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!

Single-tasking to Success!

Good morning, fuzzbutts!

Ever wanted to get something done faster? You have a little project or task you want to get done today and yet you get distracted by something. Maybe it’s a different task that is less important but hey you have things to do! Maybe you put on a video while you work or listen to a podcast. Unfortunately, those things you’re doing are just making that original task or goal even harder to reach.

It’s annoying but the best way to accomplish your work for the day is to hammer down and focus on it without any distractions! That video you put on is pulling you away from your work. Those other things you do might be good to get done but you’re not accomplishing your goals! So why is it so difficult to sit distraction-free and get stuff done?

Some of us, including me, seem to be addicted to stimulation. As much as I’m an introvert, I love listening to music, podcasts, or youtube videos and have a hard time enjoying a silent morning when I get out of bed in the morning. However, give me a sketchbook and a youtube video and I’ll take over 30 minutes for something that should have taken me 5.

I know I said in a past post that I will draw while having a movie on my monitor because it keeps my butt in the seat so I get SOMETHING done. However, as time has gone on and movies on Netflix seem to keep getting worse, I’ve found I draw faster and often better when I keep things off. When I turn on youtube, on the other hand, I catch myself in the middle of a line to pause and look up at my screen because I heard or saw the edge of something that distracted me. Turn it all off and I’m able to get way more done in less time and it’s becoming easier.

Like most things involving discipline, willpower, etc, it’s a muscle. You have to gradually train yourself to accomplish these things and push through the need to be distracted so you can get it all done. Start light and for short periods if you can’t handle things being silent for long. Perform focused work and see how quickly you can finish whatever you’re working on.

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Dream BIGGER

Hello fuzzbutts!

Tonight I want to talk about your dreams. Are you living with a mentality where if you just make it through the day, you’ll have survived? If you just manage to pay one of your bills on time, that’ll be a good day? Maybe you’re lonely but you figure if nobody hates you, that’s good enough.

Bad! No! I want to reach through this screen and bat you lightly with a rolled up magazine. Your dreams are too small! Your goals are set too low! You need to think bigger.

Your life is yours. If you want to live the kind of life where anyone hears about you and goes “That’s kinda depressing,” then alright. However, if you’re reading this blog then clearly that’s not the case. I want you to be the champion of your life’s story. So here’s what you need to do.

Look at your goals and ask yourself WHY. Why is this goal important to you? What are you really trying to accomplish with this goal? If the point of your fitness goal is to become healthier, why not go for something bigger like participating in races, becoming the most fit of your friends and family? If your artistic goal is to become an artist, why not try to build a huge following to show your art off to? If you have a goal around finances, why not work toward a dream of financial independence or becoming a world traveler?

Even if you don’t reach your perfect dreams, you’ll be aiming much higher than you are right now and performing much better. Keep planning, increasing your goals, and seeing where you can go. As you notice these little improvements, I hope they give you the boost you need to keep moving and aiming higher. I would love to hear about your dreams and what you want out of life.

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Don’t let good habits fall off!

Hello fuzzbutts!

Ever start doing something smart and you’re able to keep it up for quite a while and then it just kinda… fades away? Like it was automatic for a while and now you just… don’t?

Well, as mentioned before, I moved. One thing I just noticed is that I no longer automate some of my daily tasks. One example would be how I choose my shirt in the morning to go to work. I go to my closet, grab the shirt further to my right, and that’s the shirt. If I don’t like the shirt, I leave it there and I grab the next one. If the next day I still don’t like the shirt, then I toss it into a bin for my rare trips to the Goodwill. I don’t know why but that was something I had stopped doing after arranging my new closet. So, starting tomorrow morning, I’m going to get back to doing that!

A couple of other small things fell by the wayside too which I’m going to re-institute in my life. It’s the small things that add up to significant change. Likewise, it’s the small things that also add up to being a big hindrance to the life we want to live.

So what’s something you used to do that was a positive in your life that has somehow faded back? Grab a piece of paper and search your mind. Maybe you used to go for walks and just stopped because life started getting busy. You were eating better than you used to but then gradually went back to your old ways. Maybe you regularly meditated or prayed and now you’re lucky to remember to do it once a week. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Just start slow again and get back on. It’s like riding a bicycle. You might wobble a bit as you try to build up the habit again but you’ll be back on it in no time and you’ll be working towards those goals.

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

How to read books OR You should just read more books!

Hello fuzzbutts!

Happy to have you here tonight because up next is a topic I hold as something that everyone should be doing more of: Reading!

I don’t have time for books,¬†you think to yourself, probably muttering a swear as you read this article.

I disagree! If you spend time in the car listening to endless commercials on the radio or if you enjoy some downtime listening to something in your headphones, you have time to read a book. The trick is finding audio versions!

I’ve stated before that I love listening to books. I tend to be terrible about sitting down and reading. Even worse, if I hate the book, I sit there hating the book and finding it even more difficult to sit down and get through it. I mean, I can’t possible put it down and get another book. I HAVE to finish this terrible book.

Please keep in mind that bad books don’t have to be finished. You should be enjoying your reading experience. If the book is bad, just cut it off and toss it away. You don’t have to try to power through it. If you can read 3 good books in the time it takes you to read 1 bad book, that’s nothing to feel guilty about! Make sure you’re having fun with what you’re reading. Doing that, you’ll be able to do much more.

So WHY should you read more books? Whatever you’re reading, you can benefit from it. If it’s non-fiction, you’re learning something whether it’s straight facts or, in the case of a biography, what led to that person being a success or failure including their personality. If you’re reading fiction, you’re reading about the various moral choices a character may undergo and the worlds those authors created can stimulate your creativity. You will benefit by opening yourself up to new knowledge and experience.

I hope this helps you understand the How and the Why of you should be reading more books and take the time to pick up something you like!

Good luck Fuzzbutts!

Notifications? More like NOPEifications

Hello fuzzbutts!

If you survived my humor in the title, you probably know where I’m already going right now but it’s still important for you to hear.

Here we go. You settle in, start working on a project that you feel is important. Then there’s a familiar beep from your other brain- your phone. You pick it up, answer the message, then settle back to what you were about to do. Then they respond or ask something else, sending you another chime. You answer again, this time holding onto your phone for their inevitable response. As you’re waiting, you get another buzz and realize your favorite game of candy destruction has finished refilling your lives so you can try again now. So you’re waiting for your friend and start demolishing colorful candies since you know you won’t get any work done before your friend messages you back. An hour later, your friend is done, the lives are spent, and now the motivation is gone.

So how do we avoid these situations and stay on task? First, disable notifications for all your games and apps that are more entertaining than useful. The entire purpose of those notifications is to keep you engaged in the app and coming back to increase your chance of purchasing things. If it was really super fun, you wouldn’t need reminders to hop back into the game.

Next, use the Do Not Disturb feature on your phone to silence any beeps and chimes from those texts. Unless you live in drama, there’s not going to be an emergency every time you’re working on a project and they can wait until you’re done and can check your phone.

Since I don’t get a lot of calls and texts, I leave my notifications on. If it’s something I’m really serious about, I’ll turn on DnD to make sure I’m not interrupted. As far as apps I allow for notifications, I leave on TimeTune since those keep me productive and thinking. If I do ever put a game on my phone, I make sure to shut off the ability to send notifications.

Anyway, I hope you continue to lead a distraction-free life and keep working on your goals! Keep up the good work, fuzzbutts!

Planning to get Unstuck

Hello Fuzzbutts!

One thing that has stuck out to me in some of the conversations with people I’ve met is how many of them seem to fall into a mindset that they are just stuck. They hate where they are but they can’t move from there because one of reason or another (usually it’s a job situation and they can’t move out of it because they need the job for money). Other times, it’s a weird relationship issue where they want to leave but they stay for whatever reason is most difficult for anyone else to understand.

While I can’t help so much on the relationship front, the job situation and the feeling of being stuck is something that can be dealt with. We feel helpless to the moment and the way we’ve led our lives that we’ve made mistakes along the way and don’t see any way out. We’re so busy we don’t think to take a breath and assess the situation. Yet, that’s exactly what we have to do. Take a step back and start reviewing where you are and where you want to be.

Have a lousy job and want to take on a job in a field you’re more interested in? Find what skills you’re lacking and start learning. I don’t get paid by Udemy but I love recommending their online courses. Computer skills, singing, drawing, whatever. You’ll learn more about the subject and learn if it’s something you actually want to do vs whatever you think it is. A computer job might sound lucrative and cozy but are you prepared to stare at hundreds, if not thousands of lines of code trying to fix whatever is broken with a deadline quickly approaching? Dip your toes into the water. If it’s fine, then start gaining the skills you need and make that transition. I know a couple of people who dropped out of college, got entry-level biotech jobs, and are doing great without a degree because they were determined to get their feet in the door and then picked up the skills they needed.

What if you’re stuck because you hate your job and don’t even know what to do? Well your problem is you don’t even know what you want to do. Start writing up a journal! Brainstorm like crazy on a sheet of paper about the possibilities. You don’t have to figure it out in one sitting. Every time you sit down and start popping off ideas, you might not know what you want to do but you’ll learn what you DON’T want to do. When you do figure out what you want to do, start assessing all the aspects of it and then weigh the pros and cons.

Say you want to make fursuits. Do you have the skills to make them to begin with? Can you afford all the materials to just get started? Do you have customer service skills appropriate for dealing with furries? Can you take criticism in case you get a bad review? Can you set up the boundaries necessary so you can do your job without being micromanaged by your customer while also make sure you can hold up your end of the deal? How much should you price your fursuits and accessories to be able to compete with better-known brands? How will you maintain your schedule and social media presence? Can you figure out a tracking system that won’t become a huge mess when you have a dozen orders or a long queue?

How about a non-furry related job? You want to work in electronics? What kind? Sound systems, displays, robotics, etc? Are you making things or repairing them? What companies would be interested in those skills? Are there any do-it-yourself projects you can do at home as examples to show off when you interview? Are there certifications you can acquire that would help you land work?

How about just stuck in your position at your current job? What does it take for a promotion? Is there a different career track at your company that they might even enable you to take? Are there other companies nearby that do the same sort of work but would give you new experience (and probably an increased income? Sometimes they will even if you end up with the same title)? Is it time to update the resume?

None of what I said matters until you can sit down and take the time to think about these things. You don’t need a lot of time. Take 10 minutes in the evenings or even during your break at work (just don’t show anyone at work you’re working on changing careers!). The point is you’re not stuck. You just need to settle your mind, take a breath and a step back, and review everything going on. You can come up with a plan and come up with a direction for your life. You’ll gain a sense of control almost right away as you shift gears and you’ll realize you can handle this.

Good luck fuzzbutts!