply myself. I also have to learn about management and operations so I can rise higher.

You won’t get promoted for showing up and metaphorically turning the crank all day, punch your timecard, and go home. You need to work and prove you can handle more responsibility before anyone will consider advancing you forward. It’s not always the case that there’s actually a position for you to move into. In that case, it’s time to advance by finding a new place that gives you more of what you want! It’s not comfortable to switch job but if you become stagnant at the same place for more than a couple years, it’s time to make the most of what you can do!

Good luck out there, Fuzzbutts!

Wednesday Tailtip: De-clutter and get money!

I can’t stress enough how much I feel de-cluttering helps to simplify your life and make it so much easier to focus. Sometimes it’s hard to let go of things. My recent move made it easy but even then, I was tempted to hold onto stuff. The idea of cash in my pocket sounded even better, though, so I went ahead and sold stuff!

Books, games, movies, etc. All of them are actually pretty easy to look up on Amazon. Whatever you’re considering getting rid of, see if you can put it up for sale. The site just makes it easy. Anything that wasn’t worth selling was usually so cheap that it wasn’t even worth holding onto! Why let your copy of Zootopia take up space when it’ll only cost you 5 bucks (after shipping) to get it back in the future?

So sell what you can and dump anything else that isn’t worth its weight in salt!