Intermittent Fasting to Productivity

Hello fuzzbutts!

Hope you’re doing well! I had an extremely busy and difficult week. Next month doesn’t look like it’ll be any better. When this happens, it becomes easy to want to retreat. You do your work, have a hard time, and go home to put on your potato fursuit and binge some Netflix. Who wants to be productive when you’ve been running ragged? You can push yourself to be productive for a bit but it’s easy to burn out too. So how do you maintain productivity and avoid the burn-out blues?

You’ve heard of intermittent fasting, right? There’s different ways but it’s essentially changing your diet so you’re fasting at some point. It may involve skipping a meal every day. Sometimes you eat normal one day and then you do a 24-hour fast. There’s several methods. I’ll leave the rest of the research up to you as far as any health benefits (it’s interesting). What does this have to do with productivity? Maybe you’ve already guessed.

If there’s something specific you do that isn’t productive, it’s good to take a break from it. Likewise, if you’re so productive you’re leaving a fiery trail behind you, it’s ok to slow yourself down and take a break. Maybe you need a compromise on both.

For me, it tends to be video games. I come home, pop on a chat with friends, and play some games either to stream to them or to play with them. Then I lay my head down and don’t feel so great about how I spent my time. Sometimes I come home, spend a bunch of time working on something and when it’s time for bed, I still feel wound up like I can’t relax. When I catch myself feeling these ways, it’s time to figure out what to do. If I find I’m spending too much time playing, I’ll stop myself from gaming. That doesn’t mean I force myself to work on goals. If I stop gaming, maybe I’ll write a blog post or clean my kitchen or handle some other business that’s been in my brain. Likewise, if my brain is running on empty, I’ll hold off drawing or an online course. Either way, the important thing is moderation and keeping some control over your behavior and brain.

Is there something you do that you spend way too much time on and avoid your goals? Try just saying “tomorrow I won’t touch X” and avoid doing that thing. Finding yourself burning out? Before you do, say “tomorrow I won’t do Y” and give yourself a break. Take a little of the routine out of your life and try doing something new or at least avoid the usual things. If you always binge some Netflix when you take a break, do something else like read something fun or just chill out with friends.

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Dealing with the Post-Convention Depression

Hi fuzzbutts!

You’ve had your fun at the convention. Met friends you haven’t seen in ages and made new friends! You had a care-free fun time the entire convention and then you’re on the plane or in the car to head back to real life. The high of the con starts dipping down and you get home again with a desperate need to do laundry and put everything away. However, by now your mood has dropped into the deafening void and the various chores to accomplish look impossible and you lost pretty much all your motivation.

I know I went through this. I was willing to let my fursuit air out after a long weekend of use and just took way too long to get around to actually washing it. Dirty laundry sat in the washing machine way too long and I just flopped on the bed or at my computer and found it tough to get anything done. So I did a bit of inner exploration, realized I was depressed after the convention, and then decided to figure out how I can address this since I know it affects many convention goers.

One of the first things I realized was a sense of loneliness since most my friends had moved away. While I usually enjoy alone time, even I experience the lows that come with missing friends. So the first thing I did was start reaching out to those friends. I made new friends at the convention too and we shared our contact info and social media and I started talking to them too. They were all pretty darn chatty too so it was very helpful to keep in contact with them to combat the PCD.

Another thing I realized is my mood was down because I was just exhausted. At the con, you’re riding high and you’re having so much fun that it’s hard to pay attention to what your body is telling you. Starving yourself because you don’t want to eat without your friends but they’re taking too long. Then, when you do eat, you’re eating quick food or junk food. Sleeping late because there’s so much going on. Drinking and having fun like a crazy person. Then we’re surprised that so many people leave a convention with con crud (the almost immediate cold/illness you get as you’re leaving a con or immediately after a con). Being physically tired/weaker will lower your mood and contribute to the post-con depression.

So if you’re set on not taking care of yourself at the convention and want to party hard, the best way to recover after the convention is to just rest and start eating better immediately. You’ve put yourself through a lot and need to take the appropriate rest and eat something that will put your body back to normal, if not even healthier food than normal. Your body will recover and then you’ll just feel better there too.

So the gist of dealing with post-con depression is to put yourself out there and reach out to friends in a way that’s enjoyable. Don’t go telling them you’re so miserable and sad. Just be social and chatty. Also, eat something to help your body and take the appropriate rest. You’ll feel better way faster and your mood will improve to drive away the post-con blues. Then you can get back to being productive!

Good luck fuzzbutts!

Book Recommendation- 24 Hours to the Perfect Interview

Hi fuzzbutts!

Working hard at the new jobbo! It’s been fun so far and the training process is intense. Even then, they’re suggesting people don’t typically “get comfortable” until 3 months after they start. I intend on doing it within 2 months. Aaaaanyway, once I had the interview scheduled for the job, I had received a book recommendation from my pal Tabykat to study before the interview.

It’s a short book called 24 Hours to the Perfect Interview. It’s almost 200 pages. Before you panic and say you can’t read that many pages so fast, I’m just saying you should get it the moment you know you’re looking for a job or a promotion and review the stuff. Plus a lot of the pages are a decent skim or show tables, etc, so it’s not as onerous as it sounds.  It covers a lot of things an experienced professional things should already know but it also gives fascinating details and things to try.

Since I was feeling so desperate for this particular job (the lab was beautiful, it’s an industry I want to work in, I heard nothing but good things from people there), I did the extra work. Good news is that it worked! So what especially seemed to help? I’ll just go over what I wouldn’t usually do but I did it after reading and I feel like it helped.

Research the status of the company- how are the financials. Any good news from the company? Any new deals or partnerships? I had a chance to talk about this to the director who interviewed me and they were impressed with the level of detail I knew (even though it was about 10 minutes worth of googling). I also seemed to blow somebody’s mind when I mentioned how I liked the company’s recent growth spike.

Letters after the interview- I thought this was kind of a hokey idea. I had a rapid fire interview (different pairs of people for 30 minutes over a few hours). Between pairs, I’d jot down notes regarding each person about something we discussed. After the interview was all over, I wrote thank-you notes and mailed them to the company for each individual person, mentioning said item from the interview. Once I got my foot in the door, almost everyone mentioned it and seemed to appreciate the gesture. Considering all these people were part of the decision to hire me, it felt like a good move.

There’s a ton of other stuff in there that I think most people miss, especially those early in their career development. I just wanted to recommend the book in general because I feel like it helped me. I wasn’t sure when I bought it for my kindle, planning on returning it if I didn’t get enough out of it (since I paid full price when it’s dirt cheap for a physical copy) but I liked it enough that I felt it was worth the sticker price.

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!

Expand on what works!

Good morning Fuzzbutts!

Sometimes we come up with techniques that we find useful and we keep it on the schedule. We are organized enough to keep it going and then don’t feel great when it’s time to move on. So why don’t we work on it more? We have other things to do, sure, but that doesn’t mean we can’t rework our schedule to do more.

One example for me is waking up early. I love waking up early now. I take the time to draw, study, write, journal, or whatever I want in the morning. Why does it work so well? I’m fresh with energy. Nobody else is awake so nobody is around to distract me. I don’t want to wake anyone up so I keep myself from doing anything noisy. I can always leave early enough to hit the gym before work. After work, I have less energy. After work, everyone is awake and needs my attention for something. So how do I expand my habit?

Sleeping earlier and waking up earlier, again. I sleep at 9 to wake up at 5. Now I can shift to sleep at 8:30 and wake up at 4:30 to gain another 30 minutes. 8:30 still works for sleeping because my family is winding down for the night already.

Other things I’m finding now is I love listening to inspirational videos and speeches on YouTube. Hearing these people speak with passion about how you can accomplish your goals just lights a fire under me. However, in exchange for listening to these, I drop some of the podcasts that I’m on the fence about. Sometimes the episodes on the podcasts are great and sometimes they really miss the mark for me. Yet these videos seem to universally resonate with me. So I need to drop some of these hour-long podcasts to listen to more things to inspire and push me to do greater.

So there’s a couple of ways I work to improve myself and how I live my life. You can find the things that work for you and, if it works, try to work your way into doing more of it! Good luck Fuzzbutts!

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!