90 Procrastination Quotes to Help You Get Things Done

Today I’d like to share 90 of the smartest, most motivational and insightful procrastination quotes of all time.

Because if you’re anything like me then you been in this situation many, many times:

You know what you want to do. You certainly know what you need to be doing.

But you’re off somewhere else.

Because procrastination has once again swept into your mind and actions.

And so you escape. Onto Facebook, into a video game or a movie or simply by doing easier and less important tasks.

I have been there hundreds of times, especially during my early twenties when I was I college.

And a big part of what helped me to break out of that habit was reading about how others had tackled procrastination throughout the centuries. I hope these timeless thoughts will be as helpful for you as they have been for me.

Inspiring Quotes About Procrastination

“When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that in itself is a choice.”
William James

“If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it.”
Olin Miller

“It is only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth – and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up – that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.”
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

“Time is an equal opportunity employer. Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day. Rich people can’t buy more hours. Scientists can’t invent new minutes. And you can’t save time to spend it on another day. Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving. No matter how much time you’ve wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow.”
Denis Waitley

“How soon ‘not now’ becomes ‘never.'”
Martin Luther

“In a moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing to do, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”
Theodore Roosevelt

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
Stephen King

“A year from now you may wish you had started today.”
Karen Lamb

“If you don’t pay appropriate attention to what has your attention, it will take more of your attention than it deserves.”
David Allen

“Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.”
Napoleon Bonaparte

“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.”
Dale Carnegie

“Think of many things; do one.”
Portuguese proverb

“Procrastination is the thief of time: Year after year it steals, till all are fled, and to the mercies of a moment leaves the vast concerns of an eternal scene.”
Edward Young

“To think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing.”
Eva Young

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”
Jim Rohn

“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.”
Pablo Picasso

“The least productive people are usually the ones who are most in favor of holding meetings.”
Thomas Sowell

“Follow effective actions with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.”
Peter Drucker

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
Anne Frank

“Procrastination is the fear of success. People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy, carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the ‘someday I’ll’ philosophy.”
Denis Waitley

“Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they started.”
David Allen

“Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all.”
Peter Drucker

“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work in hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus. “
Alexander Graham Bell

“Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.”
David Allen

“Great acts are made up of small deeds.”
Lao Tzu

“It is not really work if you are having fun.”
Pierre Omidyar

“To do anything in this world worth doing, we must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in and scramble through as well as we can.”
Sydney Smith

“Life always begins with one step outside of your comfort zone.”
Shannon L. Alder

“Begin while others are procrastinating. Work while others are wishing.”
William Arthur Ward

“Your Life Is Happening Right Now: Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Be brave and take risks. Your life is happening right now.”
Roy T. Bennett

“Doing just a little bit during the time we have available puts you that much further ahead than if you took no action at all.”
Byron Pulsifer

“The really happy people are those who have broken the chains of procrastination, those who find satisfaction in doing the job at hand. They’re full of eagerness, zest, productivity. You can be, too.”
Norman Vincent Peale

“Someday is not a day of the week.”
Janet Dailey

“There is nothing so fatal to character as half finished tasks.”
David Lloyd George

“I don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work.”
Pearl S. Buck

“Time wasted is existence; used is life.”
Edward Young

“During a very busy life I have often been asked, “How did you manage to do it all?” The answer is very simple. It is because I did everything promptly.”
Richard Tangye

“Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday”
Don Marquis

“If you believe you can accomplish everything by “cramming” at the eleventh hour, by all means, don’t lift a finger now. But you may think twice about beginning to build your ark once it has already started raining.”
Max Brooks

“Procrastination usually results in sorrowful regret. Today’s duties put off until tomorrow give us a double burden to bear; the best way is to do them in their proper time.”
Ida Scott Taylor

“If you choose to not deal with an issue, then you give up your right of control over the issue and it will select the path of least resistance.”
Susan Del Gatto

“Procrastination is not Laziness”, I tell him. “It is fear. Call it by its right name, and forgive yourself.”
Julia Cameron

“A primary reason people don’t do new things is because they want to do them perfectly – first time. It’s completely irrational, impractical, not workable – and yet, it’s how most people run their lives. It’s called The Perfection Syndrome.”
Peter McWilliams and John Roger

“Lack of confidence, sometimes alternating with unrealistic dreams of heroic success, often leads to procrastination, and many studies suggest that procrastinators are self-handicappers: rather than risk failure, they prefer to create conditions that make success impossible, a reflex that of course creates a vicious cycle.”
James Surowiecki

“We shall never have more time. We have, and have always had, all the time there is. No object is served in waiting until next week or even until tomorrow. Keep going day in and day out. Concentrate on something useful. Having decided to achieve a task, achieve it at all costs.”
Arnold Bennett

“Success is not obtained overnight. It comes in installments; you get a little bit today, a little bit tomorrow until the whole package is given out. The day you procrastinate, you lose that day’s success.”
Israelmore Ayivor

“Often greater risk is involved in postponement than in making a wrong decision.”
Harry A. Hopf

“Who says you need to wait until you ‘feel like’ doing something in order to start doing it? The problem, from this perspective, isn’t that you don’t feel motivated; it’s that you imagine you need to feel motivated.
If you can regard your thoughts and emotions about whatever you’re procrastinating on as passing weather, you’ll realise that your reluctance about working isn’t something that needs to be eradicated or transformed into positivity. You can coexist with it. You can note the procrastinatory feelings and act anyway.”
Oliver Burkeman

“Often just by taking action, by doing something about the situation can relieve the stress and help correct the situation.”
Catherine Pulsifer

“Nothing in the world can take the place of perseverance. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost legendary. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Perseverance and determination alone are omnipotent.”
Calvin Coolidge

“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.”
Napoleon Hill

Famous Quotes About Procrastination

“If you procrastinate when faced with a big difficult problem… break the problem into parts, and handle one part at a time.”
Robert Collier

“If you put off everything till you’re sure of it, you’ll never get anything done.”
Norman Vincent Peale

“It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.”
Leonardo da Vinci

“My advice is to never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time.”
Charles Dickens

“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”
Marthe Troly-Curtin

“So what do we do? Anything. Something. So long as we just don’t sit there. If we screw it up, start over. Try something else. If we wait until we’ve satisfied all the uncertainties, it may be too late.”
Lee Iacocca

“Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand—and melting like a snowflake.”
Francis Bacon

“You may delay, but time will not.”
Benjamin Franklin

“We are so scared of being judged that we look for every excuse to procrastinate.”
Erica Jong

“We all sorely complain of the shortness of time, and yet have much more than we know what to do with. Our lives are either spent in doing nothing at all, or in doing nothing to the purpose, or in doing nothing that we ought to do. We are always complaining that our days are few, and acting as though there would be no end of them.”

“Never put off for tomorrow, what you can do today.”
Thomas Jefferson

“Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.”
M. Scott Peck

“If and When were planted, and Nothing grew.”
Yiddish proverb

“Perhaps the most valuable result of an education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not.”
Thomas Huxley

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”
Abraham Lincoln

“The best possible way to prepare for tomorrow is to concentrate with all your intelligence, all your enthusiasm, on doing today’s work superbly today. That is the only possible way you can prepare for the future.”
Dale Carnegie

“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.”

“The only difference between success and failure is the ability to take action.”
Alexander Graham Bell

“Begin to weave and God will give you the thread.”
German Proverb

“Following-through is the only thing that separates dreamers from people that accomplish great things.”
Gene Hayden

“Procrastination is opportunity’s natural assassin.”
Victor Kiam

“Perfection’ is man’s ultimate illusion. It simply doesn’t exist in the universe…. If you are a perfectionist, you are guaranteed to be a loser in whatever you do.”
David D. Burns

“Getting an idea should be like sitting on a pin; it should make you jump up and do something.”
E.L. Simpson

“The habit of always putting off an experience until you can afford it, or until the time is right, or until you know how to do it is one of the greatest burglars of joy. Be deliberate, but once you’ve made up your mind – jump in.”
Charles R. Swindoll

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”
Abraham Lincoln

“One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon – instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our windows today.”
Dale Carnegie

“He who every morning plans the transactions of that day and follows that plan carries a thread that will guide him through the labyrinth of the most busy life.”
Victor Hugo

Funny Quotes About Procrastination

“Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.”
Mark Twain

“You can’t just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood.
What mood is that?
Last-minute panic.”
Bill Watterson

“Procrastination is like a credit card: it’s a lot of fun until you get the bill.”
Christopher Parker

“Plan to be spontaneous tomorrow.”
Steven Wright

“The scholar’s greatest weakness: calling procrastination research.”
Stephen King

“Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today because if you enjoy it today, you can do it again tomorrow.”
James A. Michener

“Stop talking. Start walking.”
L.M. Heroux

“I am a person who works well under pressure. In fact, I work so well under pressure that at times, I will procrastinate in order to create this pressure.”
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

“My mother always told me I wouldn’t amount to anything because I procrastinate. I said, ‘Just wait.”
Judy Tenuta

“If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done.”
Rita Mae Brown

“A day can really slip by when you’re deliberately avoiding what you’re supposed to do.”
Bill Watterson

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About the Author

Henrik Edberg is the creator of the Positivity Blog and has written weekly articles here since 2006. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Gothenburg and has been featured on Lifehacker, HuffPost and Paulo Coelho’s blog. Click here to learn more…

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • I love the quotes! Very inspiring to keep moving forward. The only constant is change.

  • These are great quotes! My favorite is number 13. Check out my blog at dcdeafconnection.wordpress.com? :D

  • # 4 is my favourite. Many times we fail to deliver and blame time, but we all have the same amount of time all the days.

  • Oluremi

    My favourite is ‘Do not leave until tomorrow what you can do today’

  • Kathy

    “In a moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing to do, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”
    – Theodore Roosevelt

  • Abhijit

    My favorite is #25. Nicely compiled quotes sir :)

  • If u want to make an easy job seem mighty hard,
    just keep puting it off…
    Mathew, Uganda…

  • Magdalene Li

    I like No. 7. Hope this may help me not to delay my writing anymore…

  • Wow! Thank you for this list. I want to keep it in front of me every day. I am at a point in my life where I am constantly learning “new” things, new technologies, new ways of doing things and each time I have to begin something new that I have not done before, I hesitate. Today I must begin learning a new thing and I will re-read your list. Thank you so much. I FB’d it, I Tweeted it and Pinned it. My favorite is the one below #21:

    “Procrastination is the fear of success. People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy, carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the ‘someday I’ll’ philosophy.”
    – Denis Waitley

  • Thank you everyone for your kind words and for adding your own favorite quotes!

  • I like #27 the best. That’s what I strive for in all of life.

  • Bianca

    I love them all. I think I need to read this every morning to get me going.

    I only recently found your blog and I am trying to change my mind fast right now because stress is starting to protrude on my life in a negative way.

    The best thing to do to beat your stress is to just jump in somewhere and start it. I loved the article, Just Do It which I read yesterday. Thank you for your blog.

  • Love these quotes. I’m going to load them onto my mac and have them rotate so I get some regular inspiration to actually get on with the work I should be doing whilst on the mac!

  • Awesome!

  • 7 and 22 are very familiar to me: sometimes I’m just planning too much and I can’t take the next step from one point. If I just start with the basics I already made, the rest will come with all the ideas. The second one is reminding me of all those times when I’m not concentrated. I look into my diary and I see all the tasks and well, that’s pretty stressful. Try to take a deep breath and make a list starting from the most important one, that always helps me.