15. How to Get Things Done

Do you have a hard time making yourself do things?…  Like spend more time Facebook Finding, studying for that exam, or asking that girl out?  Maybe you just have a hard time just pulling yourself out of bed in the morning, or you really struggle to make yourself be consistent in your scripture study.  In this episode, you will learn:

  • Why it can be so challenging to make ourselves do things that we know we should be doing
  • How to overcome the challenge
  • Two simple options for getting the things you want to do done

0:00 Hey, what’s up everybody? It’s Jennie, the LDS mission coach and you’re listening to the LDS mission Podcast, episode number 15. How to get things done. I’m Jennie, the LDS mission coach, and whether you are preparing to serve a mission, currently serving a returned missionary or a missionary mama like me, I created this podcast just for you. Are you searching for epic confidence? Ready to love yourself and to learn the how of doing hard things? Then let’s go. I will help you step powerfully into your potential and never question your purpose. Again. It’s time to embrace yourself. Embrace your mission, embrace your life, and embrace what’s next. Hello, everyone, and welcome to the podcast. I’m so excited to be hanging out with you. Thanks for hanging out with me. As you may not already know, I am absolutely passionate about getting more tools and help mental and emotional tools out to more folks who have served missions, or who are going to serve missions or who are currently serving missions. I think we prepare our whole lives spiritually for the mission. But you guys out there, it’s tough. And you need some mental and emotional tools to help you out to help you have some emotional resilience and help you thrive on the mission, no matter what’s going on. So if you could do me a huge favor, I want to help as many missionaries as possible and return missionaries as possible. Please share this with your missionary friends, or your returned missionary friends about what I do to empower you to thrive on the mission. And well beyond your mission. Despite anything else that’s going on around you. It’s such important work. So if you could even just screenshot that you’re listening to this podcast, and then share it on social media and tag me. I would love to hear from you. I love hearing from you guys. This week, I got an email from a mom whose son is in my mental and emotional maintenance program. And I just had to share this with you. She said, Hey Jenny, just know that your gifts and talents have so blessed me and my son. With just three lessons. He is turning a corner. He has a happy go lucky child. I never thought would have a single carrier transitioning to a mission. He didn’t cry one single tear when we when he left. He was just full of joy. With in two days he called me sobbing and was so emotional. He couldn’t sleep, eat or focus on the work. He said he got his first baptism and he sobbed and hid his face because he felt so homesick. That was so out of character for him. She continues on I found you and it has changed everything in days. It was his thoughts, the transition struggle that was dragging him down. I love that you do this. She says thanks so much. You are an angel in our family, and came in a much needed crisis that had nothing to do with faith, but learning mental and emotional clarity. You guys, this is what I do. I think all of you have enough faith. You are spiritual giants, all of you much more than I was even at your age. The struggles that you have in your life and on your mission most likely have nothing to do with faith. It doesn’t mean that you’re a bad human or a bad person or a bad missionary. It means that you might not have mental and emotional clarity, just like this email says and that is what I teach you. This is what I’m passionate about giving you the tools to thrive and have that emotional clarity. She continues on. I will forever be grateful to you and to your work. It is so so needed. She said I’m going to share you with everyone I meet thank you from the deepest mom Heart to Yours. That feels so good. You guys. Thank you so much to this mom for sending me this email. It made my day because this is what I’m trying to do. I want to get more help more mental and emotional tools out to more of you. All right, on to what I want to talk about today, which is how to get things done.

4:56 I talked to many of my clients who say I just can’t Make myself workout. Or I can’t make myself get out of the bed in the morning, or I can’t make myself ask a girl out. Or I can’t make myself study my scriptures. Or I can’t make myself write this paper. Can any of you relate to this? It can be very challenging at times, to overcome our caveman brain, and to do stuff that our brain doesn’t want to do. I even talked to one preparing missionary who I was working with, who said she couldn’t even make herself watch any of the videos, or study Preach My Gospel, or even by her mission close. But sometimes there’s that thing that we need to get done. And our brains just don’t want to. So I’m going to give you some ideas about how to get the things done that you know, ultimately, that you probably want to get done even though your brains telling you know things that doesn’t sound fun at all. I will teach you some strategies to get the things done. First, I have to explain something to you. I like to think of our emotions as fuel that drives our action. So we have different types of cars that need different types of fuel. My grandpa Swenson when I went to BYU Idaho, which I went to when it was called Rick’s it’s really hard for me to call it BYU Idaho actually, I still call it Rick’s. But when I went to Rex, my grandpa lived in Idaho Falls, and sometimes just to escape all of the craziness of college life. And so my grandma would fix me a nice breakfast, I would come stay at their house in Idaho Falls for the weekend. And after I was done staying at grandpa’s house for the weekend, grandpa would follow me in my car to the gas station, and he would give me a sack of potatoes and fill my tank with gas. Now, Grandpa knew the importance of fuel, not only fuel for my body, right? Hence the bag of potatoes, but fuel for my car to get me where I needed to go. My grandpa drove an old car that required diesel fuel. So he would fill me up and then he would drive away in his diesel truck. His fuel was different than my fuel at the time, my car required unleaded fuel, my husband actually drives an electric car. So he has a different kind of fuel. And the fuel that drives him around that gets him around where he needs to go is electric. So every night he comes in, and he plugs in the car, and his electric fuel, gets him where he needs to go throughout the day. My van now takes unleaded gasoline. These kinds of cars, different types of cars require a different kind of gas. And the way I think about it is different gas will get us different places. Our emotions are the same way. I think about our actions like the car, like what the way we’re trying to get where we want to go. The emotion behind it is the fuel. It’s the fuel driving a certain set of actions. Now, let’s think about it. If we’re feeling anxious, if that’s our fuel, we are going to end up in one place. If we’re feeling overwhelmed, we’re gonna end up another place. If we’re feeling confident, we’re gonna end up one place. And if we’re feeling happy, we’re gonna end up another place. So the fuel that you put in your quote unquote car is very important. Our emotions determine everything that we do, and everything that we don’t do in our lives. Human humans on this planet, go around seeking emotions that feel good, and avoiding emotions that don’t feel good. Let’s say you were studying for an exam. Now, we can feel that studying with stress, anxiety, fear and overwhelm.

9:57 And our studying would look a certain Wait, we might be sporadic, we might be a little scattered. We might study, but kind of not really study, we might avoid studying, we might not study altogether. If we’re fueling our studying by stress, anxiety, overwhelming fear. Now, let’s consider how our studying might be different. When it’s fueled by calm, confidence and certainty, are studying what looks so different, right? We’d really settle in, we’d slow down, we’d probably prioritize our studying more, from a place of calm and certainty and confidence. Remember, our emotions don’t just happen to us, they’re actually created with the way we choose to think. So we have a couple of options. If we want to buckle down and study for an exam. The first option is to pick a different kind of fuel. Which means we’d have to choose a different thought, the studying itself, the exam itself doesn’t create any emotion. For us, it’s our thought about that exam, that creates the fuel, that’s going to get us where we want to go. So our first option is to choose a different fuel by changing your thought. If you have thoughts like this is going to be hard. You might feel overwhelmed. If you have a thought about an exam, like everything is writing on this test, you will probably feel stressed. If you have the thought I might fail, you are probably tapping into fear fear is your fuel. But we don’t want fear and stress and overwhelm to be your fuel when you’re studying for your test. So instead, we can change our thoughts, we can change our thoughts to like, I’ve got this, which might create a feeling of confidence. We can think of that, like I’m for sure going to be prepared. And then that will create a feeling of certainty. We can think I thought like all know what to do. And then we might feel calm. Can you see how depending on which thought we choose, which creates our fuel, or fuel is going to drive a set of actions, that gives us the result. Now one thing I want to caution you about is sometimes we actually need to tap into feelings that don’t feel amazing. Sometimes we’ll tap into a feeling like courage, commitment, or determination. When you think about the way these emotions feel courage, commitment and determination, they don’t necessarily feel that good. Because we’re up against something. We wouldn’t need courage if there wasn’t something to be afraid of. We wouldn’t need commitment if there wasn’t something that was hard to do. And we wouldn’t need determination if there was something that we might otherwise choose to not do. So those feelings don’t feel as good as calm confidence, happiness, excited, motivated. And that’s okay, we can tap into those emotions too. And they will still get us where we want to go. So the second thing that we can do the second option for when we come up against something that we want to get done and we just can’t seem to make ourselves do it is we feel terrible. And we just go ahead and do it. Anyway. This is where we practice feeling our feelings. Even the ones that don’t feel so good. You’re gonna go and you’re gonna study for that test. Or read your scriptures are gonna ask that girl out. And your brains gonna come online like a toddler. And it’s gonna come online and say we probably shouldn’t do that. That feels too hard. I don’t want to and I like to think of this toddler like a toddler in the backseat of my car. And what I say to that toddler in the backseat of my car is like, Yeah, I hear you. You can hang out you can be here, but I’m gonna keep driving where I want to go.

14:46 It sounds like I’m willing to feel overwhelmed and stressed and steady anyway. Your toddler brain your caveman brain wants to conserve energy, the past path of least resistance is what it wants. So when it comes up, and it’s time to study or time to do that thing that you aren’t feeling like you want to do, your brain is gonna come online and say, you know, what might be better is if we binge Netflix, or you know, what might be better is if we did some laundry isn’t this crazy? Like, we don’t really want to do the laundry, but to our brains, they tell us, you know, what would be so much funner right now, so much more fun right now is to do some laundry. Funny. Instead of listening to your toddler brain, the one that’s kind of throwing a fit in the backseat, we just let it throw a fit. We fill all the uncomfy feelings and we do it anyway. Here’s what’s true, my friends, is most of the world when they start to feel those uncomfy feelings. They just quit. Like, ah, brain comes online. I don’t want to do that. They feel stressed, overwhelmed, bored. They’re like, nevermind, we’re not doing that. But think about how much you could accomplish if you were willing to just feel that negative emotion. If we just let that toddler throw the fit in the backseat of our car, and we keep driving, where we want to go. One of the reasons you probably can’t make yourself do something is because you’ve given into your toddler brain for quite some time. When the toddler brain comes online and says, I don’t want to do that, we should probably watch Netflix and it starts to throw a tantrum. We’re like, Oh, you’re right. Nevermind, let’s not study. Think of it like a toddler who’s throwing a tantrum in the grocery store. And it wants a sucker. And it’s like, I want to sucker I want to watch Netflix, or we don’t want to do that thing. I don’t want to do my chores. And that toddler starts yelling and getting stronger and stronger and stronger. But what do we teach our that toddler when we’re like, Okay, you’re right. Here’s a sucker just quit throwing a fit. We teach that toddler that the way to get what we want to conserve energy to binge Netflix is if we just throw a really big fit. So instead, we’ve got to re train your brain. When that toddlers like I want to sucker I don’t want to, or like I know, it’s okay, you throw a fit. And we’re still gonna study. This teaches our brain that when it throws a fit and feels all of those intense negative emotions that we’re not going to give in. Like, okay, stress time will fill Yeah, still not giving you a sucker doing the homework anyway. writing the paper anyway, asking the girl out anyway, going to work anyway. Well, you’ll find when you learn how to actually feel your emotions, it’s not that terrible. So just retrain your brain, your brain is not in charge, you are, practice feeling negative emotion and moving forward anyway, you’ll start to show your brain who’s boss, and you’ll decide on purpose when you want to give your brain a sucker your toddler brain. And when you don’t, when you want them to just throw a fit in the back and you keep going anyway, he’ll show your brain who’s boss. So this is one of the things I like to do is I like to think about it ahead of time, I like to think, Okay, I’m gonna sit down to write that content, or write that paper or write that podcast and what emotions might I need to feel

18:56 I’m probably going to need to feel overwhelmed, I might need to feel stress, I might need to feel some insecurity, wondering if I’m doing it the right way, or if anyone even cares. But instead I say, Okay, I’m willing to feel those emotions, too. I was working with one preparing sister missionary who had this one call that she had to make, and she didn’t want to. And I said, let’s talk about it ahead of time. What emotions do you think you’re going to need to be willing to feel when you make this call? And she said, I’m going to need to be nervous, overwhelmed and stress. And what she told me, she said, but I want to feel motivated. Listen, my friends, it’s not always the answer. Option. One, of course is to change our thoughts so that we create the feeling of motivation, like I can do this, or I this is important, but option two, is we just go ahead and feel nervous, overwhelmed and stress. We can’t always get there to motivation and listen, if we wait until we’re motivated did most of the time, we will never do anything, because that negative emotion your brain thinks is a real problem. Her brain worried that that phone call was dangerous in some way, even though it was just emotion. So if you can’t get to the point where you can just switch out a thought to create an emotion you like, go ahead and feel the nervousness, the overwhelm, and the stress and take action anyway. My youngest daughter’s in fourth grade, and we’ve been in school now for a couple of weeks. And she does not like getting up in the morning. And I can actually totally relate to this. When my eyes people, but I’m like, um, I should probably just stay in bed all day. I don’t like getting up in the morning either. For a while I tried option one. I tried to say it’s not that bad. I mean, you can get up. This is going to be an amazing day, I tried changing her thoughts. I tried offering her new thoughts that might create motivation and excitement for her day. But she can’t get there. Most morning, she can’t get there. And so what I’ve started to say recently is you know what, honey, it feels terrible. To get up in the morning, it feels like dread. It feels terrible. But we’re gonna get ourselves going. Anyway. We’re getting up anyway. Come on toddler brain. I have places I want to be. I have things I want to get done. And we take action anyway. It’s okay for things to not feel amazing. Don’t wait to feel motivation, or an emotion that you like. Just practice feeling that negative emotion. Try working out. Even if you don’t want to or getting out of bed in the morning or asking that girl out. Start your mission papers, retrain your brain and start actually doing the uncomfy things. You’ll be amazed once you do it a few times, it’ll get easier and easier and easier. The toddler brain won’t be in charge anymore. You will be in the driver’s seat of your life. Thank you so much for listening to the podcast today. If you want to learn more about what I do, you can go to Jennie dildine.com. Or just come hang out with me on Instagram at Jennie dot the LDS mission coach and Jennie is spelled with an IE. Remember, no matter which part of the mission experience that you’re involved in, just know that Jennie the LDS mission coach is thinking about you every single day.

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Hey! I'm Jennie - The LDS Mission Coach.

Preparing for, serving and coming home from an LDS Mission can present countless changes and transitions. I’ve seen these changes put missionaries at the mercy of their emotions and questioning their abilities. With the tools I teach, young adults empower themselves to navigate every moment of the mission experience with epic, unwavering confidence.

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