≡ Menu

29 Inspiring Procrastination and Productivity Quotes

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 am no stranger to this. I have been there hundreds of times, especially during my early twenties when I was I college.

But what can you do about it? Well, today I won’t be sharing what has been most helpful for me to minimize my own procrastination.

Instead I’d like to offer 29 of the smartest, most motivational and insightful thoughts from the people who have come before us on procrastination and on getting things done.

And if you want simple step-by-step help to stop procrastinating then have a look at my course called Stop Procrastinating Now.

“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

“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

What is your favorite quote on procrastination and productivity? Feel free to share the best one(s) you have found in this article or in your life in the comments section below.

Free Exclusive Happiness Tips

When you join the 80,000 people that are subscribed to the Positivity Newsletter you will not only get practical tips on happiness, self-esteem, productivity and more in your inbox each week.

You’ll also get these three guides for free:

-> 21 Things I Wish They Had Taught Me in School.
-> 7 Steps to Stop Being So Lazy.
-> 10 Things You Can Do When Life Sucks.
100% privacy and no spam. You can unsubscribe anytime.


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.