Sometimes there’s no plan. Sometimes you don’t need one.

Hello fuzzbutts!

I hope you’ve all been doing well in these crazy times. I had a little bit of a scare almost a couple of weeks ago which turned out to be food poisoning and a few days off from work. Considering how many of those symptoms match the virus, work asked me to stay home until I could get over it and get a test. However, your productive wuff is doing fine now and has been busy.

The time off came off at a crazy time. I was in the process of shifting into a new position at work, taking over a new space to arrange and help get another building set up. So when I returned to work, there was a lot to do and quite a bit to get caught up on. As much as I love my checklists and planning, I had plenty of tasks in front of me, my coworkers were swamped with their own responsibilities, and I was told “Do whatever you can.”

So what did I do? Anything I could! I looked through the supplies, wrote down a quick list of things I could get, and raided the old building for anything I could find to bring over. There wasn’t even enough time to count or calculate how much stuff I needed. I just went in, grabbed handfuls of whatever, loaded messes of boxes, carted things back and forth to get it done. More people came at me asking if we had this or that. We didn’t, of course. Did I make a huge list and plan to make the most efficient trip like a disciplined wuff? Nope! Time was more important for each case so I’d go over, grab what was needed, and rush back.

As chaotic as it was, it was still a blast. I love organizing spaces and supporting others so the new position feels good. I came in without a plan and there just wasn’t time to get a plan in place. When you have a big task in front of you and no time to plan it out, all you can do is pick out some piece and get it done as quick as you can. Then continue to take it bit by bit until it’s done. As the dust settles, other things will make themselves apparent and you’ll hopefully have more time to plan those out.

Just don’t lock yourself into feeling like you ALWAYS have to plan everything. You’ll end up paralyzing yourself when sometimes you just need to get to work. With enough experience, you’ll be able to make a quick decision about whether it’s a “planning” or a “doing” task and I hope you can start getting things done!

Good luck fuzzbutts!

Time to Think

Hello fuzzbutts!

With everything going on and the urge to stay productive, it’s sometimes difficult to slow down and come up with another plan. Currently, there’s two things. One, what to write for this blog. Second, how to decorate my home since I feel like it’s not quite comfy enough.

The underlying problem when it comes to this stuff is that it takes focused thinking. It’s easy to consider something and be like “Oh yeah I should spiff up the living room,” or “I need to come up with topics to post about,” and nothing happens. Not really something to set up with a SMART goal but it takes effort. So what now?

It’s surprising how much we think about something we¬†should do which is something that may not be as important as your other priorities. If it sticks in your brain, though, you need to focus and take care of it. I can’t decorate my condo if I’m not actually stopping and planning how I want it to look! I can’t keep up the blog if I don’t sit down and actually come up with specific topics for the blog!

So be sure to check in with yourself or the things you have going on. Carve out the time, sit down, grab a pad and paper or whatever you need to figure things out. You’re not going to get it done while working on other things or just lightly musing about it on the drive to and from work. So get focused and think hard about your subject!

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

‘Tis the Season!

Another year has come and gone and here we are again. Some of our goals have been met (most of yours got done, I hope!) and some have fallen by the wayside. Some of us started with an initial vision of what we wanted and it changed. Some of us stayed the course and enjoyed the ride. A third group stayed the course and isn’t actually happy with the way the year went.

So, to quote Scott Smith of The Daily Boost podcast, “Have you done your homework?” which is to say, have you sat down and reviewed how you did? What things did you like this year? What things worked and what didn’t? Do you like the course you’re on or do you think you need to make a change? The Daily Boost asks you that question once per week. If you decide to put up a reminder on your wall and settle down once a week to review how you’re doing, that’s super effective for building the life you’re after. On the other hand, if you can just do it a few times a year, that’s also great. Many people go through their whole lives lately just existing without looking at how their lives are really going or thinking about what they want.

I don’t think New Years Resolutions (NYRs)are a great move. They tend to be “I’m going to lose some weight this year! I’m going to exercise more!” without any real plan or serious reason why. “Be healthier” sounds good. But why do you want to be healthier? To have more energy? For what? Maybe it’s to start learning to dance or just because you like the idea of becoming fit and strong? Either way, break it down to WHY you’re setting that goal. Then follow the SMART principles to set a real goal vs the usual NYRs.

There’s a reason only 8% of people actually manage to follow through on resolutions. It’s because they’re made on a whim and without a plan. You can choose to have to have a plan or you can choose to have a bad plan (NO plan is the same as a bad plan). At least if you try to make a plan and it turns out to be bad, you can try to assess and figure out what you DON’T want. The trick is to keep checking in with your life and see if it’s what you want. Hopefully you’re taking the time to figure out what you’re after and start moving toward it.

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Just Doing What You Can

Hi Fuzzbutts.

After over a couple of weeks of 10-hour days, I was starting to fade pretty bad at work. It’s hard to feel competent when you’re drowning in work and have to keep reaching out for assistance from coworkers. Granted, I recently did an interview with one of the managers and it put things into perspective. Mostly, I got absolutely slammed with an unreasonable amount of work. I know I’m not the only one to experience this kind of thing. Plenty of you go through it where it becomes easy to get overwhelmed. So what should you try to do when things get too hectic?

Well first of all, DON’T close yourself off from others. Sometimes people get so busy so they start to avoid any interaction with coworkers to try to focus on the job and get it done. Your coworkers might be available to actually help lighten your load. Also, when you do it all alone, you may start to resent anyone around you who isn’t helping or isn’t even aware of how insanely busy you are. Keep the lines of communication open and you might be able to get some help.

Next, just do what you can. If you look inside your bedroom and see a huge mess, how do you clean it? You just grab something and put it away. Same applies to tasks at work. Have a hundred things to work on? Figure out which is the most important and what you can get finished quickly (sometimes they’re the same thing) and then just get it over with. A mistake will usually end up costing you more time trying to fix it than if you get it right the first time. So try to single-task when possible and if you can’t decide what needs doing, ask whoever is in charge or just flip a coin on it depending on the situation.

Eventually you will catch up with everything. I’m still in the middle of it but I know there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Just keep a cool head, watch how you interact with people, and do your best.

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Book Club: Dollars and Sense

Hello fuzzbutts!

I enjoy listening to so many books and I just finished one that was great and I wanted to recommend to you.

So this one is called Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter. It discusses the various ways we think about money and how absurd we can be when faced with situations.

One example is how people will watch a locksmith for twenty minutes struggle to unlock their door, breaking tools along the way, and then happily pay 80 dollars plus whatever fee to replace the tools. On the other hand, if that locksmith were able to deftly open the door in less than a minute, 80 dollars suddenly sounds like a rip-off. “You’re absurd. It took you two seconds to open that door and you want 80 dollars?”

It also goes into things like how the owner of an item values it for more than a buyer would (I know people who do this routinely and sometimes I do it too). The way language can focus our brains and steer us into a certain direction. Would you like a 20% fat burger or an 80% beef burger? How about the way the convenience and instant expectations we’ve developed as a society has affected our spending habits? Sunk cost fallacies.

The book does use pretty fascinating research and the humorous tone was delightful to listen to. It does give practical advice for a lot of the information it gives and, for some of it, just becoming aware of my own thinking will be useful in the future. Given the state of furries and finances, I think this book would be a great read to help the fandom.

Enjoy, fuzzbutts!

Wednesday Tailtip: Nightly round-up

Hello fuzzbutts!

Today’s tip is to remind you to do something you probably do anyway, even if you don’t realize it.

As you lay your head down to sleep, I want you to review your day. You probably do this, thinking about the things that bothered you, the things you didn’t get done today. Sometimes there’s so many things you didn’t do that you suddenly feel “motivated” or have a creative breakthrough where there’s some idea you wish you could get down on paper before your pass out but you’re just too physically tired now. Sometimes this leads to a loss of sleep because you feel so poorly about yourself as you feel physically tired but suddenly you’re mentally awake.

So, rather than do it like this, why not take control of this process that comes so naturally already? Approach it with a plan!

The plan is simple: Think about the things you wanted to do today, which things actually got done, and what things you want to do tomorrow. It’s really that simple. Rather than letting things run rampant in your mind and making yourself feel bad, you can focus on the specific things and come up with an ordered list of things you wanted to do. By then focusing on the stuff you got done, you can start to feel like you had a productive day and avoid feelings of uselessness. Then, by laying out the tasks you want to get done tomorrow, you have a plan. Plans help us calm down when it seems like there’s so many daunting things to do and stop beating yourself up. Now we can sleep better so long as we stick to the plan and keep checking things off the list and making progress!

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Good enough just isn’t, sorry!

Good morning fuzzbutts!

Sorry for the delay this week. Have you ever acid-washed a pool? I have.

Earlier this week I got into a discussion with somebody who wanted to announce to everyone, including you, that you are good enough and don’t have to worry about changing. For those of you who read my blog, you know I consider that heresy for anyone looking to do more and better in their lives.

“Good enough” in my opinion, is a level of dissatisfaction that somebody considers less painful/more comfortable than sticking to your goal. It’s trying to go from 240lbs to 170lbs but stopping at 200 because you really want that burger and you hate going to the gym. 200 lbs is “good enough.” It’s trying to draw artwork at a level like Strype and then stopping at the sketch phase because shading is hard or you don’t want to learn to color or refine your raw sketch. Your raw sketch is “good enough.” It’s settling for a job because a promotion or your dream job requires you to go to school or get some extra training. Because of the extra unpaid work involved in advancing your career, your current job is “good enough.”

Everyone wants to consider themselves extraordinary in some way. I mean look at your fursona! You love being unique! So become extraordinary! Good enough is just settling for less. Don’t become “good enough.”

I’m not saying to be dissatisfied with your life all the time. Celebrate the advancements and small victories you achieve. Just don’t settle at a level that isn’t your actual goal. Keep working hard and push yourself to levels that you only dream about.

Good luck, Fuzzbutts!

Being a Responsible Wuff

Hello fuzzbutts!

I know the title says a responsible wuff but this applies to any species who wants to be responsible. Be a responsible mew, a responsible water fox, a responsible moo, whatever. Today’s lesson on productivity is about being in control of yourself and doing the right things. Even when all your furends are at Comic-Con International right now when you could’ve been there.

I was actually offered to borrow a ticket for today too! However, I turned it down because I already committed myself to other responsibilities and I am determined to get things done. There’s always a time for play and while Comic-Con is but once per year, I have enough going on that I just don’t feel the need to put off everything I want to do today to run around a convention floor and buy more art to put up on my crowded walls or hear about the latest exclusives.

Sometimes life is that like. You have an opportunity for fun but you’re committed. You have to be in order to reduce the distractions and get things done. Maybe if things weren’t going as well as they are for my personal goals, I’d be parading around with other fuzzbutts at the convention. That’s ok, though. When you’re working toward your goals, you’ll be tempted to suddenly push away plans. I wanted to go, sure. However, this weekend I already planned to replace a window, sell my car, and do a hundred other smaller things! I weighed the pros and cons of going to have fun and decided my future and the things I want to accomplish just can’t wait. I hope you have an attitude like that. We’ll never be perfect and fun is important to have, but keep your future in mind.

Good luck out there, fuzzbutts!

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!

Plan for “Other Stuff”

Hello fuzzbutts!

Previously, I mentioned avoiding distractions when it comes to focusing on your work and goals. There’s always something that might ping your phone or you remember something else to work on.

However, there’s things that are unavoidable. Things like a family emergency. A coworker calls with a serious issue that must be resolved. Your wife or child causes a small grease fire in the kitchen. These aren’t avoidable. These don’t go away by silencing your phone. You HAVE to deal with it.

While not everything has to be critical to be unavoidable, there’s going to be something that drags you away from drawing or fursuit building. So what are you supposed to do to be productive? You don’t want to have your entire schedule and plan thrown for a loop because things happen!

Give yourself a little more time in the planning phase.

Yes. Just accept that you need to add more time to your schedule. John C. Maxwell, a powerhouse of leadership, admits in his own books that he determines exactly how much time a project should take for him to complete. He then doubles the time needed. There’s so many things that pop up and things that take more effort than expected that even this guru knows he underestimates it. We all tend to do that. We understand what the tasks require but we have no idea what the unexpected stuff will take for us.

It’s a fairly short post this week but it’s a critical aspect of goal-planning and timing. So whenever you approach your goals or even a task for the day (see Daily Tickets post previously), please make sure to understand that your day will rarely go perfectly smooth and you can be more forgiving to your schedule.

Good luck out there, fuzzbutts!