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!

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!

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!