Nov. 22, 2022

How To Get Shit Done Even When You Don't Feel Like It

How To Get Shit Done Even When You Don't Feel Like It

It’s simple to get what you want in life but it is not easy.  It's your job to make yourself do all of the shit you don’t want to do, so you can have the kind of life you now only dream of.

About this episode:

It’s simple to get what you want in life but it is
not easy. 

It's your job to make yourself do all of the shit you don’t want to do, so you can have the kind of life you now only dream of. You waste so much time and energy waiting to “feel like it” but you’re never going to…ever. And no one is coming to rescue you. And because you mostly do the things that you feel like doing right now, you’re missing out on learning what doing those hard things can teach you. 

In today’s episode, we’ll share some simple things you can do so you’ll stop procrastinating and actually get shit done…even when you don’t feel like it.

In this episode learn more about:

  • Why getting up earlier sets you up for success
  • How to use a whiteboard to de-clutter your mind
  • What the Eisenhower Matrix is and how it can help you prioritize your tasks
  • Why long-term goals help you stay focused
  • Why discipline is the key to freedom

Don’t let the conversation end there. Join us in our Facebook Group where you and fellow Fit Mess listeners can connect for monthly challenges, accountability to reach your goals, and a supportive community. 

Like this show? Please leave us a review here – even one sentence helps! Post a screenshot of you listening on Instagram & tag us so we can thank you personally!


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If you enjoyed this episode, check out:

Beating Burnout: Author Julie Wald On The 4 Things You Should Focus On If You Are Experiencing Burnout 


[00:00:00] Jeremy: simple to get what you want in life, but it's not easy. 

[00:00:03] Zach: It's your job to make yourself do all the shit that you don't want to do so you can have the life you've always dreamed of.

[00:00:08] Jeremy: You waste so much time and energy waiting to feel like it, but you're never going to 

[00:00:13] Zach: And because you mostly do things that you feel like doing right now, you're missing out on learning what? Doing those

[00:00:19] hard things can really teach you.

[00:00:20] Jeremy: In today's episode, we'll share some simple things you can do so you'll stop procrastinating and actually get shit done even when you don't feel like.

[00:00:28] Zach: This is the fit mess. We're together, we learn to develop habits that help us live beyond our mental health struggles to create happier, healthier lives. 

[00:00:37] Jeremy: He's Zach. I mean, he lives in the future with his.

[00:00:40] Zach: And he's Jeremy and he lives in the past with his. depression. 

[00:00:44] Jeremy: and we get together once a week here in the present to share the obstacles we face and how we overcome them today. That obstacle is not feeling like getting any shit done, but doing it anyways.

[00:00:56] Left - RODECaster Pro Stereo: I quickly want to thank Blaine Elgar's for supporting the show. We don't often mention this, but if this show brings you any value or helps you in any way, You can show your appreciation by literally buying us a coffee. For as little as $5, you can make sure we're fueled up to keep bringing you this show for free. 

[00:01:10] Left - RODECaster Pro Stereo-1: Plus, we'll mention you by name on the show, just like we're doing now for Blaine milkers. Walkers. It only takes about 60 seconds and the link is on our website and in the show notes for this 

[00:01:20] Zach: I don't know about you, Jeremy, but every person I talk to these days, It's, you know, Hey, how's it going? And the answer is usually good. Really busy, but good. I feel like everyone is just really busy and everyone's got a lot on their plate.

[00:01:36] You know, and I am no

[00:01:37] exception, right? Everyone's got shit to do.

[00:01:39] How do you deal

[00:01:40] with getting all the things done that you have

[00:01:42] to do in every single day and feeling really good and proud about it every

[00:01:46] day?

[00:01:47] Jeremy: Mm, that's a good question. I know that for me, I need a lot of, , external motivation. A lot of times my own desires, my own needs, my own why. Sometimes isn't even enough. I'll give you, I'll give you an example that will not surprise you in the least. I have a million excuses for not going to the gym this week, , most of which cuz I'm locked out.

[00:02:06] But also I have an alternative. Like I, I can go for walks and there was at least one day this week when I had plenty of time, had no excuse, but didn't feel like it, it was blocked out on the calendar. I looked at my calendar and said, Nope, not today, calendar. I win this fight. So I need to be accountable like I need. There to be someone else to say, I'll see you there. I'll be there waiting if you're not there, then I'm gonna be pissed. And we've talked a little bit about the fact that like I have a new job and most of it is meeting with other people. I don't miss those calls. They're on my calendar.

[00:02:40] Just like that walk was just like that workout was, I haven't missed one of those, but I've missed plenty of workouts because I don't have that accountability. I don't have someone to answer to. There's no penalty. That I'm gonna feel right away. I'm gonna feel it in 20 years, but I don't feel it right now.

[00:02:56] And so I'm letting that, temporary satisfaction of, oh, I can just go home into my nice warm house, overtake the long-term goal, the why that I have to do better.

[00:03:07] So that's why I'm particularly interested in this conversations act because you have, I've seen your calendar, your calendar's a nightmare. , your calendar gives me chills when I look at it. So I'm interested to know how you do it. I know you, we talk all the time about how you get up super early.

[00:03:22] You have a very reg, sort of regimented lifestyle. So what do you do to get over the obstacles that I face , when you just don't feel like doing something

[00:03:32] Zach: What not. Everyone's like quadruple booked half of the day. No, 

[00:03:37] Jeremy: Terrifying. I've, I've seen horror movies that aren't as scary as your calendar.

[00:03:41] Zach: it can sometimes be overwhelming. You're right. Like I do get up early. I do have like a very regimented morning routine and you know, you've said a million times like, , you need to fill up your own cup first.

[00:03:51] You need to take care of yourself. And then you can take care of everyone else's, , needs of your time, right? So my calendar's full of time with other people. That's why from four 30 in the morning to eight 30 in the morning is my time. You know, I get to the gym or I go to yoga, I literally spend half hour, 45 minutes reading the news, drinking coffee, doing nothing.

[00:04:13] Slowly eeking into the day a little bit, knowing full well that, , I've got 14 hours of meetings coming up and in the middle of those meetings I have to figure out how to do two to three hours worth of like actual work when I don't have breaks, things like that. Plus, you know, trying to help you with this show, plus being dad, plus being all the things that I do.

[00:04:34] So, , I break my days down into, , basically two things. One, I have a huge whiteboard. You can use a piece of paper, you can use whatever, but just empty your mind onto that piece of paper. And I'm not kidding, like my, I won't even show my whiteboard because it's really embarrassing. Like anything that comes up in my mind in these like half hour sessions of things I need to do, people I need to call.

[00:05:00] things I literally like, take a shower, go to the bathroom, is on the whiteboard, like everything that goes through my mind. And usually right after drinking some coffee, I do have to go to the bathroom so it makes it to the whiteboard. and I can't tell you how, how useful that is to just dump it out.

[00:05:18] Have all these thoughts and feelings like, and literally like I will write down things like, I'm sad right now, or I'm angry, or I'm pissed about this thing. And then right underneath it's email, so and so about the contractor position. 

[00:05:32] Once you have it all out on a piece of paper, then you can organize it.

[00:05:36] It's outta your brain, right? You can physically manipulate and like go, oh, I am sad. Why am I sad? Well, I'm gonna do something to make me happy. And then you can organize

[00:05:47] all of your to-dos the things that you have to get done. You can organize all of your emotions, all of your thoughts. You can organize

[00:05:53] all the things that you want to do.

[00:05:54] So like mine is always full of things

[00:05:56] like, , I want to build some really complicated computer project over the weekend, , that you could literally buy for $35, but I'm gonna spend the entire weekend building it.

[00:06:06] That's always on the list too. So like, things you need to do, things you have to

[00:06:10] do, things you want to do.

[00:06:12] , ,it really helps focus you in

[00:06:14] on all the things you have

[00:06:16] to do and just gets it outta your mind.

[00:06:18] Jeremy: So this sounds 

[00:06:19] Zach: Mm-hmm. 

[00:06:20] Jeremy: I do wanna put in a little context here because I'm hearing this like, this sounds awesome. This would be something helpful for me, but I don't get up at four 30 in the morning. I get up at six 30 in the morning, and then I immediately hit the ground running with, get the kids fed, get their lunches packed, get 'em to the bus stop, come back, prep for the first meeting, make, you know, throw some coffee in my face because I was up until 10 o'clock. Getting the kids to bed. So you kind of own your own time, , you own your day. There's not someone that you're always 

[00:06:55] accountable

[00:06:55] Zach: That's not true. That's not true because half the week I have my daughter here, and even on those. 

[00:06:59] Jeremy: no. So that's where I was going is that half the week, you can sort of call your own shots. 

[00:07:03] Zach: True. But even the days that my daughter is here, I just get up before she does even 30 minutes before you have to get going. Like just move it back half an hour. But on the flip side of it, if you have to

[00:07:14] get up and just move, , find that time

[00:07:17] to fill your cup later. Right. It doesn't have to be first thing in the morning.

[00:07:20] It works for me because I'm okay getting up at four 30 in the morning.

[00:07:23] It's interesting. Everyone makes the same face and it's this disgusted, I just ate something that's gonna make me throw up, 

[00:07:30] Jeremy: Right. You're one of those 

[00:07:32] Zach: Yeah. But you can do it later at night. But you know, whenever, it doesn't matter when

[00:07:36] you do it.

[00:07:37] Like I used to do it at nighttime before I went

[00:07:40] to bed. I would do my white boarding session.

[00:07:42] I would just write everything down the night before, and then the next day I'd look up at it and go, okay, I know what I have to do today.

[00:07:49] Jeremy: So I guess my question though is, as your life has changed you, you are now, you know, a, a single person who is a dad, who has his kid there, you know, half the week. How was it different , when you were in the family dynamic, when you had other people and other people's needs? , that I'm sure often

[00:08:03] came before yours. 

[00:08:04] Zach: It was no different. It was literally like, I'm not kidding when I say like, I fill my own cup first, and that's what drives me to get up before everyone else.

[00:08:13] Jeremy: That is the interesting thing because , there's so many times when I didn't do that in the morning, I didn't go for the walk, I didn't go to the gym, I didn't do

[00:08:19] whatever, and I tell myself, oh, I'll do it later. But then, you know, when I'm gonna be in meetings all day. Kids are gonna be home and then, , dinner and then get the kids to bed and now it's nine, 10:00 AM am I really gonna work out?

[00:08:31] No, I'm exhausted. I've already spent all the energy, I have my brain shut down hours ago. My body's just trying to, , keep me vertical. So it's always a, a

[00:08:40] trick trying to get that self care time in if it's not the very 

[00:08:44] first thing you do in the. 

[00:08:45] Zach: Yeah, you have to schedule it. And that kind of leads me into the second piece. So, , once I'm done with the whiteboarding session, you're not done. If you do this . Okay, cool. Now you have a list of. Really important things. Really unimportant things. Urgent things, not urgent things. And that's exactly the way you need to label 'em.

[00:09:06] You need to literally go through each one of them and go, is this important? Yes. No, this is

[00:09:12] not important. And then you need to go through it again and

[00:09:14] say, is this due yesterday? Did I need to do this three weeks ago? Do I need to do this? And if that's the case, then yep, that thing's urgent. You need to get it done.

[00:09:27] And then everything else is not urgent. And that's all you have to do is classify things. Is it important or is it urgent? And what I'm talking about is the Eisenhower Matrix. I live my whole life by this, and I'm not kidding. Like it takes a little while to like get used to this, but this was game changer for me, like absolutely game changer.

[00:09:47] So it is literally , these four boxes and one access, it's important. And the other access it's urgency. And if something is important and it's urgent, do today, do yesterday, you put that into

[00:10:05] the top left box, which is labeled Do it right.

[00:10:08] If something is important, but it's not urgent, it's not due for a little while.

[00:10:12] You put that in the top right box, which is called schedule it. If something is urgent, but it's not important, you put that in the bottom left box, which is delegate it. So I mean, if you've got kids and those are probably good for chores. 

[00:10:29] and if it's not important and it's not urgent, it goes in the bottom right box.

[00:10:32] And this is the part where like people go. You get rid of it. If it's not important and it's not urgent, don't do it.

[00:10:42] Jeremy: What's an example of something , that you would just purge from that because it's not important and not urgent. What kind of thing lands in that 

[00:10:48] box for. 

[00:10:48] Zach: here's one, like,

[00:10:49] , it can fall into this box, but if you have a friend .

[00:10:51] You don't really want to hang out with you, hang out with 'em because they've been your friend for a long time. And if you're going along the journey that you and I have been going down, like you actually do purge

[00:11:00] out, you know, friends that are not useful or negative or poisonous friends, like I know I had a bunch that I had to get rid of, hanging out with, , somebody who is like that, right? It's not urgent, it's not important. and it might make it to your whiteboard list I have to call so and so, or text so and so. But if that person's not important to you, put them in the delete bucket.

[00:11:22] Jeremy: Because it'll come up again, right? Tomorrow. You'll be making that list again, and that may pop up again. Put it back on the list. Maybe it becomes more urgent because there's, you know, a significant date or something coming up. But , that's the purpose I think of this. exercise is to prioritize and actually get the important things done when they need to get done, and realize what you're just letting clutter space 

[00:11:42] in

[00:11:42] Zach: Right. And then ideally, like this will be a running list, right? Once you do this, like, I whiteboard once a week, right? And this isn't something I necessarily do every day. , 

[00:11:51] because sometimes things will come up and I'll just add it to the list. But the first time you do this, you're gonna have a shitload of stuff and you do it now column, right?

[00:12:00] That you're gonna be like, oh my God, I forgot to pay that bill. And the grass is six feet long and oh my God. And there's snow on the, I gotta go shovel. And I forgot, oh my God. Like all these things that you just didn't get done, just plow through 'em. That's your list. You do the do it now stuff until it's.

[00:12:17] Jeremy: Let me ask you this. Do you subscribe to the one minute Rule? The idea that, uh, if there's something that needs to be done and it only takes one minute, you do 

[00:12:23] it right now. 

[00:12:24] Zach: , if it's not urgent and I'm following this process, no, I don't do it 

[00:12:29] Jeremy: Interesting. 

[00:12:29] Zach: because my focus is to make sure that that do it now box is completely empty because the way where this really gets powerful is

[00:12:36] when you have figured out. When you've gotten that down to zero, you should be spending all of your time in the upper right hand quadrant where it's, they schedule it for later because those are the important things that if you don't do them, they will become urgent and they will move over to the do it now box and you'll be scrambling again.

[00:12:55] So that's ideally where you want to spend 90% of your time. Obviously things are gonna move over into the , urgent box occasionally. You just get 'em done, you do those. But whatever's over on that right hand side schedule it, like for me, doing the dishes, that's a two minute activity. But 

[00:13:14] Jeremy: it feels like an hour and a half. Oh my God. It feels like an 

[00:13:16] Zach: I know, but that's something like I make coffee and I do the dishes every night before I go to bed.

[00:13:20] It's scheduled. Right. occasionally like yeah, I will pick up something that's just a minute. I have to do it like at some point a task that you have to.

[00:13:30] Shouldn't go through this whole process of, , going onto the whiteboard and being organized into a task and put into a box and scheduled in your calendar when it's gonna take you 30 seconds, right?

[00:13:41] You're gonna spend 40 minutes planning to do this thing, which you could just do. But I will identify little things like that, that are a minute, two minutes, that are in that schedule later. And make sure that I do those at a point in times. Things like cleaning the house or doing laundry or , those two or three minute tasks.

[00:13:59] But if I break right, if I drop a glass and break it and there's glass shattered all over my kitchen,

[00:14:03] I'm not gonna go to my whiteboard and be like, pick up broken glass 

[00:14:07] Jeremy: when can I 

[00:14:08] Zach: and let's 

[00:14:08] let, is this urgent? Well, I am wearing shoes, so I guess it's not super urgent. Right? But once again, like. Those two top boxes, those are the important things.

[00:14:20] Anything that's down below, it's not important.

[00:14:23] So again, I gotta go back to work on this because like the things that are important are not important.

[00:14:29] But urgent, those might be really important for someone else in like your company or your organization or even in your family, right?

[00:14:37] Something that's not important to you could be super important to your child. To learn responsibility, to learn that they have to, , put an honest day's work in, you know, something like that. Or teach them a lesson. You've already learned the lesson, so it's not important to you. So just keep that in mind.

[00:14:51] There's things that are not important, but they're urgent, they gotta get done, and that's an opportunity

[00:14:56] for someone else to.

[00:14:57] Jeremy: So you have a robotic computer-like ability to break these things down. You've systemized this over the years. you have your matrix that you run it.

[00:15:05] through. , does that prevent you from getting frustrated in this 

[00:15:08] Zach: Absolutely not. So having this process in place makes it easier for me to just know what the next thing is I have to do, Simple as that. What that thing is. That's where we get into the meat of it. Right? Because nine times outta 10, whatever it is that I have to do, I've never done it before. I don't know what I'm doing

[00:15:32] Jeremy: because it's on this board. It's not something that you've just routinely picked up. Now it's something that you have to take on. That's 

[00:15:38] a new 

[00:15:38] Zach: Exactly. this is where a lot of people falter, right? Some people are so good at making lists and just not executing on the list because of that one piece of. I've never done that before. I don't know how to do that. And then the procrastination starts and you're like, oh, I'm just gonna check Facebook.

[00:15:55] And oh, you know what? I've been meaning to go for a walk. I'll do that. Oh, you know what? There's glass all over the kitchen. I'll pick that

[00:16:01] up. Right? You do all the things

[00:16:04] that you already know how to do instead of the thing that is challenging, the thing that is

[00:16:08] hard, the thing that you're avoiding. And to be quite honest with you, like it's taken a long time to

[00:16:13] really shift my focus. But when I'm doing something that I don't know what I'm doing, I am frustrated.

[00:16:21] And I just want to let everyone know, Jeremy, you know this already. When you are frustrated, that is the best time in your entire life to grow cuz you're learning something new, you're testing your abilities.

[00:16:38] Jeremy: Right. If you just do the same thing over and over again, you're not gonna grow. Right. You're so, so taking on these tasks, like doing the new thing, doing the hard thing, the thing that's challenging you, it's, we talk about this all the time. It's that strong wind that's blowing, that's gonna make the tree even stronger.

[00:16:52] So I like how you're saying basically just maybe not even get Okay. With frustration. But welcome it 

[00:16:59] Zach: Yeah. 

[00:16:59] Jeremy: it is a fantastic.

[00:17:01] Zach: Yeah. I say this all the time at work I have to,

[00:17:03] we have to do audits. Nobody likes audit.

[00:17:06] And you've said this a couple of times

[00:17:08] For other things, But like, when people, when we have to do an audit I very, very specifically phrase it as, Hey guys, we are so successful we get

[00:17:17] to do

[00:17:17] this audit.

[00:17:19] Right? It changes the meaning, and you've said it all the time. Instead of saying like, oh, I have to do the laundry. Oh, I get to do the laundry. You know what? I woke up and I get to do the laundry today. I could be dead. Right? But no, I get to do laundry. Just changing that one word changes the whole perspective on what it is you're doing.

[00:17:41] Jeremy: so I'm already hearing, well, it's, it's a familiar voice in my head. It's the one that, uh, has haunted me most of my life. But I imagine there are people listening to this too that are starting to think, oh, man, if I could just get motivated to do any of this, if I could just set that alarm a little earlier, if I could just.

[00:17:56] Get out there, go buy a whiteboard. If I, yeah, I just gotta get motivated to do that. What's your message to the, I gotta get motivated folks. 

[00:18:04] Zach: It's a little harsh. Just do it like the Nike slogan. Just do it. Like motivation will never come. If you're waiting for motivation, you'll never find it. You really just need to decide that you're gonna be the person who goes and get to a whiteboard. You are gonna be the person.

[00:18:22] Writes down all your tasks and your

[00:18:24] to-dos. You're gonna be the person who schedules them all,

[00:18:28] and you also have to be okay with not

[00:18:30] succeeding, right? You'll do it once,

[00:18:32] you'll forget. Then you'll do it again

[00:18:34] and you'll forget. Then you'll do it again, and you'll do it the next day, two days in a row. Then you'll forget, like this is a process, and then you'll get the list together and you won't get any of it.

[00:18:44] And then you'll get the list together and you get one thing done. Start with small things like small successes , and get used to it. I think this took me probably six or eight months to have it be part of my routine.

[00:18:54] Jeremy: And I guess Aside from the practical part of this, obviously we need to get shit done. We're busy people, our schedules are demanding. But in terms of your overall happiness and, and your approach to life, how does it affect you to have things so well organized and to be able to execute them the way that you plan

[00:19:11] Zach: well, I mean, just think of all the little dopamine squirts you're gonna get with, , crossing something off your list or, just getting things done. Right. 

[00:19:21] Why 

[00:19:21] Jeremy: I'm still laughing at Dopamine. S Quartz. 

[00:19:24] Zach: I said it very, 

[00:19:25] Jeremy: That's a, That's That's a supplement. The supplement we need to start selling is Dopamine s quartz, 

[00:19:30] Zach: That's not a bad idea.

[00:19:31] Jeremy: Put it on the whiteboard 

[00:19:34] Zach: So for me, having you know this to-do list, that's highly priorit. and I know what the next thing is that I have to do. , it just keeps me and my anxiety, right? This is all about my anxiety, right? So if you run hot, if you run in the future, like knowing what the next day looks like or the next three days look like, or what it is that you have to take care of and where you've gotta spend your time, like this really just brings me a level

[00:20:00] of and allows me to go take care of myself. So let's go all the way back to the beginning. I know I can spend those couple of hours on myself every day

[00:20:09] because I have my to-do list dialed in. I know what the priorities are and that I get to do. Like literally I get to do those things cuz I woke up today.

[00:20:21] Jeremy: And I think, again, , being on the other side of that coin with the depression, I think that that's where, at least for me, I know that there needs to be some sort of external accountability at this point in my life may, maybe I'll evolve beyond this, but. I know from 45 years of history that if I give myself any chance to get off the hook, I'm gonna take it. And so I need to implement strategies of having an accountability

[00:20:44] partner, having a coach, having somebody

[00:20:46] that will keep me accountable to the goals that I set for myself, , is a massively helpful way for me to make sure that I actually get shit.

[00:20:54] Even when I don't feel like it, 

[00:20:56] Zach: so the one caveat I wanna make to all of this is what we talk about all the time. Like there's no one size fits all, right? These things that I do work for me, and I'm not kidding, I went through every single book I could find on Getting shit done. There's literally a book called Getting Things Done , that system didn't work for me either, but, or Eat the Frog or Whate, like all of these things are, you know, the full focus planner.

[00:21:20] There's all these different, , modalities , that you can use to like, get things done. That's the one that works for me. So I don't expect anyone to listen to this and go, oh, I'm gonna implement that and it's gonna work and it's gonna do give it a try, see if you can work with it. It's not. , but none of them are.

[00:21:38] But

[00:21:39] if this one doesn't work for you, there are dozens of them out

[00:21:43] there that you can take a look at. , 

[00:21:45] but for me, having this ability to get everything out of my head, first and foremost, leads me to better clarity, being able to get actually things done and just have a happi.

[00:21:57] Healthier life that I, where I can take care of myself. So at the very least, if you take nothing out of this, get the stuff outta your head and onto a piece of paper. From there, move it into whatever system works for you to get your things done.

[00:22:11] Jeremy: And so there you have it. It's, uh, a little self-care, a little bit of whiteboarding, a little bit of prioritizing, and then , when worst comes to worst, just parent yourself and just get it done anyways, even if you don't

[00:22:22] feel like it. Some of the key takeaways from this conversation, I'd love to know what you do.

[00:22:26] How do you

[00:22:27] keep things organized? How do you get things

[00:22:29] done? When you don't feel like it, what have you

[00:22:31] tried that has or has not

[00:22:33] worked? I'd love to see those posts in the Facebook group for this show. You can find the

[00:22:37] link to that on our website. It's called the fit We'd love to have you join the community there and participate

[00:22:43] And share what's working for you, what doesn't.

[00:22:45] How do you get shit done when you don't feel

[00:22:46] like it? We'd love to see those comments in the Facebook group and, the website, by the way, the fit That's where we'll be back next week with a brand new episode. 

[00:22:54] Thanks for. 

[00:22:55] Zach: and I can now cross off record podcast for the day.

[00:23:00] Jeremy: Check