I hear a lot of entrepreneurs complain that they're not being productive. They have a lot they want to accomplish, yet they feel that they're not getting enough done. They're mentally assessing their productivity and giving themselves a failing grade.

They ask me: "How can I manage my time better?"

Typically, what needs to be better managed is not time; it's your energy. If there's one aspect of your business where you consistently procrastinate; that you consistently avoid; that just doesn't get done - the answer is almost always to look at what your feelings are.

As an example, a lot of my clients tend to avoid calling people (and I have done this myself!).

If you've experienced this, you may feel uncomfortable when you imagine talking to someone about your offer. You ask yourself: "Why would this successful person want to hear about my offer?" This can come from a feeling of personal unworthiness ("Whatever I'm doing isn't good enough or interesting enough").

Closely related to this, you may worry about how the person you're calling will judge you or your offer. "I'm not an expert (or I make less than they do, or I'm new in this business...) so why would they listen to me?"

In these cases, where you're avoiding something and you're feeling worried or upset, the answer is not to figure out a new way to craft your to-do list or schedule, it's to examine your feelings and address them directly!

First, acknowledge what you're feeling. Do not ignore your feelings! Consistently ignoring your feelings is going to lead you to make a lot of logical decisions that your heart doesn't agree with, and that absolutely positively will take you down the road to unhappiness. Ignoring your feelings also fuels the energy of procrastination.

Are you feeling unworthy, or somehow not-enough? Are you uncertain of what wording to use in a call? Do you get freaked out if you get voice mail instead of a person? Or alternatively, are you relieved if you get voice mail instead of a person?

Next, recognize that this is a GROWTH OPPORTUNITY for you! As an entrepreneur, your business will consistently show you where you need to grow. When you grow, you step into an expanded way of thinking and acting. You make different choices in your business - choices that lead you to more abundance and possibilities - and different results are created.

If you're feeling unworthy, then you want to build up your belief in your worthiness. Try an existing technique you can apply: visualizations, meditation, affirmations, prayer, etc.?

If you're uncertain about wording or feel discombobulated by voice mail, then script out what you'll say. Depending on how comfortable you are with speaking off the top of your head, the mere act of writing it out may be sufficient - you gain confidence, you order your thoughts - then you make the call without following the script. Or you may follow the script exactly. Whatever best supports you is the right choice for you.

When you're avoiding your work or feeling anxious, your energy is blocked and you feel stuck. Once you recognize your feelings and support yourself to shift your thinking and move through the block, your energy will flow easily. Your work will feel effortless and you'll impress yourself with how fast you can get things done! That is the secret to true productivity.


The next time you find yourself avoiding something on your to-do list, take a break right there. Sit down, take a couple deep inhales and exhales, and ask yourself: "What am I worrying about here? What is it about this task that I fear?" Without judging yourself, give yourself permission to name that feeling and accept that this is how you feel.

Then you can try a bit of self-coaching. Ask your higher self: How can I help myself acknowledge this fear and move through it, with ease? Pay attention to whatever answer comes back to you and try that.

Author's Bio: 

Marcy Stahl’s passion is helping women direct sellers and solopreneurs achieve the successful lifestyle they want. She knows that the top entrepreneurs have the top mindsets. Her mission is to help every entrepreneur develop a profitable and abundant mindset.

Marcy is a serial entrepreneur. Previously, she co-founded and managed a government contracting firm that earned over $1M in annual revenues. She holds a B.S. with honors and M.S. in Computer Science from George Mason University. Prior to coaching, she spent 21 years in the corporate world in technology.

She is the co-author of Direct Selling Power. Marcy is an Area Chapter Coordinator with the Direct Selling Women’s Alliance (DSWA) and a member of the Direct Selling Women’s Speaker Bureau. She’s currently in coaching school for direct sellers.