30. Rethinking Productivity

I have been seeing a pattern with a lot of my preparing, currently serving and returned missionaries.  They keep wondering if they are productive enough.  Sometimes they even judge themselves for the the things they don’t get done.

Listen in to learn:
•How to know if you are being productive
•What productivity actually is
•Why judging your output or lack of output never works
•How to get the very best out of yourself, in any situation.

If you feel like you’re never quite doing enough, this is just the episode for you.

0:00 Hey, what’s up everyone? It’s Jennie, the LDS mission coach and you’re listening to the LDS mission Podcast, episode number 30. Rethinking productivity. I’m Jennie, the LDS mission coach. And whether you’re 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. Hey, everyone, welcome to the podcast. Thanks for being with me today. Did you guys know that I always record my podcast in my room, upstairs in my bedroom. I think it has better acoustics than my office. So I come up here. And I’ve got a little spot where I record my podcast. What they say is if you’re just brand new, and starting a podcast, you can actually record in your closet that makes for really good sound because there’s no live acoustics in there. Isn’t that interesting to know? Anyway, I’m actually staring at my bedroom right now. And my bed isn’t made. There’s kind of some clothes on the floor. Actually, I have been pretty productive, what we would call productive. And we’re gonna dive more into that this week. Because I had my organizer start coming to my house again. We’ve been working on this storage room where I’ve stored all the toys and our food storage and a bunch of you know, decor and things like that. Anyway, we last Friday started going through that. And right now in my bedroom, because we’re using this kind of as a place to keep stuff before we figure out where it goes. I have a little people like the Fisher Price little people. I have like a fisher price little people bomb that went off in my room was kind of what it looks like. Like there’s no way you can look no dresser, no couch, no piece of floor that you can look without having some kind of a little people.

2:38 City, or little people car or little people accessory. What actually happened is my organizer was here last Friday, and I had sort of put some in piles in different places around my room. And I’m donating some of them. And so then those were in different piles. And I was kind of going through them. Well, in the meantime, my daughter who hadn’t seen the Fisher Price little people in a while decided that she wanted to go through every single one of them and play with them. She’s been playing with them all week. But right now, it actually looks like in my bedroom, like I haven’t been productive. But I have in a lot of ways. And we’re going to talk more about that on this episode. I have had some really fun strategy calls this week, if you didn’t know, you can hop on a free call with me. I actually did one of those just the other day with a mom who is worried about her son going on a mission. I’ve done them with moms who are worried about their daughter or son who’s come home from a mission. I love to just hop on there and give you guys some helpful tips, tools and strategies. If you’re preparing missionary, if you’re a returned missionary, if you’re just a mom of a missionary, like sign up for a free strategy call and we can get you so much help on there. I would love to meet you. So this idea of rethinking productivity is one that’s been on my mind now for a couple of weeks, basically, since the New Year changed. And everyone wants to set these new goals and have these new aspirations and all of that we’re going to cover in this podcast how we know if we’re being productive. We’re going to talk about what productivity actually is, why it’s not useful to judge your productivity and also what to do instead of judging it. So I want to share a couple examples that I’ve seen over the last few weeks of people that I’ve talked to I had a strategy call with a return missionary who said that he’s pretty recently returned home from his mission. He said I’m just here. I don’t have a job yet. I’m not going to school yet. I just not being productive. I also talked to another returned missionary who I’m working with this is home a little sooner than he was expecting to be home from his mission. And he wasn’t really sure if he wanted to go to school. But now he is at school, he is at BYU. And he told me that the reason that he decided to go to school after all, rather than kind of staying home was because it wouldn’t be productive for him to stay home. Another return missionary client that I was talking to this week, he works full time. And he told me that he woke up and he woke up with a migraine. And his mom was saying things like, let’s just get you some medicine, let’s get you to work, we want you to be there as fast as you can, we don’t want you to be late. Well, he didn’t end up going into work. And some of us from the outside may have said that, that was not productive. Because he didn’t go to work. You know, what he did instead is he took a nap. And so we sort of have this idea of what is productive and what is not productive. I’ve actually talked this week over the last couple of weeks with missionaries who are serving in the field, who have goals and objectives as we often do on the mission of the number of contacts, we want to make of, you know, lessons that we want to have a resume of people we want to street contact with or even goals for baptisms. And then when we’re not meeting those goals, what they say to me is I just feel like we’re not being productive. I also recently was talking with a preparing missionary who said that she knows she really should be in order to get ready for her mission. She knows she really should be in an in depth scripture study every single day. And she wasn’t doing that. And she was doing the best she could. And she was kind of fitting it in here and there. But what she told me is she said, I’m just not being productive when it comes to my mission preparation. So how do we know if we’re being productive? Most times, actually, we look outside of ourselves as if productivity is something that we do.

7:39 We see productivity as something that we can assess out side of us. Some examples aren’t we look at how far we’ve come on our goals. We look at the grades that we’re getting my high school aged kids their semester actually ends today. So all of the high school kids right now are assessing their productivity based on their grades. Sometimes if we’re on the mission, we look at those baptisms, how many hours we’ve spent st contacting, we look at our to do list, I see this one tons. If there’s not tons of checks on our to do list, I’ve also heard people refer to productivity as, as long as I’m active, as long as I’m not sitting still, then that’s productive. But when we base our thinking on what’s happening outside of us, we lose, we often lose, because then we’re kind of at the mercy of those things. Were at the mercy of our grades were at the mercy of our goals. And by the way on the mission, the goals that we set are actually based on someone else’s agency, right? So that’s sometimes a hard one to track. So if we get the baptisms we allow ourselves to feel good and productive. If we don’t get the baptisms we don’t allow ourselves to feel good and productive. We become at the mercy of our to do list we become at the mercy of the number of hours that we’re active. We actually give our emotional well being away to things outside of us. What happens is we actually only ever give ourselves permission to think we’re doing a good job. If we meet out side markers. But this can be a little bit dangerous, right? You can see it because things outside of us don’t always go the way that we think they will go. Plus there’s often obstacles to us getting things done, that we think we should get done. I would like to offer to you what productivity hacks He is, as I’ve been thinking about it. Sometimes we think about productivity as a verb, as something we do. I’ve also heard people refer to productivity as a character trait, like a noun, maybe like I’m a productive person. But what I’ve been considering over the last couple of weeks is that I’m productive, or I was productive, or that activity was productive is actually a thought that we get to choose to think, any time we want to. Let me say that, again, productivity is not something you do, it’s not something you are, it’s something you think about your self. Now, typically, what we do is we actually judge our productivity, right? Your brain actually thinks it’s very useful to offer this thought to you that you might not be productive, or that you might not have been productive with the activities that you accomplished during the day. Because listen, when we think this thought, I’m just not productive. I wasn’t productive today. How do we feel? Usually terrible, disappointed in ourselves, or guilty? Right? And then how do we show up? When we feel guilty or disappointed in ourselves? Guess what happens when we feel this way? We actually become less productive. Isn’t that crazy? So the thing that we don’t want to happen, being not productive when we think we’re not productive? That’s what actually happens. On the opposite flip of this, if we have the thought, that was the most productive way that I could have spent my time. How do we feel when we think that we probably feel something like accomplished? And then as you know, I teach that the emotion is the fuel that drives your set of actions. And when we feel accomplished, what do we do? We actually

12:37 become more productive. I was working in another program that I work for Be bold with Jody Moore, I a few times a month answer questions in her program through her Aska coach, and I had one lady she wrote in and she said, Yes, but if I choose to believe something about myself, if I choose to believe that I’m productive, what if I trick myself into thinking that I am, but I really haven’t been productive. But that’s just the point, my friends, there’s no tricking yourself. Being productive is an effect. Again, it’s not a verb. It’s not a noun. It’s what you choose to believe about yourself, you actually get to believe whatever you want. And here’s why I highly recommend that you just decide, of course I was productive. Is because thinking, as we’ve seen here, that I’m not productive. There’s just no upside. It makes us feel guilty and disappointed in ourselves, then we don’t likely do anything. So it’s just not useful. To judge your productivity. It’s really not it actually has the opposite effect of what you want it to have. So what do we do instead? Number one is, don’t judge your past. Listen, you can’t go back to it anyway. You can always choose compassion. Yesterday, I had the missionaries for dinner actually what ended up happening and I had posted about this on my story, but what ended up happening is the missionaries. We were scheduled to have them for dinner. My husband’s been a little bit sick. My daughter has been a little bit sick. So I texted them in the morning and I said, Listen, my family’s been a little bit sick. I don’t want you to get sick. You can come if you want to. But otherwise I’m already making dinner. I kind of started it yesterday morning. And I will just create dinner to go for you if you want to come grab it. So it was super fun. They came and grabbed the dinner. About 515 Last night shared a little message with us on the doorstep, we’ve got a new elder serving in our ward. So super fun to meet him. Anyway, all morning, I was preparing barbecue, pork tacos. So that was super fun. I also yesterday was working in that program, be bold, where I answer questions in there and sometimes do some coaching calls. So I sort of had that going on. And I knew that by the end of the night, I needed to answer a certain number of questions. And so I done some dinner prep. I’d sort of answered some questions through the day. But then the kids came home and I had parent pickup. And like I said, they’re having finals. And before you know it, it’s like 10 o’clock, and I still have a good chunk of questions left to answer in that program. And I just observed myself going to the past, and judging myself, I actually am getting pretty good at observing my brain. And when it’s judging me, it was saying things like, I can’t believe that you waited this long to get these questions done. I can’t believe that you’re up at 10 o’clock doing this when you’d rather be hanging out with your family. What’s wrong with you, you’re maybe you’re not organized, maybe you didn’t have a productive day. Notice how I was going to my past earlier in the day and judging it. And I just had to kind of shake myself back. I was like, no, wait, wait a second. I actually was very productive. I made dinner for the missionary I help my children with their assignments, I picked them up from school, no matter what is going on for you. When your brain wants to judge the past and wants to judge where you are now and say things like, Well, if you had just been more productive, you wouldn’t be in the situation that you are right now. Choose to believe something that maybe you have no right to believe.

17:24 Choose to maybe even think outside the box a little bit. Look for crazy ways that you possibly actually were productive. Let’s say yesterday afternoon, I’d even taken a nap I didn’t. I started wish I had, I still have the ability. In that moment at 10 o’clock at night when I’m working on that. And my brain tries to judge me, I still have the ability to say, you know, what was super productive about today was how much rest I got when I took that nap. See what I mean? We’ve got to rethink and get creative think outside of the box for crazy ways that you actually might have been productive. Number two, don’t base your worth. On the results you’re seeing are the things outside of you. Listen, I’m gonna get on a soapbox. There is nothing that you can do. Nothing that you can do or not do that makes you any more worthy or less worthy than you are right now. So seriously, I know this sounds really Elementary, but your to do list does not determine your worth. how active you were during the day does not determine your worth. If you went on a bike ride today, that doesn’t give you more worth than if you took a nap. If you decide to just sort of watch Netflix and binge Netflix for a while, that does not give you less worth than if you dug in and done your homework. Now not only can you not make your worth go down, but you also can’t make it go up. Listen, worth does not come from what you do. It’s not based on what’s outside of you. It’s not based on your accomplishments. Your worth is set you have worth period so we can let go of this notion of as soon as I get all my stuff done and I’m super productive then not believe that I have worse, then I’ll believe that I’m doing a good job, you’re doing a good job. Now you have worth now. Number three, just decide. It’s always working hard even when you can’t see the results. Let me give you an example. I have a client who started actually his own coaching practice. And he’s really trying to get people to work with him as a coach. He’s an amazing coach, by the way, he works with college students, and he got on one of our sessions. And he was like, Ah, I just felt like it’s not working. No one is working with me yet. I’m having a hard time figuring out how to get people on these calls. And what I offered to him is, listen, it’s actually always working. The way I think about it is, let’s just decide that whatever action you take, however little are however large, is working towards what you want it to work towards that end result. So if I take a nap during the day, it’s always working. If I decided to watch Netflix for a while, that’s working towards what I want to maybe not in the way that we think about it from the world’s perspective. But maybe that rest is always working to. I like to think of this. Number three, it’s always working, when it comes to missionary work to because sometimes we look at our numbers for the week, and we want to think, Oh, it’s just not working. But when we think it’s not working again, we feel discouraged. We just feel down and then we don’t do anything more, or what we do is very little.

22:09 But listen, it’s always working. Even if you’re just down walking down the street, people see you. Even if you have a chance to offer some thoughts to people, even if they get on date for baptism, and then decide they don’t want to get baptized. It’s still always working. We can’t undo the things that we’ve done. Those actions and those steps that we’ve taken, are always working in our favor, always working towards what we want in the future. So back to this return missionary who I had a strategy call with and his who said, I’m just here, I don’t have a job yet. I’m not in school, yet I’m not being productive. What I would offer to him is listen, do you know, and I do because I’ve worked with hundreds of clients, do you know how much internal work and change is going on inside of you. When you get home, inside of your heart, your mind, there’s so much identity work. There’s changes in perceptions of yourself and your role. And you’re figuring out your purpose, and you’re rebuilding your confidence. And you’re telling me that that’s not productive? It is my friends. Sometimes the productivity is happening within ourselves. It reminds me like when I was pregnant, and I would feel like guilty for kind of taking a break in the middle of the day. And I would say you know one of my friend like, oh, I should be keeping up on the house more or something like that basing my worth on things outside of me basing my productivity on things outside of me and my friend would say you’re growing a baby. Right? Sometimes that productivity comes on the in side and that counts as productivity to and to this other RM who came home a little sooner than he was expecting. And he wasn’t sure if he wanted to go to school. But the reason that he was at school is because it wouldn’t have been productive to stay home. I would say to him, every single path is moving us forward. Remember it’s always working. You could have stayed home and been productive and you could have gone to school and been productive. Every decision we make every experience we have no matter what it is, is shaping us into the kind of people that we want to be in the future. And to this RM client this week who had a migraine, listen, he didn’t go into work. And we could maybe say that he wasn’t productive, because he took a nap. But do you know what one of the very most productive things that you can do, sometimes, and I think for sure in the situation, is to take a nap. And rest. Rest is so important. And it’s actually very productive. And when talking with these missionaries who have goals, and objectives and feel like they aren’t productive, because they aren’t meeting those goals and objectives, remember, it’s always working on the mission always. You plant those seeds. And I’ve been thinking lately about how those seeds are actually synapses, we offer someone a new thought they, if they’ve never thought that thought before create a new synapse in their brain, and we can’t just go in and erase that synapse, that new thought pattern has been introduced to them. And we can’t just erase that we’re actually genuinely planting seeds that can’t be up rooted, that thought will always be in their brain. Again, it’s always working into this preparing missionary, who just felt like she should be reading our scriptures more. And because she’s not, she’s just not productive. What I would say to her is, this kind of puts a level of judgment on yourself as if to say that somehow for sure, that long hour of scripture study is more important, or more productive than spending time with your family. Or being at work and earning money for your mission.

27:03 I would tell her, let’s just drop the judgment of all of it. Let’s just decide. It’s all productive. And sometimes we’re going to do a little of this. And sometimes we’re going to do a little of this. And sometimes we’re going to do a little of this, and it’s all productive. So again, don’t judge your past, meaning your past from a week ago, your past from a year ago, your past from this morning, like I was doing with the missionaries and cooking dinner, you can’t go back anyway. Have compassion, look for creative ways to discover that you actually were productive. Number two, don’t base your view of yourself, or your worth, on what you were seeing outside of you, or on the results that you’re accomplishing. Just decide you have worth. And it doesn’t matter what you do, or what you don’t do. And number three, just to cite my friends, it’s always working. Even if we feel like we’re stuck. Even if we feel like we’re moving backwards. Life those experiences are changing even our insights Our minds are thinking or feeling. And it just is always working even when we can’t see those results. Remember, there’s just no upside to thinking that was not productive, or I’m not productive or that was not a productive activity. It’s always productive, actually. All right, everyone have the most amazing week we will talk to you next time. Take care. Thank you so much for listening to the podcast today. If you want to learn more about the mental and emotional tools I teach young adults so they can overcome worrying anxiety serve the successful missions they’ve always dreamed of, and navigate their post mission experience with confidence. Go to Jennie dildine.com. Or just come hang out with me on Instagram at Jennie dot, the LDS mission coach. And until then, remember, no matter which part of the mission experience that you are involved in 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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