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!

Book Recommendation: The 12-Week Year

Hello fuzzbutts!

I wanted to drop another book on you all! I’ll summarize the gist of it and you can decide if it’s worth looking into for more details! I think it’s actually very useful and I’ve been trying to incorporate it into my life.

So it’s the start of the year (or end of another) and you come up with big goals for the year. Tons of things you want to improve or get done. You then live your life and realize it’s late October and you’ve done next to nothing. Suddenly there’s no time to get it all finished and you feel guilty for not taking steps toward your dreams. You push it off for next year and fall into the same trap.

The problem with goals for the year is that you have a whole year to do them. You lose a sense of urgency when it comes to working on them and so it falls to the wayside as you try to keep up with life.  You beat yourself up over it and regret the entire year because of how little you accomplished of the things that truly matter to you.

The idea of the 12-week year is to set your goals for every 3 months. I’ve discussed ideas like this before but this book really boils it down. By setting yourself up for 3 months, you can still set substantial goals for yourself. It’s also short-term enough that it’ll stay in your mind that you need to work on it (Write them on a white board to help!).

I just barely covered the main point of the book and book contains a lot of details and ways to think about this. So go read The 12 Week Year !

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!

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!

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!

Stop Decision Fatigue: Make your Life Simple

Hello, fuzzbutts!

Let’s talk about decision fatigue again. The gist of it is that as the day goes on, we make a bunch of decisions across a wide range of things. Unfortunately, it turns out we only have so much brainpower to dedicate for making these decisions. This makes it tough to decide what to have for dinner or what you actually want to do when you have some time after work/school! The process of decision-making applies from simpler things like what you’re going to wear that day, what breakfast you’ll eat, to more complex stuff like weighing the pros and cons of how to prioritize the tasks you have to get done for the day’s work. (Scientific American)

By the end of the day, when you finally have time to do the things that are important, you’re spent! Big or little, all decision draw from the same pool. So how can we preserve our little reservoir of brainpower?

Give yourself less decisions to make.

What does that mean? It means choosing to give yourself less decisions. How can we do this? Standardizing your life.

“But how?” you’re asking. Don’t worry little fuzzbutt. I have some examples I use in my own life.

I meal prep my lunches for the week. I don’t have to spend any time during the week deciding what I want to eat at work tomorrow because the decision was made and only needed to be made once.

I have a morning routine before work. I get up, use the bathroom, get dressed for work (same pants, grab the shirt furthest on the left on the rack), make the same breakfast, brush my teeth, comb my hair, grab my lunch and go. If I somehow end up with any spare time in the morning, I fool around on my PC to ease into the day.

At work, I go through another routine. I check my email and drink coffee at my desk. If there’s samples to prepare, then I do that first. Then I see if there’s any data to go over. Once that’s done, I go over my to-do list and then goals. This is continuously interrupted by new emails, meetings, and people wanting a face-to-face chat about something or other. Still, the skeleton of my work day is kept intact and it’s automatic.

No. I’m not saying to be a robot.

What I’m saying is that we have to remove unnecessary decisions from our lives and just make things easier on ourselves to keep us sane and productive. We usually can’t avoid decisions at school and work but we can do our best at home which leaves us free to pursue interests with clear heads. I have my morning routine during the week but that usually goes out the window on weekends since there’s no big responsibilities to burn me out.

On top of saving your brain, expect to save time!

Watch yourself this week and see where you tend to get hung up on a decision. Did you spend longer than a minute deciding what to wear? Did you procrastinate deciding what to eat? What aspects of your life can you set on auto-pilot so you don’t waste your brain on trivial things? Feel free to let me know how you’re doing!

Also, the PBB sandwich recipe is just peanut butter spread on multigrain bread with slices of banana in it. Thanks to Halon for introducing me to the concept of having it for breakfast. Wuffles Pro Tip: If you’re really lazy, break the banana in half and lay it onto the bread. Bites will be terribly inconsistent but you get all the nutrients and you can enjoy being lazy.