Marie Forleo introduction


I'm Marie

You have gifts to share with the world and my job is to help you get them out there.

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A few weeks ago, the Tony Robbins’ team called me up to do a follow-up webinar for their elite New Money Masters clients.

(BRAG ALERT! Tony recently interviewed me as part of his DVD series on the world’s leading marketing and lifestyle experts. It was hands-down, one of the coolest experiences ever.)

m&tonyAnyway, when I got the call from his team, I was in the midst of some back-to-back travel, retreat planning and about 5 other important projects.

But despite having a full plate, of course, I said “Heaallls yeah!” to Tony’s crew.

I spoke with Matt, Tony’s V.P of Sales to clarify objectives and confirm a time for the next day to review what I was going to present.

In my excitement, I didn’t realize my afternoon was already booked, which means I only had 4 hours the next morning to create my slide presentation before our appointment to review.

You see, I normally take a lot more time to produce webinar content. I’m a bit of a perfectionist so often I spend hours, over several days, refining my content before I feel it’s ready to present.

We have the capacity to produce great work in much less time than we think. Click To Tweet

Well this time, I put myself in a pickle.

There was no “several days” to work on this content. I had to produce high-quality, high-value content, fast.

That next morning was intense. I planted my buns on the couch for 4 hours and did not move. Every cell of my body was focused and on task.

We had the review as planned and a few hours later, I delivered the live webinar to their top-tier clients.

The result? Matt told me it was one of the best webinars they’ve hosted and that I officially “raised the bar for delivering high-value and fun.”

Now before you think this is one big ‘look-at-how-awesome-I- am-fest’, here’s my point.

Most of us entrepreneurs have a habit of working on stuff way longer than we need to.

We can often spend days, weeks, and months slaving over our creations. Why?

Because we forget to about our trusty little friend, Parkinson’s Law. Parkinson’s Law states that work expands to fill the time allotted.

Translation: You give yourself a week to make a video intro for your website, you’ll likely take a week, or 12, to do it.

Now imagine this. If Oprah called and said, “Hey! We just had a cancellation on this Friday’s show. But in order to book you, my producers need to see a 3 minute video within the hour.”

You think it would take you a week to shoot that video? Of course not! You’d whip out your little Flip Video so fast it would smoke and leave streaks.

If the Tony Robbin’s crew would have given me three weeks to create content for a webinar, I would’ve spent three weeks thinking about it, worrying about it, tweaking it and I’ll bet it wouldn’t have been nearly as good.

Here’s the deal. When you’re up against a wall to complete a task, your genius gets focused like a laser beam. All that juicy, delicious and magical creativity inside you funnels directly into the task at hand.

Bottom line?

We have the capacity to produce great work in so much less time than we think.

Take a look for yourself. I’ll bet you have tons of examples in your own business and life where you had to get something done – fast – and killed it.

The real trick is learning how to consciously and deliberately create this kind of focused momentum.  First, we need to get intimate with our little old friend Mr. Parkinson and remember that work does expand to the time allotted.

These next four steps take it from there.

1.  Outside Accountability.

Most of us are way better at getting things done for others vs. doing things for ourselves. If that’s true for you, use that insight to your advantage. Promise someone. Pay someone. Go public with an announcement. Put some kind of real accountability in place so you have to get it done.

2.  Clear Time Frames.

Have a clear, specific time and date by which you must deliver the goods AND have a set amount of time to do the work. “In a few weeks” or “It’ll take a couple of hours” doesn’t cut the mustard.

The more specific you are, the better your chances are of knocking it out quickly and on time.

3.  Zero Distractions.

This is HUGE. No distractions or interruptions allowed during creation time.  No texting, tweeting, emailing, phoning, surfing the interwebs or straying off task. Peeing is permitted. If you need to get outside help or research, keep it short and to the point. Stay uber focused.

4. No Fail Attitude.

This is actually the most important aspect of all: your belief in yourself. You really can do whatever you set your mind to. You’re a genius. A star. And way more capable than your chattering little mind likes to give you credit for.

Don’t give yourself any room to panic, complain or have a meltdown. No drama. No B.S. No cryin’ for mama. Just sit down and do the work.

When you follow these steps, you can easily double your results while working much less.

CONFESSION:  Now don’t get all crazy and think I bang stuff out like this everyday. I can’t be this hardcore all the time. I’d get totally fried. But I do my best to practice regularly. Kind of like a productivity workout to build my speed and stamina. And when loads of projects have to get done, this is how I roll.

Now take a look at your own business and life.

What’s one profitable task that’s been on your list for a while that you’re ready to tackle?

What’s ONE thing that you’d love to knock out fast? How can you proactively use these four steps to cut your task time in half or in a third?

Leave a comment and let me know. And if you have any good stories, tips or ideas to share on this topic, share them too.

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  1. Teri

    #4 No Fail Attitude is the key! Thanks for the reminder (again). Great post, Marie!

    • marie

      You’re WELCOME Teri!! Thanks for swingin’ by 🙂

  2. This is awesome. Thanks so much as always for posting!

    • marie

      thank YOU Bethany.

  3. Marie – I love the webinar story and the power of Parkinson’s Law. 🙂

    The Zero Distractions one is definitely big for me. I still have a habit of multi-tasking when I’m working on the computer – I’ll have multiple windows open, tabs open, be hopping around from one thing to the next. Starting to get better at closing EVERYTHING except what I’m working on, but this is still a good reminder to get even MORE focused and eliminate distractions ruthlessly.

  4. Oh, and I’m loving the content and excited to see it coming more often! 😉

    • marie

      thanks Jess! See if you can do ONE thing for like 30 – 45 minutes. Just like a workout, you’ll increase your tolerance for single-tasking. 🙂

      • Mitoo

        That’s a good advice I should follow! Focusing on one task for better results… I’ve done it in the past (academic pressure to pass a PhD exam) with success, so I’ll do it again this time!! 🙂

      • Single-tasking!

  5. Hi Marie,

    What I love best about this piece is your writing style! It’s fun and free and flip and folksy and fluid and fantabulous and frolicking and ferocious. You write from the hip.

    My fav lines:
    I planted my ass on the couch for 4 hours and did not move.
    No cryin’ for mama.
    I can’t be this hardcore all the time.
    I’d get totally fried.

    thanks! Giulietta

    • marie

      aww thanks so much for the feedback Giulietta! I sooo appreciate it.

  6. stephanie*

    Marie! Thanks for this post – it is just a good little boost, I really enjoy to get under my wings now 🙂
    So the ONE thing -for a start- is to finish my preparation for my two hours I have to teach tomorrow till tonight 8, so I have the evening free for other stuff.
    Thanks for the rock n roll – and I m looking forward to dance on with you 😉
    Warm greetings from Switzerland!

    • marie

      Yay Stephanie* and you’re welcome!

  7. Marie, we didn’t get the call from Oprah, we got the call from Fox News. They want to have my partner and/or I on the Fox & Friends show this coming Saturday morning to promote our Planet Bonehead project. I was already overcommitted with project work, but of course we said – how did you put it? – “Heeelllls Yeah!” So, I’m seriously moving through everything that needs to be done in as little time as possible. It’s amazing what you can get done when the pressure is on.

    • marie

      suuuweeet Bob! Rock on with your bad self baby 🙂 Let us know how it goes!

  8. The whole concept of something taking as long as you give it is so simple, yet so foreign to me. I started freelancing right out of college and I was so used to papers that would take weeks, if not months to do. Because that’s how long teachers told us to take.

    Every since you mentioned this on one of the calls it’s been this huge epiphany for me! While I can’t pretend to do it all the time, I will reevaluation how long I think something should take, cut it in half and give myself that time to do it. If it really does take longer, than fine. But honestly? It usually doesn’t.

    Thanks for reminding us, Marie! You’re a peach 🙂

    • marie

      Aww shucks Marian. You’re a peach too 🙂 Love that all this shiznit is working for ya. Makes my heart smile!

  9. Hi Marie,

    I totally agree– I’ve been using my “power hour” approach for years (started it with roommates in college”– I set the time for one hour and focus like mad at getting something accomplished. When the timer goes off I stop. Get up and do something completely different and refreshing (go for a walk, paint my toenails, listen to music and dance, anything but “work”). If I need to I set another power hour of concentration until the work is done.

    These bouts of highly focused time help me consistently produce great work without letting my work bleed into all my time.

    • marie

      Noooice Lisa. I like the “power hour” approach… and, timers are hot.

    • Jennifer

      I’m stealin “Power Hour,” ThankYouVeryMuch!

  10. This is awesome. I absolutely resonate with this entire post. Thanks for sharing it with us!

    Over this past month, I’ve put my accountability in place. I get a nice little email or text from a friend who knows exactly when I need it. She challenges me to get stuff done and stay on track.

    And now, when I need to get something done fast…I’m able to wrangle a babysitter, pick up my macbook and mosy over to our business center office in no time flat. I jam out work in 1/2 the time because I have NOTHING distracting me.

    With these 2, I’ve already noticed how much more I can get done and it propels me forward to create more in less time.

    Now, onto getting the other 2 steps in place!
    Anne 🙂

    • marie

      Hey Anne! Don’t you just love to mosy to places? It’s so delicious. Mosy on over to the other two steps and I have a feeling it will be a proDUCtive partaay.

  11. Love this Marie and it’s so true! A few years ago, I wanted to launch an eBook. I wrote all the content – but it was a big hot mess and not at all organized into what I wanted. At the same time, my web designer was finished with my site, which included the book cover and pay button. I had her launch it and within 1 hour I had 3 orders – for a book that wasn’t done! I spent the next few organizing and editing and have since sold a ton and have received a lot of compliments on the content. If I wasn’t “forced” to get it done, I likely would still be sitting on that project years later!

    • marie

      Damn skippy girl! That’s my kind of selling 🙂

  12. I used to do this with my English essays in college. I’d wait until the last minute and then plunk down in front of the computer, books in hand, and hammer out the tightest essay ever. I had a surefire formula for creating great writing and it didn’t involve multiple rough drafts. I’d say I was successful…at 16, I got published in college journals and tutored other college level students in writing composition. At the time, I didn’t understand how irksome that must have been, having this little 16 year old telling you how to write a great essay 😉

    Thanks for that reminder. I have two projects I need to hammer out and a presentation coming up as well. Now channeling laser focus!

    • marie

      oooooh girl! Sounds like it’s time to channel teen Sukie (that sounds naughty) to crank out some content.

  13. ha ha hey marie, you’re such a great motivator! i think i’ve seen so many of your videos to the point where my narrative voice sounds exactly like you when reading your articles

    hope all is well w. ya… congrats on the tony robbins!

    • marie

      muchas gracias parkerlee! Tony is one cool dude.

  14. Hey now, put those binoculars down! Were you watching me last night? Yesterday afternoon I booked a speaking gig and needed to send bio, pic, and agenda. Last night before sending I wanted to tweak the bio and agenda a bit which should have taken about 8 minutes. Instead, I had the TV on with Psyche playing. So an HOUR later I got the job done.

    On my calendar today is the note to mail out 20 “warm” referral letters before leaving town for the weekend. After this post, you can bet I’ll have my timer set for a power hour and crank those babies out.

    Thanks for the reminder!

    • marie

      Ha ha…I use my special X ray vision to write all my posts 🙂 SWEET on pumping out those letters. Rock on Amy.

  15. Marie,

    I love this! Being a single mom of two, I find that I often have much less time than I’d ideally want for the projects, tasks, whatever, I’ve got on my plate. My coach and friend Judymay Murphy once gave a talk on How To Be Brilliant and in it she said that we’re not procrastinators, we’re incredibly efficient. You always get done whatever you need to in whatever time you have. So true.

    I recently wrote a blog on “icing the kicker” and what happens when you get interrupted and pulled away from that “zone” / place of productivity.

    • marie

      God bless you Michelle! (My hats off to all the beautiful single moms out there!) Thanks so much for stopping by 😉

  16. rachel

    Love it! keep it coming Marie!!!
    Thanks You

    • marie

      You’re welcome!

  17. Preach it 🙂

    I’m finding that the tighter time frame I put myself on, the better the content because I have zero room for filler – the only thing I can communicate is the meaty stuff.

    • marie

      Amen brother! And you do have some pretty damn awesome content my friend.

  18. Yael

    I was just thinking recently about how much more focused and productive people can be when doing work for others as opposed to doing a project they are independently working on. I think many people have this issue, its a self value thing. Anyway, I loved this post, thank you for the reminder of how we can get things done quickly and well when we are focused!

    • marie

      you are welcome Yael! 🙂

  19. Joani

    Hey Marie,
    Awesome reminder as it rang home hard. Your a lifesaver!

    • marie

      glad to be of service Joani!

  20. Oh if that isn’t PURE truth! Love this post and thank you!!!

    • marie

      Welcome Wendy!

  21. Elizabeth Snyder


    This post was just the kick in the ass that I needed! As a newbie to internet marketing, I spend way too much time lolly-gagging around with 5 tabs open on my laptop, cellphone at the ready, no one task getting my full attention.

    Starting today, I vow to UBER FOCUS for at least 45 minutes on creating content. I will smile cheerily at dishes in the sink and laundry all over the place when this has been done!

    Thanks for your fabulous words of wisdom!


    • marie

      EXCELLENT Elizabeth…this is SO important for the stage you’re at!! Set timers – it’s good stuff.

  22. marie i love this!

    i have a lot of projects on the go and it has been a bit overwhelming, feeling like i need months and months before i’ll get anything done. so i woke up at 5am this morning, totally inspired, seeing how i can get the first one done by saturday. sarturday! i jumped out of bed and got going and got it mostly finished this morning. that gives me all of tomorrow for pouring the magic sparkles on it and by saturday it will be perfect 🙂

    i love this approach and can’t wait to see what happens as i do it more often.

    • marie

      awesome Andrea! Come back and let us know how it goes…and rock on with your magic sparkles. (btw…send me some – they sound cool.)

  23. Marie,

    You effin’ nailed it again….LOL 🙂

    Tony Robbins…awesome and impressive…….You are on fire your Hotness !

    Would love to get a replay of that webinar.


    • marie

      Thanks KatrinaMarie! Appreciate it 😉

  24. Olga

    Thanks a lot for that stuff!
    As for me, zero distractions point seems to be the most challenging and thus beneficial. And it surely call sfor switching the cell off…
    Thanks a lot again! Good luck!

    • marie

      You’re welcome Olga. Yeah – that turning off the cell phone is huge!

  25. Hell to the frickin’ yeah. I can’t tell you how many people have called me a nut job for doing this live event. And yet, here we are, getting ready to launch the single biggest “product” in my business career – and it’s working. Failure is NOT an option. It’s too expensive to quit!

    Love it, Marie. Thanks for the post.

    • marie

      SWEET Lisa!! and GO girl GO with your event!!

  26. Marie!

    OMG…I’m brand new to your list and I just want to say I LOVE YOU! What a breath of fresh air.. finally someone who just be’s REAL! I love a woman who can just let her freak flag fly and just be her own voice and not worry about what people will think or how it comes across.. you just be you.. and how refreshing is that. So glad I found ya sista!!
    .-= Darcy Volden Hoag´s last blog ..What If It All Worked Out =-.

    • marie

      WOW – thanks Darcy! I felt sooo much juicy love coming through every word. Honored to have you here 😉

  27. Tony Robbins! How freak’n cool is that!

    That last part is so true. Man it would be nice if we could be laser focused at warp speed 24/7 without burning out. It does give you an incredible boost confidence though when your next “thing” comes around.

    You can be all like, “Pssh… Whatever, I did that last thing that was twice as big in half the time. LETS DO THIS”

    • marie

      Totally Andy!! LOVE IT 🙂

  28. Love this Marie, totally quotable!: “You’re a genius. A star. A fucking prodigy. And way more capable than your chattering little mind likes to give you credit for.”

    – you rock. I’m so going to crack it on that important project i’ve been noodling on for the past week… cheers 🙂

    • marie

      go on with your bad self Satya! Can’t wait to hear all about what you’re cooking up!

  29. AJ

    Marie… absolutely Hilarious and Fabulously Funny… I haven’t
    laughed so much in such a short time, I think we have a talk show!
    Marvelously funny… my how your creative energy can enlighten
    even the most of creative of minds. Oh… stop.. I’ve got to read it again.

    Pause…- aha… ha..ha.. ha… ha … ohla…

    Oh.. I know I will ad some Sassy Hot Salsa music in the backdrop
    as I’m envisioning you speaking on the talk show commercial…
    This truly is one of the most Crucial Power Principles for Success
    Ever Written…!!! Bravo… Bravo…!!!
    I Congratulate You on this Fabulous Work and Inspiration.
    Focus and Singleness of Purpose… Bravo… Bravo…!!!

    With love and kindness always-

    Sincerely yours forever,

    AJ – “one with life”

    • marie

      Why Thank You AJ!

  30. Marie-

    Always brilliant oh sexy one! You are so right and Rock on! Thanks for the reminder. 🙂 K

    • marie

      Hey Kristi! Thanks so much for swingin’ by lady 😉

  31. Oh I would love to have heard your info!!! I am so excited for you!

    I have learned as a mom of 3 and owning my own business, get it done in the first and the last couple hours of the day. I function really well, first thing. And then my creative juices for writing seem to come out at night, but I could spend all day trying to write. All I need to do is wait, sit down after everyone is asleep and it just happens.

    • marie

      Ooooh Hannah. I’m with you woman. I get the late night juice often (like now!) thanks for swingin’ by!

  32. Marie!

    thats awesome on the T team!

    Thanks for this… my whole life I have been a master procrastinator…
    I have been able to whip things out in college at the last minute that were masterpieces! Now in biz, I thought I could pull this trait out but I either lost my touch or I need to apply some of the above with laser focus to get shit done.
    I’m in a current state of immobilization with all this time on my hands! Maybe I need to bump up my deadlines and apply some accountability! Thanks for always being spot on!

    • marie

      YES – too much time on your hands can be a hot mess. Structure and deadlines help big time.

  33. I needed to hear this message today Marie. Thanks for the kick in the butt!
    Jan Marie Dore, The Women Entrepreneurs’ Success Coach

    • marie

      My pleasure!

  34. Honestly Marie, you and Lisa really are the inspiration behind my madness lately. With everything else in my life that could be a huge distraction, I have mustered through and thrived. I have gotten more done since working with you guys than I have over the last year. Thanks for reminding me that I can do it. I needed to hear that today. I guess from time to time we all do.


    • marie

      yessssss, woman, yesss – music to my ears. Big ups to you for IMPLEMENTING all the juice we share in the program. Keep rockin’ Kimberly 😉

  35. My problem is with the outside accountability aspect. I often announce I am going to do something and don’t end up doing it, so not only do I not get it done, I end up losing credibility to myself AND others and look like a flake. When I’m making the announcement I guess I am thinking “I HAVE to make this announcement so I won’t cop out” and I guess I just think of it as a strategy that hasn’t worked in the past and just made me feel bad about myself so that is what I am expecting in the future. How do I break out of this pattern and break that association? Is there a more powerful way of getting yourself to commit to things?

    • marie

      I would start giving your word and keeping it on a small scale first. Like waking up when you say you will. You need to build up trust with YOU first. Then roll it out to the juicy Universe. Go for it girl – you can totally do it.

  36. Great post Marie. You give great reminder:)

    • marie

      Ha ha….I had to read that twice it was so good!

  37. Jen

    Love this article…it rings so true to me and thanks for the oh-so-direct commentary…

    • marie

      anytime, Jen!

  38. Hi Marie–

    Congrats on WOWing the Tony Robbins team. I remember when he was the fat man in the bathtub, literally (his strory). How you got it done so fast explains the adage, “If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it!”

    Of course you’re right; the hazard is the Fry Factor.

    Stay Cool!
    XO, Patrice

    • marie

      heellooo Patrice! Miss you lady and yes, busy beavers tend to knock stuff out!
      xox M

  39. Catherine

    Article and photo is great – and I LOVE LOVE LOVE you being part of Tony’s DVD series !!! I remember you very well from Ali’s Blueprint and I loved reading your book – so proud of the path you are taking, Marie.

    Catherine, Switzerland

    • marie

      Thanks a million Catherine! Means a lot to me 🙂 Love to you in Switzerland!

  40. I find I always do my best work when I don’t think I’ve left myself adequate time to do it in. When I wrote my first blog post I did it in 20 minutes. I had been putting off for weeks thinking I needed to create some retreat for the “huge undertaking of starting a blog.” And then the idea for the post came to me, I sat down when I had literally only 20 min. before I had to scoot out the door, and voila…I had a post that was just about ready for post (minus a few typos.) You know what they say, if you need something done, ask someone busy to do it. I find that I do my best work when I don’t have too much time to do it in. Focus is so key and I really agree (and need to discipline myself more) around the no distractions. Thanks for a great post Marie!

    • marie

      That’s what I’m talkin’ bout woman. Now it’s just about time to get you out here to Sag so we can get our yoga on together (and beach time!) xoxo M

  41. Aurélia

    Thanks a lot for your enthusiastic and useful post Marie!
    I experienced this in the past and it worked wonderfully! It’s how I can give my best. That was like a big and positive tension for hours or days until the work is done.Then almost nothing else mattered, I was able not to sleep or very few hours in this period, my place was a total mess and I didn’t care because I wanted to achieve this one thing. Even when the work was totally new and seemed impossible at first, I was confident, commited and succeed.

    My problem now is to be able to find this state again AND to restaure my confidence because when I started new studies at the university, I faced tasks very long to accomplish (about 8 subjects and 300 pages each to digest in 3 months)and I was in this productive state all the time because I was so motivated but my health and relationships became seriously injured and I failed, which doubled the tension and the work to do for the next period.

    It’s actually hard for me to relax as long as I didn’t succeed and if I’m forced to do it physically (because I’m exhausted), I tend to loose confidence and have bad self-image and fail attitude.

    Well, anyway, I’m trying to sort this out on my own but it would be cool if someone had suggestions…

    Maybe I need to stop thinking and to have more fun in life, in order to be less obsessed with work… I admire your cool and fun Marie! it has always been a big challenge for me!!

    Thanks a lot !

    • marie

      YES – more fun girl. MORE FUN.

      And take care of your body. Nourish her with outrageously healthy and tasty food. Get her moving. A lot. And of course, feed your soul with the most delicious and heavenly morsels of music, words, ideas and images you can find.

      • Aurélia

        Thank u! It’s the way I’m on but your words are very inspiring, even if english isn’t my first language!
        And it reminds me this should be a priority too So I went karting for the 1st time in my life today and after a little bit of anxiety and feeling guilty,
        I had a lot of fun :-)!!
        I went to work just after that, and I noticed my interactions with people at work were much more fluent and lively, yeah!!
        This kind of experience, the positive tone you have make me find out a entire new and cool world where I’m not comfortable in yet because I always thought the only possible and allowed fun was at work!


  42. Marie,
    Love the reference to Parkinson’s Law. Puts it all in perspective!

    • marie

      SWEET Julie!

  43. Jennifer

    Marie, I love your work! and to be honest am not the most successful would-be Entrepreneur you have ever met. You see, I am guilty of all of the above. I kick my arse everyday to stay in line and in focus. Problem is – “too many have too’s”! Yeah they real world gets in the way. So all I want to do is be a successful on-line Affiliate Marketer with heaps of landing pages selling other peoples incredible product. But, there are so many different sites to choose from, I get frazzled! I will never give up and now that I have found such a sexy hot, cool, chick, such as yourself to follow, I am already on my way to finding the perfect formula. Thanks a million Marie. x

    • marie

      Hey Lady! Be good to you. And start with getting ONE product cooking with gas. Choose the one you most LOVE and that you’ve got fire and passion around. Keep rocking and keep us posted.

  44. Wonderful tips, thank you!

    • marie

      You’re welcome!

  45. Kenli Mattus

    Thanks for posting.
    When our band was asked to perform on MTV we still had no music video…our genius jumped into action and we produced an awesome video for under $5000 from concept to finish in 1 week. Pretty amazing.
    You are so right and I will reference that experience now that you reminded me how we can all do that.

    • marie

      SWEET Kenli! Love stories like that!!! Miss you guys and hope to see you soon 😉

  46. Everything comes back to a wedding metaphor in my business, so bear with me… Years back I had a terrific editor I admired while we both worked at a bridal publication. When *she* got engaged & started to plan her *own* wedding, she went against everything we told our readers. “I’m going to do it in a few months. Tops. If I give myself a year or a year and a half’s time to plan it, I’ll use the whole time stressing over details.” She stuck to her word & had a gorgeous celebration. I knew I admired her! And you… Thanks, Marie.

    • marie

      Love this one Lisa Marie!! Great story 😉

  47. ….thanks for reminding me of zero distraction, but I actually checked my emails quickly and found you! great positive distraction….thanks Marie

  48. Wow, Marie!
    Congrats on being tapped by Tony Robbins! I’ve been to a lot of his seminars (was a group leader at Life Mastery in Hawaii in 2001 when he mediated a whole peace process between a Syrian and an Orthodox Jew in the the audience on the morning of Sept 11. One of the most amazing experiences of my life). What you say is so true. When I’ve left things for the last minute, and the pressure is on, I can’t believe the results sometimes — which has taught me to procrastinate. Better to have a short deadline from the beginning.

    I recently wrote a blog post that has a cute and inspiring 6-minute video from the BBC show “Faking It” . A punk rocker has to learn to be a symphony conductor — and convince the pros he is one — inside a couple of weeks. It demonstrates your points about accountability, time frames and zero distractions. I also add the component of a mentor of an expert to model, encourage and/or inspire you –if you’re lucky enough to have one.

  49. Daniela

    Hi Marie!

    Kenli and I looved your post!

    AND I just remembered one of those things (that have taken me literally forever); I never sent you the translation of the article I wrote about you!!!!

    Would that still help at all if I send it now?


    • marie

      Hey Daniela! Of course – I’d LOVE to see that article. Hugs right back baby! xo M

  50. joan

    Yes this knd of focus does work and you often produce more than you thought you would. Whenever i work like this i feel like i am high on something and once i am finished i still keep going. Whenever i have clients who are stalling but i know need my product i usually focus on the best strategy to use and set a time to close the sale. It works everytime.

    • marie

      Nice Joan – I love your strategy for closing the sale – VERY smart!

  51. I needed this today. Thanks for the kick in the ass 🙂

  52. Hi Marie,
    Just discovered your site by accident after reading Katie F’s site.
    Your straigthforward no-nonsence attitude is refreshing and needed.
    Keep up the great work,
    I’ll definitely stop back again.
    J. GIb!

    • marie

      Hey James! Katie is a star – love her. Thank you so much for stopping by and hope to see you again soon!

  53. Marie – You’re one badass lady!

    I saw you’re interview on “new money masters” and really resonated with everything you said, “Be A Pro.” Everyone always tells you to enjoy the journey and live in the moment; but, honestly, what hell and how the hell do you do those things. “Be A Pro” in every moment gives one direction in every moment. “Be A Pro” is the goal for every moment and the practice of discipline guides one along that path. “Be A Pro” forces one to conscious in every moment. Discipline forces one to complete moments with pride. If you have a whole day filled with moment of pride and happiness…guess what? You enjoy that day. Have a week of those days, a month, a year, a lifetime. Now you’ve enjoyed the journey.
    Great stuff Marie, I’m gonna keep an eye on you. Thanks

    • marie

      Hey Brock! Why thank you so very much. I SO love you took the “Be A Pro” thing and rocked it out. It’s simple and works every time.

  54. Karen Armstrong

    *Love* these strategies, Marie… I needed this kick in the ass!

    • marie

      Yay Karen!!

  55. Congratulations on being interviewed by Tony Robbins, that is such an honor. You deserve it, keep up the great work!

    • marie

      Thank you Tracey – I really appreciate it.

  56. Maria:
    Thanks for this reminder today! I have gone through periods of time when I have banged things out…YEs when the phone rings and the important and urgent call comes in.

    Thanks for the inspiration and reminder that I can create this urgency and importance any time I want! Loved the bullet points they are right on!

    You Rock, always love your posts! Hope to see you again soon!
    Hugs Cindy

    • marie

      Great to have you here woman and yeah! it’s awesome to have those reminders about “creating” urgency.

  57. Hey Marie, love this, you are always right on target with everything you write! How are you?


    • marie

      Hey Maria!!! How are YOU woman?! Miss you. Things are super fun (and busy) over here. Love you long time – send an update please 🙂

  58. marian

    hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii marieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
    i love it i need it
    you r specialllllllllllllllllllllll

    • marie

      thank youooooooooooooooo mariannnnnn!

  59. When I need to focus on a specific task and crank something out (or clear the To Do List), I turn everything off (all distractions and browser tabs), turn on a good bit of music, and get cranking.

    I’ve learned to time-block certain parts of my day well. I know when I’m most productive and I’ve also made use of specific email accounts to prioritize tasks. For example, I have a “[email protected]” email address that I use to answer all client support requests (we do web design). I always answer these emails *first* and as quickly as possible. After all they’re existing clients and they’ve paid for my time. Keeping them happy first and foremost is a priority.

    The rest is just a matter of trying to refine processes to make sure things work as smoothly as possible, in as little time as possible and so that clients are as happy as possible.

    Sometimes, the calendar gets the best of me. That’s when a walk by the beach whilst disconnecting comes in handy 🙂

    • marie

      My favorite line : “After all they’re existing clients and they’ve paid for my time. Keeping them happy first and foremost is a priority.”

      You’re a smart man Ricardo! So glad to have you here.

  60. Alex

    Congrats on you project!
    Thank you for reminding me to use my head but without letting myself believe I am my thoughts. “You are NOT your thoughts, You are not your thoughts!” This mantra has helped me more than I can put into words.
    Thank you!

    • marie

      YES! That one helps me too – especially when those thoughts are spewing out pure caca. 😉

  61. Cat


    I soooo know what you’re talking about! I recently re-instated a practice I once used during a highly productive time of my life; “The Fortnightlies.” Basically, I choose up to 5 tasks/activites/actions of varying effort levels to complete in two weeks. Once I’ve made my list, I list the steps involved, and when possible, assign dates to each of the steps. By restricting myself to two weeks, I pay closer attention to each task, and have a better chance of completing them.

    I always try to finish the list before the fortnight is over, so I can give myself some time off and take my time contemplating the next list.

    What I must thank you for are the tips regarding believing in myself and telling others about my goals. So much of what makes it to the list are solitary tasks or self-improvement goals. I often feel that 1) nobody wants/needs to know what I’m working on or 2) if I don’t get it done, nothing will change, so what?

    In an attempt to motivate, I’ll start posting these Fortnightlies where they’re visible to myself and my honey; we can both keep me accoutable!

    • marie

      Ooooh, me love this Cat 😉 I like the sharing with your honey strategy. Josh and I do that all the time and it’s so fun to share your dreams and have “in house” support!

  62. I TOTALLY needed this kick in the butt! I just “found” you today thru an email from @lkr and have been reading & watching GR8 stuff! Thanks so much! I’m looking forward to more – signing up for your newsletter!!

    • marie

      YAY Shawna!! I’m super happy you’re here and as you know, I’m a HUGE @lkr fan. Thrilled to get to know ya!

  63. Marie,

    This is in true Marie style and a great reminder. So funny when someone else gives us a deadline that is tight we make it happen. Loved the feedback you got which totally supports this law.

    Will refine and take this to practice…

    And hope to see the webinar you did some day for the T Robbins Camp.


  64. Great idea, Thanks to share with us…..

  65. WalterG


    You rock. You tell it like it is… spoon-feeding, mamby pamby feel-good therapy. Thanks. How much do I owe you?!!!

  66. Gry

    Marie, you blow my mind!
    Thank you for your get your “F ass moving” post!
    Right on baby!

  67. Hi Marie,

    Found your site from a recommendation video with Laura Roeder and I’m sooo glad I did! I love your writing style!!

    And you are so spot on with your tips. I actually do that quite often although it still takes practice. 😉

    Thanks for sharing the great post…I look forward to reading many more.


  68. Good reminder to ask ourselves if the time we’ve been given for the task is the time it really DESERVES.

  69. Lance Gross

    Genuinely impressed with this post!! I mean it’s been a while since I’ve read something that made me go, “wow— I just learned something!” (maybe i’m reading the wrong blogs! lol) but serious, thank you!! A true golden nugget!!

  70. This is golden energy for me right now! Thank you Marie! I’m in the process of reevaluating my life + this will do wonders for me I’m sure.


  71. Kim

    Love this, Much needed!! Thank you!!

  72. I love JUST DOING IT! Especially by turning off the chatter in our minds. Thanks, Marie. All us SG’s love your wisdom!

  73. This is an awesome post! It’s so true. And without forcing ourselves to put it on the line, sometimes we never end up producing anything.

    I have been procrastinating getting my new site, blog, twitter page, facebook page, and youtube site up and live for months now. I finally got them all going and i hate how they are not perfect – but they are up. And the fact that they are up and people can see them makes me work on them and get things fixed quickly.

    So let’s all stop taking three weeks for a presentation that can rock after a few hours.

    Thanks, Marie.

  74. Marie
    This line of yours struck a chord with me:
    “Have a clear, specific time and date by which you must deliver the goods AND have a set amount of time to do the work.”
    I soooo needed to hear it. There’s a huge important job I have been saying I gotta get done,… every day I try to do it, then I let myself get sidetracked with other [albeit also important] things and I end up saying, “Ok, tomorrow,….” That’s just not working!
    So, this is it! I’m up against the clock here. I obviously need that deadline to push me. And I’m going to act on Cat’s idea from her comment (#24). I am giving myself 2 weeks from tonight to get it done done done! I will figure out the steps I need to take and plan out time for each. It will be such a relief when this is off my shoulders! Thank you both!

  75. Got it all covered except for the zero distractions – impossible with kids (almost 2 and 3.5). Even when daddy gets home, it’s all about dinner and family time before they go to bed, and then mommy is fried from the day of being a stay at home parent. Working on that balance as we speak!

  76. buff

    Thanks for these excellent reminders Marie. And thanks for being the coolest teach in the biz school. You really put the zing into learning even the most down-to-earth business and life skills.

  77. Wow. Wow. WOW! I decided to start kickin’ some ass this week with writing and other projects. This great advice changed my week! I knew I could get shit done, and fast, but I never know how to control it! I feel like a super hero! I edited 225 pages and designed two workshops. I can see now the only thing in my way, was fear, baby, just fear. And now it feels kind of good to be scared! It means I am doing something right.

    Thanks, Marie, for the awesome advice!

  78. Hey Marie! Just what I needed to hear TODAY! Thanks for the awesome content, and I really like hearing about your own personal experiences. I think we all are always wondering, how does that girl do it?! And you’re always willing to show us how

  79. shantala

    i had 30 minutes before my next conference call. i took your advice and planted myself…got 4 bookings for life coaching and selected my 2 scenes for acting class in 28 minutes.
    booyah..thanks for being flip fantastic and oh so devilishly delicious!

  80. In the last 24 hours your name came up..2 times…. I had never heard of you. Im a dancer ( i mean i have danced all my life thinking I’m a pro..)..along with being a business owner of a way cool makeup company OLA Makeup… and when i saw your!!!! I worked with Tony Robbins back in 1992!!!.But i let time get in my memory bank…. I so love this article on time. Just as you say, i had 24 hours to get a whole makeup training put together for a video TV show…it just takes being accountable under the gun but having fun doing it!! Im so excited to now be in your tribe!!!!

  81. OK! You may have written this a couple years ago but you just hit me square-on-today. Just wanted to say thanks for a gift that keeps on giving!

  82. Marie, I LOVED this!

    So amazingly inspiring and absolutely fantastic tips. It is very very true to over think (at least in my case).

    I feel all jiggly-wiggly about getting something done NOW. Thank goodness just joined your B-School!

  83. I so agree with this….I have spent weeks on things when I really didn’t need to – overthinking it and confusing matters. Some of my best work has been when inspiration has struck and I’ve just let it flow out without censorship and let it be EASY…. thanks for the reminder! You are the best!

  84. I have a problem with procrastination and her mother denial when it comes getting things done. It sometimes feels like I have to force myself to do the things I really need to do to get my business rolling. Public accountablity is very important i getting things done but also to keep the standard of your work high.

  85. Thanks for sharing this today Marie in your Q&A Tuesday – perfect timing as this week I’m going through your Follow-Through formula! Love it!

  86. Marie,
    Loved both the “timebusters” video and your reflection on the Tony Robbins’ manic mad-dash. All so true. I used to hear my grandmother’s voice say “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

    However, I learned these tricks so well as a youngun that I plain wore myself out-literally. Some of us “overachievers” try to fit the whole world into those 4-hour increments and them blow ourselves up on a daily basis. Let’s talk cortisol! I became accustomed to working so hard (daily marathons of productivity) that my whole body shut down. Nearly died, literally. So while I appreciate your caveat at the end up there about not doing it everyday… it may be useful to suggest Tip #9: Breathe Deeply into Your Project and it will Manifest.

    I have finally learned at the ripe young age of 51 that my best work comes when I am calm, ready and enthusiastic. And, occasionally, there are SOME gigs that are not worth the extra cortisol that might just push you over the edge (not suggesting Tony Robbins or Oprah are among them) and knock you off your feet for a few weeks.

    Congrats on the huge recognition you are receiving for your work. You deserve it. I’m feeling good about working with clients whose lives I’m affecting on a daily basis and working toward their passions.Perhaps helping others stay alive and find profound meaning is my best gig.

  87. Hi Marie,
    I’ve just recently started to follow you and your content rocks. I love your time tip because it is absolutely TRUE!! I saw your Tony video (I’ve got the whole shabang) and it’s great. Wish he’d had more women as part of that series. Next time right!!

    Thanks for such great content!

  88. Lovin’ this post, Marie! Thank you for the excellent reminder to stay on task and get it done. This post actually reminds me of Cameron Herald’s Double Double book and message. He is all about productivity, and I have no doubt gotten some fabulous advice from him. Of recent, I have been setting way more deadlines for myself and making promises that I have to keep in order to increase my productivity, and it works like a mo’ fo’! Especially for entrepreneurs, we have to set these kinds of limits and constraints to keep us focused, consistently working and successful. The best example I can give is something I just did: Set my book-launch date for June 5th. The truth is that I hadn’t even typed out my manuscript yet (I had it all written in my notebook.), but when I set that date, I was able to move quickly and accomplish a ton – still am. I also got a surge of great ideas for my pre-launch campaign and bonus features to include. That proves to me that these methods work wonders not only on your productivity but on your creativity, as well.

  89. I’m so glad to hear your story. It makes me feel a bit more normal that other people can put out their best work at the last minute. (My hubby calls it procrastination.)
    For 13 years I was involved in supporting families who had a baby or child die. I did this via support groups, phone support, and working at a hospital to be with families when their child died. I also began teaching doctors and nurses around the country about “death etiquette”. The things they would say or do were so hurtful to families, albeit unintentional. Out of the blue I was invited by a committee at Harvard University Medical School to present at an upcoming symposium on how neonatal doctors and nurses should care for families whose baby died. I knew three months in advance and I had three months’ worth of brain farts. I had a horrible rough draft which was tossed in the trash. I ended up writing it on the plane on the way. I went to the welcome dinner the night I arrived and then finished the presentation in the hotel room. There was a bit of tweakage in the morning, but, it was the best damn presentation I ever gave. I had the thought in my head all along that “this is HARVARD” and it freaked me out.
    What I learned about myself is that I work best under pressure with a set time limit.
    I’m no longer doing that work and have a home-based art business. I am having trouble working at home because there is no pressure and no time limits. That’s one of the biggest reason I am enrolled in your B-school! The bonus Follow Through videos has given me some much-needed clarity.

  90. Felicia Holman


    Your free content absolutely ROCKS!…. Thanks for this inspirational/actionable article.

  91. JoAnn Baker Paul

    Thanks for this, Marie! I used to depend on pressure deadlines to get things done – but have grown out of this – the answer for me now is ANTICIPATION PREPARATION (wow – that just came out! Love it!). Even though I am becoming more intuitive and yes, clairvoyant…..and faster, more organized – I’m discovering that PREPARING for something I want to happen – YES, makes it happen!

    My advice to you (woo-wee!) is…make THAT video, or at least design it for when Oprah or whoever DOES call at the last minute – and she will, because you really want her to!


  92. Marie-
    You are simply my hero…my mentor and my goal girl! You motivate me and I never miss a Tuesday edition. What an awesome “lesson” and learned in the most amazing way via a Tony Robbins video opportunity. this is the dream!

  93. These are awesome tips! I rack my brain all the time trying to perfect content and it takes me eons. This even cost me one of my internships back when I first started. I am going to try the outside accountability thing (though I do have a phobia about sharing things with people before I do it)

    You rock Marie! I heart you!

  94. Patricia

    Accountability is key for me! Thanks for the info.

  95. Marie, I learned firsthand the Parkinson’s Law and the phenomenon of banging out what felt like a huge project in hardly any time at all when you announced the YouTube video contest for RHH b-school last week. I could hardly believe it was announced on Wednesday and due the following Monday! I thought it would take me at least a couple weeks to do a perfect job of it (and possibly hire some legit filmmakers) but because of the time crunch I managed to put together a “ghetto professional” video that, while not as polished, perhaps, as I’d have preferred, is still charming anyway and I’m hella proud of it — and it’s been getting nothing but positive feedback, too! 😀 Thanks Marie for teaching me this valuable lesson!

  96. Cheryl

    Thanks Marie… you are so right! Several of your tips were great reminders. I really do fill up my time if I have it. Getting in the zone and moving toward a deadline is the best way to write and get things done!

  97. Soooooo, true! Believe it or not, doing projects at the very last second is my M.O. — sometimes, it’s when I become the most creative AND focused. My dear husband knows this about me *very* well, and was crackin’ up this weekend when I was trying to bust out the scholarship vid for B-school at the last minute! LOL.

  98. I love how you took an ass kicking from Mr. Robbins without him being aware that he was actually giving it. I’m often gleaming lessons from experiences like this.

    On one hand this list is bang on incredible, but I get caught up in the one thing that lately I think is actually the most important to getting out of your own way. I actually find when I do this first I don’t need exterior pressure, zero distraction or a no fail attitude (the last one I so needed to be reminded of today though!!). It’s warming up to the project first. Instead of thinking over what you will do and worrying, thinking about how fun it will be to create. How fun it will be to edit. How fun it will be to finish. I’m not so good at always doing this but I’m getting better. Love to read your thoughts on this Marie!

  99. This is so true – I have to leave myself just two days to write and design my training workbooks – otherwise I’d be fussing and tweaking and pissing about with them FOREVER trying to make them ‘perfect’! And that doesn’t make good business sense. So good to hear that someone else takes this approach when necessary. FOCUS is definitely the key – I have to have two completely clear days with no distractions. Thanks for a great post Marie.

  100. Okay, I need help here. I’m a single mom of a 9month old baby girl, I have a small business that is currently not earning enough money, I’m tired, And I want to start a baby clothes and toy “swap” for moms. Tony Robbins and other gurus say the one sure way to heal your pain is to Be of Service to Others! The swap thing is something I want to do to help other moms, especially single moms who are way worse off than I am. Some of the hurdles are: I find myself exhausted just about everyday, I am afraid no one will want to join in, I stutter and am afraid to make all the necessary contacts, and it takes actual work!

  101. You are really kickin it into high gear! Thank you

  102. Had set a “finish by” date for my book of April. Well, April has come and gone and it ain’t even CLOSE! I recently decided to set aside every Wednesday as “Writing Wednesday” but somehow all the people who fill my email inbox didn’t get the memo to leave me alone, lol. I’ll set a new due date, but this time I’ll try these tips. Thanks, Marie!

  103. In the interest of accountability, I am going to work on this big a** painting and have it finished in 2 weeks…and it will be a museum quality masterpiece! Then I will post it 🙂
    thanks for the inspiration, Maria.

  104. Dea

    Ah ha moment: Just like work fills up available time, stuff fills up the space available! Declutter! (Note to self) I will be able to focus better in a clean environment. And use a timer for boundaries.

  105. AMAZING!! I freaking love your writing style. I’m use to see you on videos all the time, and it is refreshing to see your writer’s genius as well! The 4 keys are truly essential. Thank you once again for the inspiration, Marie! 🙂

  106. Great point!

    I agree, many times I definitely work better under pressure.

    But I really need to remove myself from the computer now-a-days, it’s sooo tempting to check emails, google etc.

    Thanks Marie! PS. I just love Tony Robbins

  107. Wow Marie,

    I’m not surprised it took me so much scrolling down to post this comment haha.

    I consider your content a desert for my mind, it is so easy to follow, it puts me in a good mood, and it resonates with me like anything else I’ve read before.

    I guess this is really more overall feedback on what you’re putting out there. What can I say… I couldn’t keep it to myself 😉

    Hope to meet you in person one day, until then, I’ll be feeding my mind with your online chocolate.


    Your New Fan.

  108. I reeeeeaaally need to focus on creating my content for my new program, Beautiful Body. Right now, it’s all just a concept. Of course, I’m still working 3/4 and planning a long-distance wedding. So I give myself a little cred for all that I’m managing. BUT, my deadline is creeping up and I’ve gotta lay my golden bricks soon!

    Thanks for the awesome article! And congrats on the incredible opportunity, girl. Rawr!

  109. Inga

    Dear Marie,
    thank you for your advice how to organise yourself (and your business). I do not have a business, but I
    use your hints to get simply more organized, productive and happier. What I Iike about your posts is that
    you are not as “loud” focusing on money, money, money but that you seem to be
    honestly interested in promoting the business and well-being of other women while proceeding with your
    business. I hope to follow you next year in your B-School seminar. Inga

  110. Meaghan

    proceed anyway .. do it anyway .. just launch in .. anyway … its such a different angle to the PREPARE PREPARE PREPARE mantra … long winded lengthy over preparing definitely kills inspiration and energy … I remember once having to get on stage with a band out of the blue .. we had no material we’d never played together before and yet the half hour concert was a blast in improvisational music … Ive been completely PARALYSED lately by contemplating preparation … thanks maria .. you are totally inspirational .. and I cant believe how the b-school girls are rocking within only 3 days of us all enrolling..!!

  111. I didn’t know the name of the guy to blame – or should I say THANK – but Parkinson’s Law is 1000% true. Great post, Marie! Love what you’re workin’ here! Thanks! xxx.

  112. I am struggling with this right now on a huge book project that has already taken months (and double the hours I predicted), and will now likely come in late even though I was on schedule for early delivery and exceeding expectations. I am wondering if a ‘no fail attitude’ can fix it. Maybe with a few days of “no distractions” ?? What if I finished it this week. What would that feel like? I ask myself often.

  113. Is it the pragmatic inner me who might add, “Set reasonable expectations” ?

    I find, in my own scenario, often over promising to deliver in a short period of time sets me up for failure. That being said, I truly understand (and buy into) the premise of setting deadlines and accountability.

    Great content as always! Thank you.

  114. mara

    Mary honestly,You freaking rock!!! thanks for the inspiration just what I needed to hear today: No complaining,no drama,no crying for mama?Hilarious!! I love it,just get sh#t done!! and of course the more cash-ola,more coronas don’t hurt either,hehe! I will diligently work on this. In health, Mara Garcia

  115. I am guilty of this!! There’s a manifesto that sits over my desk and that I read often to remind myself that ‘done’ is better than ‘doing.’ Bre Pettis developed this–I’m just happy he took the time to spell it out for me. 🙂

    The Cult of Done Manifesto
    1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.
    2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
    3. There is no editing stage.
    4. Pretending you know what you’re doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you’re doing even if you don’t and do it.
    5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
    6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
    7. Once you’re done you can throw it away.
    8. Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps you from being done.
    9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
    10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
    11. Destruction is a variant of done.
    12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
    13. Done is the engine of more.

  116. Louise

    Awesome Marie! xx

  117. Thanks Marie! This is exactly what I needed to hear today. I am so guilty of convincing myself that all of that computer time is “research” and “study”…but mostly, as an artist, I really just need to sit my [email protected]@ down in front of that easel! Get ‘er done!

  118. Simone

    Hey Marie, LOVE your posts, energy and no nonsense but completely understanding attitude. I stay in fear and procrastination a whole lot so this is a perfect reminder to get off my butt, diarise the time allowed and get on with it instead of thinking about it!
    Thanks Marie! 🙂

  119. So I wanted to share a great example that I did to provide to this article. I wanted to host an event that will support victims of domestic violence and also to debut my business. I wanted to host a “closet swap” where women can swap out items they no longer need in their closet with other women, and the end result is to support victims of abuse. What was holding me back when I thought of it was time. I had only a week and a half to put a huge event together, and to advertise and market it.

    I laid all my ideas out and really looked at what I can tackle out first. What made me move forward was having the Outside Accountability in place because that was what made me move forward. After I had that in place, I moved forward and within a week and a half I sure as heck did an awesome job hosting the 1st Annual Closet Swap in El Paso, Tx :D. I made an impact and it felt great!

  120. Karen

    For me a short time-frame means I have to get really clear about my decisions and priorities, and that’s where a no-fail attitude is super important. Doubting your decisions or second-guessing them takes time and energy away from creating.

  121. Just what I needed this morning! Thank you so much for all of your great advise. I sincerely look up to the amazing life you have made for yourself, and aim to do the same for myself and my son 🙂


  122. Beth

    This post is amazing and exactly what I needed to hear! I am going to start implementing these strategies immediately! Thanks

  123. Rebecca

    I’m in training as a life coach, and people have already asked to pay me for sessions… but I haven’t set up a payment system yet! Going to paypal right now to get that done. Thanks Marie… you rock my world, well really you just rock THE WORLD!

    • Rebecca,

      Life coaching as always been an interest of mind. When I feel like I have my own life together enough, I really hope to explore it more 🙂

    • where are you studying to become a life coach?

  124. That is so true!!! sometimes I get more done a day thats busy busy busy than on days where I have a luxurious amount of time…..
    Your site is kickin some glutal orbs!

  125. Elene

    I am all about the Zero Distractions-I think it’s very fitting this day and age amidst our oh-so-flashy, super-sound bite living. It is those who are capable of focusing at the task at hand that continually get ahead and GET THINGS DONE. Just like the great Yoda once said, “Try – there is no try. There is just DO.” So keep on doing.

  126. Christiane

    Fantastic read, Marie. Love your writing style! It’s fresh and straight forward!

  127. Great points! I used to this for college assignments so easily but, for some reason (likely just an urge of striving for “perfection”) when working toward building a brand I use so much more time than I need to. Thank you for posting this! It’s a nice reminder to be stay busy and to really focus on doing your best the first time around!

    Thanks again!

  128. laurali

    Marie,what do you think of this:
    In professional situations when I’m thanking someone for something the response i get most often is “no problem!” instead of “your welcome”or”my pleasure”.This makes my skin crawl and seems to minimize the gratitude. Am i wrong to think this way ? Last night i went to a nice restaurant in south Philadelphia and the hostess greeted us by ,”hey,what’s up?” grrrrr !! your opinion please? thanks,Laurali

  129. Liz

    Dear Marie,
    today I found out that my deadline for my study has been moved. Instead of Nov 30th I have to finish my master thesis by Sept 15th!! Which is in less than 3 weeks!
    I am working besides studying – no family to help – and still have to write 2/3 of my thesis. If I cant to it I have to switch to the Bachelor program. I live in Europe and we had a program called Magister then you can do a doctorate program. From Dec 1st on we only have Bachelor (which is like half or 2/3 of Magister) and Master.
    I dont know how to read all these books and finish the thesis in 3 weeks. Also I am very disappointet of all the work lost if I cant make it and “only” have a Bac. degree
    Thank you for your gread videos!

  130. Just cleaned my room, switched out my summer clothes for winter ones, and edited those photos. KERPOW!

  131. Luis

    Gosh, your writing style is really fun Marie 😀

  132. Anish

    Would like to know more about the Productivity Workout that you do to build your speed and stamina…. I’ve found a huge improvement in my productivity since I started going out for a Morning Jog..

  133. Deb Morano

    Hi Marie, You are better than Batman!!!! But how can I send you a serious question for your Q&A Tuesday? You are such an inspiration to me and so many others, no mater what age we are. You help us help ourselves. Thanks xxoo

  134. Just read your article, after an unproductive last few days I am SO going to try this. Thank you! x

  135. Zero Distractions. I’ve been working on that one hardcore. I need to figure out how to do this without getting too isolated, though.

    Next up, No Fail Attitude (No Drama).

    Thanks for the advice. I’ll take it!

    • Brendon Burchard gave some great advice about how to minimize the distraction is to break your day into 90 min blocks and commit for those 90 min that you are UBER focused on the task at hand with, as you say “Zero Distractions”. Then take a break and connect with other employees, answer emails, return phone calls, get lunch and then set aside another 90 min session and UBER focus again. You know how you have days where you feel like you were slammed with work for 12 hours but you can’t remember one thing that you have gotten done? With this 90 min focus I have found that just fitting two of them in a day has made a Huge difference in completed work. Give it a try and let me know if it works for you.
      I salute the divinity within you

  136. Since you were just on Oprah(congrats), i’ll use her line. I just had a light bulb moment! You are so right, and what’s worse is that as the owner/boss we think, “…not getting paid by the hour. So I can take all the time I want to make this perfect.” Often spending way more time than I should on any one task. Assigning appropriate limits of time on tasks (as if I were my own employee) is the way to go. Thanks

  137. I love everything you have to say and the honesty in every morsel of wisdom. Most people find a zillion reasons to put off everything on their gigantic task list. I prefer to break it down and start with the first action step that needs to be completed, even if it’s just taking a shower and putting on make-up…next thing, once I feel good and clean, I will be motivated to make those videos and post that content and so on. recently I did a video mock-up to get my sequencing right and edit my rambling thoughts. I made the mocjk video and watched it with my best critique, my 9 yr old son and when it was done he said, :”Next time Mommy take that pink head band off your head!” LOL. Kids are so pure. I reminded him it was a trial run-though and he was like “Yea sure Mommy. Leave the head band off next time.” ‘) And I will!

  138. Ellena

    Clean up my desk now!

  139. Hi Marie

    What fantastic reminders. Your points are spot on.

    Recently I was without internet and phone for a couple of days. There were no distractions. I was amazed at how much I got done.

    Cheers Rachel

  140. It’s true- when I was taking graduate courses and had kids already I made sure to give my assignments, reading, coursework the time they needed. Thanks for the reminders!

  141. Carlyle Coash

    Thank you – very helpful. I do not always succeed in this but you have just refocused me. Cheers!

  142. Is it a good or bad thing that this post made me feel good about my procrastination? When things come down to the wire, it seems like I produce the best work. I’d never heard of Parkinson’s Law before today, but I believe in it just as much as I do Murphy’s Law – being a freelancer and all. Can’t wait to see what results come of me testing a few points you’ve mentioned in my own work schedule. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  143. Hi marie, I have been following your Juicy videos and articles since a while, and you are really great.

  144. Hi Marie, this is a gold-dust post! And my discovery of it so well-timed for me… I am swamped by my business opportunities right now after a lot of hard work cultivating them in the first place – I was in danger of being overwhelmed and letting them all drop, but am now inspired to crack-on and put this great advice to use! Thanks for the generous and nourishing wisdom. 🙂

  145. Salsita

    Hi Marie and everyone else…
    I’m not even sure that you Marie still read these posts as I realize these Gold helpers are from 2010. How ever I now found ‘you’ and AM SUPER HAPPY. To day I had to get a letter out… yes been pushing it off til it would end up putting other people in a bad place. The letter had to be written in my second language English and I was a afraid.. but wow what a kick ass letter came out of me having to get it done….

  146. Alright, I’ve read this post before but I needed to read it again. I’m about to move and my resources are going to be cut back during and right after this process while I get situated – which means anything I have to get done I don’t have “all day” online to mess with. It’s “do or die” time and I have to get cracking so I just read this, pumped myself up and made a calendar for the rest of the month with deadlines all over it for various *must get done this month* tasks. I’m super psyched to put my nose to the grindstone and bang out super duper important task numero uno – copyediting! <3 you Marie!

  147. Andrea Olson

    I just found you today, Marie, and love your style. This post reminds me that I CAN still do it…I just didn’t realize it. Two weeks ago I was called to be on the radio twice in one day for my new totally grassroots first annual Go Diaper Free Week. (Apparently I was mentioned on Huffington Post and word got out!) I am 4 months pregnant and have a 2 year old. But…I crammed and set my alarm for 5am and was on the Star 99.9 morning show as if I wake up that early every morning! It was a huge PR hit!

    Back in 2007 I wrote my masters thesis in 7 days. 175 pages of perfection. I did nothing else and even had someone feed me!

    In contrast, with kids, it’s different for sure!! I wrote my book (185 pages) over my son’s infancy (baby months 5-12) and it took 7 months. But it got done.

    Having kids and getting shit done are oftentimes contrary to one another but I hope my example can inspire other parents!! My book brought $45,000 in sales over its first year of sales. Even mamas can rock out that focus…although 7 days can easily shift to 7 months – and for moms, that’s still pretty quick!

    xx Andrea, GoDiaperFree

  148. I would LOVE to finally finish up my website!! I keep putting it off working on clients sites instead. #4!!

  149. You rock Marie!!! Every-time I read one of your posts or watch a video I am totally inspired! Thanks Marie!


  150. Amy

    Girl, I love your attitude. It’s so FUN to learn and get inspired through your posts and videos.

    My project- tackle the HUGE pile of sh#@ in my garage of VERY cool stuff that I need to sell. It’s a metaphorical pile of money, and a very daunting task.

    Thanks for the reminder that I really can get it done and not ruin my work week at the same time.

  151. This post reminds me of my school days. I always wrote way better reports when I left them till the last minute. I used to call them my last minute wonders. I will be applying this to finishing a marketing report I have been working on (for way too long now!). 🙂

  152. I didn’t know this Parkinson’s law before reading u Marie. And it explains lots of past situations I didn’t understand, especially at school, when I was able to produce the homework only the day before !
    I love what you’re saying, and I totally agree. I want to practice this ninja training regularly. And will start this week, I have a presentation to do with Keynote, with no deadline, so I will create one : let’s say for friday !
    Thanks and much Love
    Amandine from Paris

  153. Coco

    You are sooooo right!
    I’m going to have to save this one!
    I’ve been writing my book and doing my videos for a long time now.
    Just started my first video about a week ago.
    Now, I have to just keep on going.

  154. Barbie

    oy this is so true.. I’ve known about the Parkinson’s law for a long time but never knew it had a name and have never used it to my advantage, or at least not in anything I really cared about.. mostly in housecleaning.. it can lead to procrastination without its supporting bylaws. And that being said, I just emailed a commitment time for a project I’d basically decided I couldn’t do even though I wanted to. I’m still stewing with what to focus on in my financial life and that particular activity might not be the one I decide on. Nonetheless, I would like to do this project and it is a PERFECT example of the Parkinson’s law. And we’ve agreed that thinking about it ain’t gonna get me anything, I just gotta do it. I’ve already wasted quite a bit of time diddling. You all are my witnesses: I will finish two paintings this Sunday and mail them out Monday. Must get started.

  155. Totally hit this one out of the park! I work with people to improve their health and SO much is about there habits and trying to break the old ones and create the new ones . These tips are perfect for me to share! You da bomb Marie!

  156. I agree that the most important, at least to me, is the “no drama, no panic”. I usually stressed so much when it comes to deadlines and I haven’t done the job that needs to be done. Relax, focus and complete it.

    Really helpful advice Marie! Thank you!

  157. Cassandra

    Thanks Marie,
    This is just the kind of guidance I need just now. I know deep down the only way I am going to move beyond the ‘saboteur’ that inhibits me creating what I want, is to implement a healthier structure of thinking that I can draw on when the mind starts going bananas and would have me become absorbed with self doubt! It was truly divine guidance that pointed me your website…… the synchronicity of this matrix is awe inspiring!……Thank you. x

  158. Brilliant article Marie, in your usual great entertaining style!

    There are 2 tasks on my to do list which I have been procrastinating over – number one I am doing now, going through all the email, and reading links, printing stuff, filing others, deleting lots, and reading and absorbing the rest. A nightmare.
    Number 2 is to find out the commodity codes for all the products in my store so I can offer international shipping and expand my business outside of the UK. Feels like a mammoth job, just gotta get my ass in gear and get it done! Thanks for the boost!

  159. Exactly what I needed to hear today! Well actually I could have used this a while back. Lol. How did I not know about Parkinson’s Law??? Well now I do and I’m going to use it in my favour instead of against me. New video coming out tomorrow, “Love, Undefined.” Check it out at

  160. You rock, Marie. I am passing these tips on to my network as we gear up our social media platform. Thank you for your PASSION, your GENIUS and your lazer focus in creating all these invaluable and extremely generous Q and A’s on Marie TY and articles. You are a BRILLIANT leader and role model! BRAVO!!! Heartfelt gratitude and hugs!!!

  161. Marie,

    I’m so encouraged by your productivity tips AND your down-to-earth writing style. Definitely inspired to take it up just a little bit higher!



  162. Jaquetta Eubanks

    Dear Marie,

    I have been working on my Personal Chef Business for the longest and I promised myself that as soon as I graduate Culinary School, I would start my business. I graduated June 2013 and now its February 2014 and things still aren’t done. I’m Always finding excuses as to why it hasn’t happened yet, but after reading this article, I now realize that it is the fear of failing that’s been hindering my progress.

    This field is not easy especially not for a woman, and I can honestly say Im nervous about the competition, but I know in my soul that this is my passion and it is now time to put my big girl panties on and take that leap of faith. I want to say that I will try your steps but as my other half says “To Try Is A Failed Attempt”. So I am DEFINITELY going to implement your steps in my day to day life.

    Thank You So Much For You Insight. You Are Awesome!


    I know this might sound weird but, I’m going to call you my fortune cookie from now on, because every time I’m going through a rough patch in my journey to success, and I open one of your emails, you always have wise advice to get my mind back on track, and with perfect timing, at that! Just like a fortune cookie.

    Please keep doing what you are doing, the world definitely needs women like you in it. I’m Proud of You!

    My To-Do List (Verbised)

    1. Create My Business Cards
    2. Write out my Menu
    3. Research Marketing Schemes

    **How’s that?**

  163. Jaquetta Eubanks

    By the way I combined this article with yesterday’s video…. too lazy to write two separate comments…..terrible I know. Lol I’m working on it!

  164. Loved the article! It reminded me of how I used to get things done when I was raising my 4 kids, working full time, and kept a clean house. I would look at the clock and say “ok.. I have xyz to do and I don’t want to take longer than an hour to do it”(or 30 minutes or 15 or whatever). Then I would say “ready-set-go” and I would race the clock to get it done. If I could do it then, I can do it now.
    Thanks for making me remember!! I love the competition with the clock and I love the feeling of empowerment that it gives. 🙂

  165. Meegan

    Hey Marie,
    I’m brand new here and wanted to let you know I’m loving your website. Will be signing up to your series and training.

  166. Hi Marie ,
    This is fabulous . I am enjoying all of your posts . On the subject of no distractions …I will use this in my art class when everyone’s phones are going off all the time .I have been wondering how to get around that one without appearing too rude . It will now be ‘creative’ time phones on silent please !

  167. I am totally lovin’ your work Marie! and I adore your humor!
    No fail attitude : )

  168. Thank you so much for this and all your other work. You make me have hope again and see the light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes you get so caught up in the little things and have only tunnel vision, you broaden my view and help me step back a minute. Hopefully one day I will be big and get away from my designers desk job.

  169. What wonderful advice Marie. Confession, my friend who is an avid supporter of your work just introduced me to your website (I’m a late bloomer, I suppose). But I totally see how you add so much value. I look forward to reading more of your work. Best of luck!

    Also, I’m a student and part-time worker right now, but I love that your advice is easily applicable to all professions. Lastly, I would like add another tip I read recently that I have found to be super successful. If you wake up 2 hours before you normally do and spend that time on yourself, whether you decided to catch up on email or watch calming, childhood cartoons, by the time everyone else in the world typically wakes up to start their day, you will have already gotten so much done. Completing a bunch of small simple tasks (i.e. reading and commenting on a LinkedIn article, catching up on email, cleaning my room) before 9am always leaves me feeling like I get so much done in the remainder of the day.

  170. Hi Marie,
    I just discovered you and your awesomeness! And I have been diligently watching a ton of your videos…you rock, like big hair from the 80’s. I have been wanting to expand my brain with some killer knowledge on how to build my business…and woot woot…I found your b-school program. I’m totally stoked to be part of your community. I really take to heart your compassion, inspiration and fun in this wide crazy world of business and life. Thank you for all that you share with us:)

  171. What is so funny is I just wrote this at work this afternoon.

    Now for a dose of do it now! With urgency!
    “Procrastination is the thief of time!
    “Worry less and do more!”
    “The more you do today the less you will have to do tomorrow!”
    And the more time you will have to do the things you want to do.
    “The task you have to do will expand into the time you have to do it in.”
    So set a reasonable time limit and just do it.
    Do the house keeping of life to be more organized and less distracted and able to focus on doing it, whatever it may be, there is no better time than now.

  172. yeah, soooo true. I tend to creat panic in my head even before i start because i tell myself that it is going to take soooo long. and then i don’t even start. it’s only when i remind myself to go one step at a time and not think about the next step that I get a lot of it done.

  173. Amber Mitchell

    This is so funny that I stumbled upon this because I SWEAR for the past two weeks I have been meaning to finalize and get the look of something for my business done. In my head, I tell myself “Okay Amber, you have two weeks to get it done.” Days go by and and I CANNOT focus on it. Then, I get the “You work best under pressure anyway,” in my head and ummmmm I want to get out of that. Now I’ll always have you in my head thinking of these five thinks and telling myself to sit my ass down and get it done!!!

  174. Right on Baby,
    You made me remember all the times I either procrastinated on a project and let the time get to the last minute, or received a project to get done by yesterday. During those time, I was totally focused on the task and produced kick-ass presentations and courses. Thanks for the kick in the butt, and by the way I;m totally dig’in your still. I stuck with you when I thought you were just anther rich white girl. You’re awesome. Keep bringin’ it girl.


  175. Marie, the problem with this idea is that your videos are my fatal distraction. I just started with you and have so much to catch up on. How can you expect me to focus on my own work? Good advice, but really now…

  176. Kristina

    Thanks Marie for getting all in my grill. I let distractions derail me on a daily basis and it SUCKS!! I have the “shiny object” syndrome. I let little things distract me too much. Got to get focused man! 🙂

  177. Jennifer

    Marie, thanks for the much-needed reminders and pointers. I need to set up some tight accountability for what I intend to accomplish. Time wasters for me include taking multi-hours “getting set up,” taking detours to clean out my purse, checking my email, FB etc. etc. etc., with the end result of way less productivity that I intended. Sometimes also it is just plain hard for me to get started on something productive in the evening after a busy day at work; I sit in front of movies eating dinner and never want to move off the bed. Need to break that up! The timer thing is great too – once I get started the momentum builds.

  178. Hey I love this. I’ve tried this method a couple of times and it’s worked. I’m currently trying to write a little vegan pdf book to go along side my opt in form. Money is a bit tight at the moment but I know if I do this then it has the potential to really increase my list but I can’t even get myself to follow through with these productivity sprints! Is there a mindset you’d recommend or do I just need to man up?

  179. Ana

    Oh, my… Marie, this came just at the right time. I’m writing my thesis, I’m going mental, I’ve read A TON of literature – and I’m stuck at writing. Like…completely, entirely – STUCK. These advices you gave, are fantastic, but the best thing about this post is that it made me realize that I’m not alone. So thanks for this and all the amazing work you do!
    Now I need to get off your site and start writing 😉

    Wishing a lovely weekend,


  180. Hi Marie,

    I LOVED this piece and am so happy I found you on the interwebz! My friend put me onto your site, as I’m just getting started with my business.

    I tried a new strategy today and it worked beautifully. On my weekly planner, I broke down my tasks for the day and allocated a time amount to each of them. Rather than stare absentmindedly at my screen g-chatting and “working,” I set the timer for 30 minutes for the task and got my ass in gear!!! So far two of those tasks done within the allocated 30 minutes. Only the good Lord knows how long it would have taken me had I not lit a fire under my tush after reading this article, getting rid of ALL distractions and setting my timer.


  181. Staci

    Lady Marie- you hit the nail on the head.
    I Have just the deadline to experiment with … Ha ha!


  182. Marie,

    I love how you always hit the nail on the head everytime! I love that you always overdeliver, give impactful advice and make it fun to keep the snooze button out of business. I just love you Marie!

    It works!!! We’ve all made those scary promises and announcements that push us to succeed. The No Fail attitude keeps us laser focused on the “Just Do It” mode.

  183. chantal

    Hi Marie, So so love your videos! Was curious with your morning routine what time you wake up?

  184. Hi Marie! I so love your videos and coaching, I was happy to hear of your morning routine, but was curious, what time do you wake up? Do you have different suggestions for parents.

    And also, the early outline is so great, but what i find hard is getting to bed on time to get my beauty sleep and the rest i need to be ABLE to wake up early!

    For me i think a positive change would be guarding my night schedule

    Love, Chantal

  185. I absolutely adore all your advice. Especially the advice you give on accountability! YOUR FREAKING AWESOME, I’M FREAKING AWESOME!! 🙂 I love how easily this rolls off my tongue!

  186. I’ve been dragging my feet on just getting a plan in place for a business. I have an idea then tweak it before I ever get it out of my head. Time to make a decision and move forward. Using these tips will help to crank it out quick. Thanks, Marie!

  187. I need to complete the last and final lesson for my 6 week eCourse. Will def use your ninja steps to knock this out by tomorrow evening and have it ready for distribution by the end of this week. BAM! Thanks Marie.

  188. This tip is one of the most valuable!!! Also love the Marie TV episode with the author of Thrive and he adds to set the timer to go off every 20 minutes so you can re focus and make sure you havent wandered off task.

    I also this post, as I say to my interior design clients when I am helping them to edit (get rid of) clutter and other things that no longer serve them.

    “We fill the space that we have.” The more storage you have the more stuff you will accumulate. My clients always ask for more storage in every nook and cranny, but I always respond what specifically do you need to put there? And often they have no clue, just want to fill up space.

    Thank you Marie you rock, like totally!

    PS Bschool was amazing, life changing for sure! New website will be up in a few days yipeeeee!!!!!

  189. AaaaaAaaa!!! Yes! Focusing is my big problem. When I have a project I spend weeks nervous about doing it and many things get on the way. And finally one or two days before I work non stop burning myself out. In my first h2&juicy the ABC of Juices and Smoothies I finished all my content (which I started putting together at 9pm) just 4 hours before the course began… Worked nonstop from 9pm till 7am, slept 1 hour, got into the shower, and gave my workshop at 11am :S I was a ZOMBIE… I have improved a little bit since then but NOT that much…

    Thanks Marie for the info and I will totally put this on practice.

    Still struggling to finish BS content… As you say, I overwhelmed myself and now I am trying to catch up.

  190. This is so true and just the kick in the pants I need to move forward! Thanks for the advice! Are you gonna do a BSchool in the fall or do I have to wait til next year?

  191. Marie,

    I lived in Paris in the 90s, choreographing music Videos, concerts, television specials etc. and was blown away by the high level choreography jobs I was continually getting. Especially because I would worry about my choreography skills and wait for my best ideas to come LATER instead of trusting the ones that were available to me at the present moment. Even though it had me in a panic, I would procrastinate right up until the night before I was meeting with my dancers to rehearse and bang out the shoot.

    In several repeat situations just like this one, I discovered that my best work was always at my fingertips, if I would only allow it to flow and trust it the first time it came out. Sure, everything can be improved on but they hired ME as the choreographer and I had been standing around waiting to be someone else instead; someone better perhaps.

    Ever since then, I have reminded myself that I’m walking around with all of these goods, no matter where I am and how much time I give myself to express them. Even in a pinch for time, the result is always golden!

    Another thing I still tell myself to take off the pressure is “I’ll just do what comes to me at first and improve on it later.” For the most part, I end up feeling really good about it and really need to make improvements to what I came up with originally. But knowing that I could gives me lots of freedom to just get ‘er done!

    • *rarely need to make improvements.

      Also, I am currently doing B-school and it is crazy amazing!

  192. Great strategy for clearing my mind and my desk. I did three things immediately after watching this because I gave myself a deadline instead of a “sometime.” Thanks!

  193. Great advice! I recently had final book edits to do and was determined to do it all in one day! Unfortunately, I didn’t get the notice about the revisions until noon and decided I could easily jump into ‘go’ mode and finish them that day/night….didn’t quite work out. I now see that if I had planned ahead to get up early the next morning, organized myself accordingly and psyched myself up, I would’ve been farther ahead to wait till the next day and chances are, I would’ve been more successful! Of course, turning off my phone and ignoring emails would’ve probably went a long way as well. As always, love your blogs/vlogs! Always energizing, fun and inspiring and I totally needed that today:-)

  194. Ibrahim Shoer

    i think that i work better if I’ve abet time to do my work or overloaded so, i started to do more things in the same day and organize my time perfectly .finally, i feel tired and disappointed to continue my main task.any advice??

  195. Thank you for sharing this. Parkinson’s was a real eye-opener. I spend my entire weekend writing lesson plans because I ‘think’ that’s what I should be doing. As a result, there’s no fun, joy, or time to create-especially a business. Now I will make Wednesday evenings my planning night and Thursday evenings I will plan fun for my weekends


    I dont beleive in coincedence, but only a few minutes ago i was ready to quit, before i read your article!
    This came exactly at the wright moment, i am a quiter and a a drama queen, time to change and believe in myself and get the job done!
    Thank you!

  197. Thanks so much for linking to this post via your say-no post from yesterday. I’ve been putting off finishing a project with high-profit potential. Not anymore. I’m going to laser focus on it, and get ‘er done. Lord help me. 😉

  198. Isabel Sadurni

    A bonny new B-Schooler here with a question,

    First-off The No-Train is me new fave mode of transportation, it’s a ticket that saves my soul.

    My question: As a Motion Picture Editor, I often work with Film Producers who may or may not be able to anticipate how the demands of a film may change. How to handle negotiations when time and money are tight, I’ve met my obligations within that scope first described and then the scope and demands of the project change but the budget doesn’t and I still want to deliver the best product possible from my end without getting squeezed financially? Feel free to refer me to a video if you’ve nailed this question elsewhere.

    Many thanks!


  199. Hi Marie I have watched heaps of your videos but this one was really great for me. The ‘saying no’ thing has been so hard for me to learn. I was brought up to not to say no if you are asked for help. Now the more I publicise my business the more people contact me for help/info. I know that I could probably help them in every situation but if I do it will be at the expense of my own very limited time I spend on my own site. I now have a promise to myself. I don’t say yes to any requests that are more than a quick answer, everyone else gets re directed to my site to see if the answer is there.

  200. Prabhakar

    Hey marie,

    I am a SEO professional. I got inspired by this article.

    Recently I had joined a company where, there are lots of things waiting to be done. Being stuck I was just estimating the time it can take. And luckily, I found the fuel. Thanks for reminding about Parkinson’s theory.

    You’re a great observer and learner…:)

  201. Dana

    So I was having a meltdown and “crying’ for mama” when I took a “break on Facebook” when a link of yours popped up. I then came across this artilcle and it was a kick in the rear. THANKS… I needed that at this exact moment! Its so easy to get overwhelmed and have a pity party. If I just used that energy for getting the work done I wouldnt be so overwhelmed.

    Love your videos! The business world needs REAL women like you to tell it like it is!

  202. Today I just checked out your videos and website but i completely blown away by the experience I got. These tips are so related to me and I am gonna really use it, because many things to do. 1. Figuring out a niche and successful strategy for my business which personal development and corporate training(sales & Happiness) 2. Writing Book 3. Visiting a foreign country. These are check list for this year 2014 but there is more sub to do list to get this done like Online Marketing campaign, show on national TV, DVD making etc..

    the first one is almost done, second and third is announced during a interview for an organisation.. Great Wisdom you are sharing and thank You so much

  203. I soooooooo needed to hear this! I recently hired a speaker coach to take my speaking business to the next level, but I have not accomplished what I should have the past 3 months due to my own poor time management. Sometimes we all need a little kick in the rear from Marie’s blog to get us going. It’s time to get off my tush and give my business a push! 🙂

  204. Kyle Lyle

    You are like my moral and life coach mommy! haha

    Thank you. Keep inspiring us!

  205. CandeB

    If I have time to think, then there is less time for true passion to be expressed. I promised a friend a copy of by CD, it sat for a week…then family came into town for only a few days, my brother asked me to leave them some CDs..that night i got to it. even with lost files, labels etc I just winged it…made it more special than if i had had them sitting on the shelf ready for delivery…all because the window was clearly open and there was not time to mess around with the how or why of it…just get on with it, without thoughts or fears really…and the weird thing was other creative things presented themselves i would have never come up with BONUS!

  206. Ha great! I’ll tackle all my e-mails in one hour instead of the two hours I planned for it.

    Also working early in the morning after energizing myself with a workout, works great for me!! I plan appointments in the afternoon, because I don’t work as fast anyway.

    So find your own rhythm!

  207. Ana Paula Cavalcanti

    THANK YOU SO MUCH, Marie! It helped me tons! Crushing time into a little bottle DOES worked for me. You are awesome!

  208. Marina

    Hi, Marie!
    A warm thankful message from Russia. Your fan geography is pretty wide, huh?)
    As I’m not a native English speaker, your website is like a goldmine for me! Not only my English is getting better with each article of yours, but what a really priceless information I get all the time with each line! It is so fresh and inspiring! But please could anyone explain me what the heck B.S. means? I see it pretty often, tried to google it, but still can’t figure it
    out. Anyway I really really like your style and have already learned so much fun slang and hands-on information)

    Great tips, great piece of advice, thanks!

  209. Having recently somewhat blindly jumped onto the self-employed, work-from-home train (did I mention I’m a single Mom to 2 young kids to boot??), I’ve found myself flailing to get everything done. We just adopted a puppy the other day as well, so there’s that, also. I get headaches by 10am.
    I’ve given myself a few days to breathe and create a schedule that will work for us. It’s very, very hard not to mix work with pleasure when 40% of my job is done via my Facebook account. Discipline is key!!
    Thanks so much for your helpful posts and videos. I think I’ve found my own personal coach. 🙂

  210. As I build my company there are people I envision working with. You and Pharelle are at the top of that list. Keep rockin!

  211. barbara

    I have a hard time not getting disctracted with facebook because that where i do buisness. I HAVE to have it on all the time. so i end up wandering over and scrolling away… ideas on this?

  212. Cynthia Dishman

    Your videos are interesting and well done. They are professional, but I found the article, though good, to be distracting with the inserted and not so necessary colorful words. I see this professional sometimes not so professional. In no way would these words be used or tolerated in our work place. I was once told by a CEO (and friend) of a major company it was interesting how quickly you could tell ones professionalism and insecurities by the language they used.

  213. Cindy

    Writing my business plan.

  214. I am THE definition of a procrastinator and every single word you said, I’m thinking to myself, “Mmm hmm. Yup. So true!”. I NEED a better system and a better attitude when it comes to managing my 24/7. Thank you, AGAIN, Marie for encouraging me to be me – but way better!

    • Chelsea - Team Forleo

      Awesome, Katrina — so glad this helped!

  215. Were you talking directly to me? Gonna stop cryin’ to mama and get those marketing emails out! I’ve written the four tips on a cue card and they are sitting in front of me! Thanks!

  216. Ana

    OMG!!! I had never heard of the Parkinson Law, but I knew there was something like it! It has always intrigued me how when I used to work a full time job, teach English after work, train aerial skills after that and dive into a full yoga teacher training on weekends I felt I accomplished more than now that I’m sitting at home studying and looking to create a project, which even though I’m super excited about, I just don’t seem to get much done on a daily basis. This is exactly why! I’m giving myself too much time and there’s no outside accountability making me responsible for my own work. I’ll let you know how long it takes me now to complete my project 🙂 You might even like it!
    Thanks for the tips, I’ll apply them now!

  217. Shawn

    Time management has always been my biggest challenge; so thank you for sharing these tips! Would you mind sharing your personal, best practices on how to prioritize and divide your time? Better yet, how you did it as you were just getting starting? I’m focused on business development & growth, am hungry for knowledge and training, but also am desperate for a sense of balance as I navigate these new, virgin waters. There are so many pieces of the pie to consider (family, health, business, faith, finances, cont. education and “me” time). I have a hard time prioritizing and feel like if I could work backwards…. establish my “hours of operation” and have a guideline for % to devote to each on a daily/weekly basis, I would feel much more empowered and in control. I want to gather up each area of my life and bring it all with me at the same time. Is that even possible, or does each slice of pie get a “turn” for growth, before moving on to the next? I’ve never considered myself “Type A”, but the video about finances and “automating” taught me a LOT! I would love to apply similar principals to time management. Your perspective is always appreciated!!! ~Shawn

  218. Mindaugas

    So in general it is about controlling yourself in all times of creativity process. It is so hard, because everytime I start living on a very strict schedule, I feel like I loose my personal freedom despite, strangely, I actually like what I do and no matter how satisfied I am on the first days or week of the roll, after some time I get tired and fall out of schedule and sometimes even become a complete mess. And then I start over gain…

  219. Stephany

    Thank you Marie!! No BS, No Drama, No Texting. And schedule your own deadlines. I have content that I need to write for my business and my team. I am so used to working for myself that I haven’t gotten uber serious that getting it done eventually means that I am forever going to be working on it instead of growing and moving on to the next project. This article reminds me of the consequences (positive and negative) that would happen if I got what I committed to completed.

    Thank you for sharing your insights, have a fabulous day:)

  220. Thank you Marie.
    I always come across the right post/blog/email/what-have-you of yours at just the right moments. I am so thrilled that our paths have crossed! Go lady go!
    Keep making today awesome.
    And P.S. I am getting butterflies in my stomach for B-School again this year! Can’t wait to keep learning!

  221. Clear timeframe. If I can set that ahead of time……wonderful!

  222. Holy cow! Loved this – and needed the smack-in-the-face call to action. I’ve been in “stuck” “freeze” “overwhelm” mode for several months. #3 is especially loud and clear to me as F.E.A.R. creeped back into my life and because #4 hasn’t been there. Thank you!

  223. Lisa

    I was just researching ways to get back into a daily routine and happened to come across your site. I’m SO glad I did! The whole thing about being organized and getting things done for other people but not being able to do it for myself has bothered me for years. But I was never able to figure out what to do to change it. Your article is exactly what I needed and I plan to put your list into action on my next project. Thanks again and I plan on following your site from now on!

  224. Excellent article! The four points you shared in this post are just what I needed to hear get back to doing what I know I’m here to do. Thanks Marie!

  225. Emily Simek

    I recently offered to make my guitar/banjo/musician brother-in-law a DIY “Nudie Suit”. (Rhinestone cowboy suit with embroidery and rhinestones). We worked well as a team to brainstorm ideas and designs, and when he asked me to finish it for a show in a week’s time, I pulled out all the stops and hit the finish line to great results. It really helped to have someone make me accountable for the job and for someone to suggest a deadline. Now I have people (from his huge pool of facebook friends) asking me to make one for them too. 🙂

  226. Absolutely love this post! It’s the mistake I’ve done for the past few months, giving myself far too much time for tasks because of my perfectionism, and I got so little done! love these tips and I will apply them straight away

  227. Refentse PapaSwanky

    felt like you talking to me directly when you said

    3. Zero Distractions.
    This is HUGE. No distractions or interruptions
    allowed during creation time. No texting,
    tweeting, emailing, phoning, surfing the interwebs
    or straying off task. Peeing is permitted. If you
    need to get outside help or research, keep it
    short and to the point. Stay uber focused.

    #Have to make my clothing brand a success

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Focus is where it’s at, Refentse! 🙂 We’re sending you all the best wishes for staying focused and making your clothing brand a success!

  228. Irene

    You are such an inspiration! I just get excited about life whenever I read your articles or listen to you. You are my mentor through your writing and speaking. Thank you for creating all this.

  229. Thank you for sharing!

  230. Aliké

    You never cease to amaze with your relatable, “everything-is-figureoutable” content. You make living life a hell of a lot easier.
    Thanks Marie, for being you and giving the world “…that special gift that only you have!…”

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      What a lovely comment, Aliké! Thank you so much for tuning in with us ♥

  231. Federica

    I really needed this!
    Love from Sicily <3

  232. Awesome content as always, and inspiring! As a struggline solo-preneuer for the last, oh mmmm 8 years, I’ve realized my biggest issue was your last point: No Fail Attitude! I lack that! ANd I’m just learning that. I blamed circumstance after circumstance – no time, demanding children, not enough education, not good enough – and boy, is that all the biggest watse of time ever! Thank you for making things so clear and for allowing us to understand how much effort and time and devotion you give to your craft. Being dedicatied and focused has been my issue, but not anymore. I commit to putting in the time and leaving the excuse at my office door!

  233. Thank you, Marie! I needed this kick in the pants and reminder. I used to do these “quickie” turn-arounds for clients when I worked in corporate. Now as a solopreneur I don’t have that pressure so I take weeks if not months with “good intentions” being crushed by anxiety and delay. Love you and your generous support, thank you!

    • Julia - Team Forleo

      We’re so thrilled this was a much-needed reminder for you, Kathryn! Happy to offer a loving kick in the pants whenever it’s helpful 🙂 We love you right back, thank you for being here!

  234. ONE thing that is on my to-do list that I commit to getting done without distractions is to create a link tree for my instagram! It seems silly and small, but it’s also not urgent so I keep putting it off. I also have to use my brain to make choices and I know I’m nearing the end of that capacity for the day. I expect this to take 10 minutes (at the most) and it will feel so good to get it done.

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Yes! Sometimes it’s the smallest things that get carried over day to day on a to-do list that can grow in stress with each passing today. I heard a great quote once that said “don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today.” That can be a helpful mantra to keep yourself on track. 🙂

  235. LowellNom

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