Being Responsible by Avoiding Responsibilities!

Hello fuzzbutts!

How’s your plate looking lately? Got enough things to do? You sure? Are you able to handle all of it? Maybe there’s one or two things too many and they’re slipping off the plate. It’s fallen off the plate like a tasty meatball that rolled off the spaghetti and now is sitting on the floor, making you feel bad as you consider whether or not to pick it up again.

Let’s face it. We can get over our heads. We have some time, volunteer for something, and then it becomes a bigger project than we planned on. We see some fun thing we want to try (me and my 3d printing) and takes that on. Before we are even finished with that, we pick something else we like! Finally, our homes fill up with unfinished projects that each nag at us whenever we’re home, sometimes things for other people with a deadline approaching! We meant well but there’s just too much going on now!

Well there’s only a few things you can try to fix the situation. One of which is hammering down and focusing on your work so you can fulfill some of those responsibilities and catch up with everything else. However, that doesn’t do any good if you end up volunteering for something else so soon. There will always be something.

Everyone wants to feel wanted or appreciated. People come to you as the fixer and you’re always available to lend a hand. You love to feel useful and help out. Even worse, if you say No to them, you’ll be letting them down and they’ll be miserable!

It’s irresponsible to take on too much responsibility. There. I told you. You want to help but you can’t. You have way too many things on your plate already. Taking on this new thing is going to just make things worse which leads to you wanting to be helpful or make up for the issue. Just stop. You have enough to worry about.

So what do we do? Well if you find yourself with too many responsibilities, you need to stop yourself and check your list of tasks. Prioritize them as needed. If it’s not in your top three things to get done, consider dumping it entirely. Do you REALLY need to do that thing? Just wipe it off the list and then come back to it later if it’s still bugging you. Sometimes I still think about 3D printing stuff. However, in the grand list of stuff I’d like to do or am doing, that ranks too far down for it to warrant serious consideration.

Next up, get used to saying No to new responsibilities. You might have a little free time but that doesn’t mean you can dedicate yourself to a whole new project. If it was something that was going to go smoothly, they wouldn’t have asked for your help to begin with! Let others handle their responsibilities and you handle your own. If you do finally reach the point where you don’t have anything to do, congratulations! You’re the only person in the world to be in that situation! Then go ahead and offer to help out.

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Anxiety Overwhelming? How I dealt with a recent bad patch.

Good morning, fuzzbutts!

Been a busy couple of weeks for me. The job has been working me hard. I’m trying to close a deal on a home. I’ve been talking to various parties on how to get this home purchase done. I’m trying to find the time to draw. I’m working around my folks’ home to improve the place as much as possible before I move (landscaping mostly). I’ve been sleeping really lousy and I noticed I’m starting to get a little shaky in my hands sometimes. When I flop into bed at night, my heart starts to pound and, in spite of how tired I feel, I can’t fall asleep for a long while. When I do sleep lately, I wake up 2-3 times in the middle of the night. Gee whiz! How could anyone not feel so stressed?

The first thing I had to do was realized I was stressed. Not just temporary quick stress but prolonged, untreated stress. Even though I knew I was tired and not sleeping well, it was tough to recognize I was stressed. Once I knew I was really stressed out, I had to figure out why I was stressing. I tallied up the reasons why I was stressed and then needed a way to deal with it. Just diagnosing all of this took a lot of processing.

So what did I do? Normally, sleeping better would be the first step. In spite of trying to sleep better, I wasn’t able to stop waking up in the middle of the night. It was worsening a difficult situation but it wasn’t the cause of my stress. Normally I get stressed due to a lack of sleep but this was me lacking sleep due to stress. I had other things to focus on if I wanted to improve my sleep.

One, I had to stop trying to rush the process on the home buying. Yes, a labor day weekend to move all my stuff and settle in would be nice. No, I can’t actually rush through the paperwork and get all parties to sign it immediately. No it’s not so bad to only have a two-day weekend to move my stuff. Yes I am excited to move into my own home. No, I don’t have to keep talking about moving to everyone or asking for random advice.

Two, just because I was moving didn’t mean I had to rush fixing up the folks’ home. I wasn’t moving super far and would still have weekends to help out if my parents need it. It’s physically demanding enough without me forcing it to happen with everything else going on.

Finding time to draw turned out to be one of the easier things to resolve. During lunch at work, I eat my meal and head to my car. I brave the heat to sit in my car and draw for a while. I don’t care to have coworkers see my furry art and I’d rather keep my time after work to hit the gym. Still, I find this time of the day to give me the least amount of mental resistance and I sometimes surprise myself with a quality piece I enjoyed making.

As far as work, I decided to pace myself better. I have some control of my time and I had been rushing to get as much done in as short a time as possible. If I schedule appropriately, I can get everything done without running around like a wuff with his head cut off. Also, while scheduling my own work, I volunteered any free time between tasks to helping others get their own work done. One of the most satisfying evenings was helping somebody who had to work extra late and save them a few hours of time. Getting out of my head and dedicating a few hours to helping somebody was so helpful.

Last night was the first night in a while I slept well. It’s not like the stress magically went away. It’s still there. I’m still dealing with it but it’s manageable again. Much of the rest will go away with time and once I get through the situation with moving and home purchasing. I also enjoy the thought that my commute will drop by more than half and I’ll have way more free time overall. Things are looking up, even if I got pretty down recently.

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!

Wednesday Tailtip: Your “why” can change!

Good morning fuzzbutts!

Sometimes you have a good reason for setting a goal. You pick something you want to work on and you know exactly what the goal of it is and why you want to do it. You get that motivation for a while and you keep at it. Yet your discipline and motivation fails at some point and you stop working on it as much as you did. Eventually, you stop working on it entirely. You know why you should do it. The why is still there. However, it’s not enough to keep you going! What a predicament, furry friends!

I went through this recently. I’ve had piles of fur and sewing materials for a long time now. YEARS! I bought the fur to make tails or to make paws and fursuit stuff and then poof. Poof. Making paws was too hard. Making tails didn’t pay enough. Still, despite one of my earlier posts to declutter and get rid of stuff, I couldn’t bring myself to toss out hundreds of dollars in fur. There’s still value in making tails, even if it won’t replace my job. So the fur sat, me without enough motivation to finish using up the fur and selling it. I know my why was “make money” but that’s not good enough. So what changed?

I moved into a much smaller room from my apartment. 900 sqft of stuff crammed into less than 250. That wasn’t quite enough to get rid of the fur so it sat in the corner by my window. However, it’s August and there’s a heatwave now and no AC where I live. It’s affecting my sleep because it’s so warm at night. So what do I want now? A standing, portable AC unit to hook into the window and cool down my room. What do I need for it? I have the money already. What I don’t have is space in front my window. I can’t shove the fur into another spot because there’s no space. If I want that AC unit and to cool down and feel better overall, I need to start burning through that fur or get rid of it.

I can’t say that’s the only reason I’m able to work on this. I had found already that I can draw in the mornings. I’m lazy after work and it’s hard to work on my goals. So now my goal is to work on the fur in the mornings. It’s easy. I can dedicate a whole two hours before the gym and before work to just sew tails. In two days I was able to hand-sew a tail and a half when it didn’t feel like work at all. The “making money” will be a side effect of me selling these tails after they are finished.

Is “I want an AC unit in my room” some grand nebulous goal to motivate you? Maybe not you but it’s working for me! Your why doesn’t matter as long as it gets your tail moving toward your goal and getting things done. After that, what else is there for me to do? Once the fur is gone, maybe it’ll go back to purely drawing or maybe I have another short-term goal to work on. We’ll have to see! In the meantime, understand why you want to do something and don’t be afraid of changing your “why” as long as it gets you going.

Good luck fuzzbutts!

Wednesday Tailtip: Motivational Videos?!

Hello fuzzbutts!

I hope this blog has been helping you and others to avoid living in mediocrity and, instead, has been helping you grow and focus on your life’s path. This week’s tailtip is to check out youtube. There’s all kinds of tutorials and things to learn, but sometimes it helps just to get inspired in general. Motivation is a bad girlfriend or boyfriend but think of these videos as one of the few things you can do to get that significant other to show up for a little while.

So here’s the tip: Go on YouTube, search for “Motivational video” and you’ll come up with channels and channels of videos and collections of motivational speeches and successful people giving insight and thoughts that you can use to push yourself more. The more you listen to these, the greater the chance you’ll hear something that resonates with you and gets you motivated to get stuff done!

Love you all and 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!

Wednesday Tailtip: Find the right Tutorials

Hello fuzzbutts!

So today, I wanted to address the whole “I need to learn X before I begin! Must research all things!”

I believe it is important to do your research to some extent. The problem is we get locked into it because we never feel ready to start. So we keep looking for all kinds of information.

For drawing, I started with How to Draw Manga books. I then followed up with looking up video tutorials and then drawing websites like Proko. Eventually, I found one set of tutorials that actually resonated with me: Mikeymegamega. He draws the art I want to do (anime female body types) and he does a great job of explaining everything. Not to mention he also reviews drawing tablets for the PC. This is where my search for learning to draw has stopped. Now I just draw and use the tutorials as a reference.

Whatever your goal may be, you’ll find almost countless resources online to guide you along. However, my point is to make sure that, as soon as you find something you resonate with, you stop the search and get to work! All the research in the world won’t matter if you’re not putting it to work!

The Daily Tickets!

Hello Fuzzbutts!

Today I wanted to give a technique I used to start developing some of the positive habits I have now. It works by giving you a series of small wins every day which keep you motivated and on your way!

I made a bunch of tickets for myself. I leave space for the date and 3 more spaces for 3 tasks. These 3 tasks are things I want to get done THAT DAY.

Three whole tasks?

Yes. However, these tasks could be anything that moves me toward my ideal self. If I feel like my kitchen is becoming a mess, I put “Clean Kitchen” as one of my goals. It doesn’t have to sparkle when I’m done, just to have things put away or cleaned out of the sink!

I have a bunch of physical copies of books I know I want to offload. So I put down “Read 30 pages” which is a reasonable amount of reading. It’s not trying to destroy the book in one sitting but it’s inching along toward finishing the books!

These tasks are meant to be reasonable for 1 day of work. Sometimes you can put in one pretty big thing with a couple of small tasks.

So now…

Start every morning by filling out a ticket with all three tasks you want to complete for that day. Don’t bother pre-filling them out for the week or anything. Just think about that one day and fill it out. Then, as you complete the tasks, write a check mark. It gives a pleasant little satisfaction. When you check off all three tasks, write something encouraging on it like “Victory!” or “I did it!” Save the tickets and watch the pile of them grow!

Eventually, some of those repetitive tasks will become habits and you’ll do them automatically!

Hope this helps so whip up some tickets and fill them out and get productive!

Fitness and Your Fursona

Hello Fuzzbutts!

This time around, I’m going to touch on a sore spot for many furries. As I write this, I feel some tension rising up. Anyway, there’s been a pretty negative stereotype surrounding furries (among many) and that is our fitness. Fine, we’re not alone among fandoms that have a reputation for being husky. I’m still talking about physical size, not the perfect fursona (ahem!).

“Hey Wuffles! It’s shallow to talk about physical appearance!” somebody yells from the audience in the dark. I agree that physical looks aren’t everything when it comes to many aspects of life. However, in a fandom where most tend to represent themselves as supermodel fuzzbutt versions of themselves, it’s still worth bringing up.

I want you to be healthy.

I’m emphasizing that. Also, being more healthy leads to more productivity! There’s all kinds of benefits to being healthy: more overall energy, better sleep, reduced stress, blah blah. You can see how those effects would also help you pursue your goals and make you more productive. You know these things. You’ve been hit over the head with it in the media and from others. For whatever reason, most furries don’t do a great job taking care of themselves for the sake of personal health and the listed benefits. So I want to propose a new idea.

Become your fursona.

“Uhh… my fursona is an anthropomorphic purple cat.” you say, considering what my angle is. Well of course you’re not going to become a cat. However, what is your fursona’s body type compared to yours? Is your fursona  svelte, athletic, maybe even a body builder while your own body is doughy or borderline obese? Treat your fursona as the ideal you can become rather than as an escape from daily life. You made your fursona the way you did because there was something in them you wanted to be, starting from personality and right down to their physical traits (maybe vice versa). You may not be able to become your fursona exactly, but you can bring yourself closer. Plan a goal around becoming your fursona.

Start light.

Changing your mindset about your fursona will help you begin a new journey. You may want to rush out the door and go full beast mode at the gym or on a trail. If you haven’t been working out, start slow. I’ve used a machine that worked my inner thighs (think thigh master-style) and it felt fine and I crushed it. For the next few days, I walked funny and was dreadfully sore. Don’t do that. Start easy on yourself, get an understanding of your body, and then build yourself up. You’ll feel better, you’ll have more energy, and you’ll be working toward your goals of becoming the best YOU that you can be.

Get a friend who will support you or maybe even join you on your workouts. I wasn’t too serious about working out until I started going with a friend. This may be another friend test too. Beware of those “friends” who might try to talk you out of improving your health and overall life. I’ve never met anyone who told their true friends that getting healthier was unnecessary. Don’t let anyone hold you back from making yourself a better fuzzbutt.

I hope this was inspiring and helpful to you. I truly wish for the best in your daily lives. Good luck out there, Fuzzbutts!