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!

Change of Plans!

Hello fuzzbutts!

So my last post, nearly 2 weeks ago now, was about making the changes you need. I described my job situation as my example and all the stuff going through my brain. Well! Change of plans again! I got the new job, showed up, and knew instantly in the first 5 hours that this wasn’t going to work. I finally got the tour of the location I was supposed to work at. It was way worse than the place I had originally toured. I, unfortunately, thought the labs were consistent. Not so much! Even before the end of the first day, I knew this wasn’t going to be acceptable for my ambition. Stability is one thing. This place was soul-crushing. Most of the people I met at that place were already in the process of quitting because of how bad it was. I already left my last job and now I had to leave this brand new job. Disappointment all around!

So maybe it’s a cautionary tale about change, you’re thinking. “Don’t make change! You’ll end up jobless!” No. Still not what I’m saying. One thing I will say I would not have made the change if I had just asked for/put pressure on them to let me tour the lab I was going to actually work at. Lesson learned for me before accepting work ANYWHERE.

Granted, this situation is not ideal. I’d prefer to be working right now. I’m not entirely sure where I’ll find other work in a place that I won’t find soul-killing. However, I will take solace in the fact I have money saved, a good living situation, and freedom to explore more options with more time, catching up on some things I fell behind on (like this blog).

So, given this situation, I decided to explore my options. I didn’t burn my bridges (see earlier post about that) with the old company so I might be able to just ask for my job back. However, maybe this was the boost I needed to explore even more places. It’s hard to decide. So I went seeking advice.

My old mentor suggested it would be ok to ask for the old job back if I was clear about what happened with the new job. Recent former boss said the situation was already pretty precarious for the group even before I left so, assuming they take me back, I’d be in a bad spot since they might not even want people of my level. Maybe. I know the things they were working on and that I would be pretty important to get those going. Still, the trust is broken.

Speaking with other friends, I feel like there’s ways to proceed. I’m reaching out to other contacts to see if they have anything going on at their locations. I know how slowly the old job hires so I don’t expect to be replaced and I feel like I left on a high note so, unless they were moving in a different direction already, I don’t expect to get turned down if I wait a little while to try my other options. Ideally, I want something new and research based. Research is never 100% stable but I think I would prefer some instability over the depressing routine that I almost volunteered for.

So what about you? Well, even if things suddenly fall apart for you, my point is to gather up as much information as possible and start weighing options again. I felt like I was having a panic attack at the new job. Usually I’m good about keeping cool but this blew me out of the furry waters. However, a good night’s sleep later, I feel much better about this uncertain situation and started gathering the data I need to make an informed decision. While I’m not happy about dumping the old job to just become temporarily unemployed, I feel like I can still make a move in the positive direction. I hope it works out and I hope you get something out of my blog.

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Wednesday Tailtip: Instant pot

Hello Fuzzbutts!

As a follow-up to a previous tailtip about meal prep, I wanted to give a quick tip on my favorite way to meal prep: I bought an instant pot.

My multi-function 8-in-1 cooker has all kinds of functions. I can make rice, yogurt, slow cook foods, and program how I want it cooked. I love it because I can throw stuff into it in the morning, set the timer, and it’s kept warm after the programmed time and I have everything ready when I’m home! I also use it on Sundays where I throw enough food into it to prepare all my lunches for the week.

Mine was around ~$80 so it wasn’t a huge investment but it has made my life much easier. Hopefully you’ll also learn how to eat healthier as you search up tons of recipes online. Good luck!

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!