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!

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!

Is your environment productive?

Another beautiful Saturday to you, fuzzbutts! I hope you’re taking advantage of the weekend to do everything you want and feel good about it!

So you’re feeling good and ready to start doing stuff! But is your environment ready for you to do those things?

There’s articles out there that say all kinds of things about having the best work environment. Music is bad unless music is good. Cut yourself off from the world so there’s no distractions so put your phone outside the room when you’re working. Keep minimal decorations so you don’t get distracted but keep lots of decorations to stimulate your creativity. What’s the bottom line? Factors that affect your productivity are very personal to YOU. There’s all kinds of advice out there but I’ll start with a few basics.

Keep you work area tidy

Yes we all know that keeping everything clean is a pain. However, it’s hard to lay out all the things you want to do when your workspace is covered in junk. Sometimes, when faced with something daunting, it can put us off from wanting to do it. You want to draw but cleaning off your desk looks like a monumental task so you’ll draw later, once you’ve had time to clean up. The less obstacles we put in our own way, the more productive we can be. So clean off those areas (use your tail as a brush if you have to) and keep them that way!

Music or no music

This question is a little trickier. Some advocate silence and while others say some music is good to keep you in the mood. You’re the one who knows best but feel free to experiment. If you always listen to music, try some silence while you work and see if it helps. One things I’ve found helpful with music is that it shouldn’t have lyrics or tell a story because it can get distracting.

Realize what’s distracting you

Maybe you know what it is or maybe you don’t. Is a significant other in the same room doing something totally different that keeps catching your attention? Do you have a TV and find yourself staring at it? Find the things that seem to prevent you from working and then do your best to reduce those issues. Remove things that get in your way.

Find what helps

Sometimes we do need certain things around to keep us in the workspace. My own mind goes a mile a minute in silence about anything BUT the task I set myself to do. Music is helpful but it’s hard to keep me in my seat for long periods. Are friends helpful or do they distract you?

One thing that helps me the most is having friends around all working on the same thing. I had art friends where we could sit for hours together, even in coffee shops, and we’d just draw the entire time with a little chit chat. I’ve sat around with friends making fursuits, cutting up and sewing fur. As friends moved away, it became more difficult to just sit down and do something.  So I try to make friends with more artists and set up art jams when possible.

To keep my own fuzzbutt in my seat when I’m alone, I have my own environment to help. I open a reference image on my computer screen at my desk and then open a movie to the side of it. Then I push my keyboard away and put my sketchbook on my desk and start drawing. “WHAT?! That’s not productive!” you howl at me, voice dripping with the sense of betrayal. Fair enough.

Does the distraction of a movie slow me down in my pursuit? I agree it does. However, I’ve also experimented with a lot of things. I’ve tried to draw in my bed before I go to sleep only to find I never reached the bed until I was tired and then too tired to draw. I’ve tried sitting away from my desk and drawing on my recliner couch only to keep making trips to the computer for images or to fix the music. I’ve tried only sitting at my computer with the reference up only to get distracted by messengers and other things. Having a movie on keeps me from going to other social media and I keep drawing. Even if I only do 30 minutes worth of work in an hour, it’s still 30 minutes I wouldn’t have accomplished otherwise. Someday I do think I’ll be more comfortable with drawing to not have any distractions.

Only you know what really works for you and what works best

So try to honestly judge what you need to do to keep working. Being a little productive is better than not being productive at all. Out of all the advice out there, the only universal one in my opinion is to keep things tidy in your work area. It really helps. Anyway, try some new things and see how you react! Good luck, fuzzbutts!