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33 Motivating Productivity Quotes to Help You Stop Wasting Time

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Productivity quotes.

Some people love them. Others hate them.

But whether productivity quotes are your favorite thing ever or not, sometimes you just really need to read a few.

Maybe you’ve lost your blogging mojo and you’re ready to quit.

Or you have to tackle some big chore for your online business that you’ve been dreading.

Or maybe you have a list of errands that need to be handled and you just keep putting them off.

I know exactly how all of that feels.

The last few months have been an endless grind for me.

My freelance writing business keeps growing. Meanwhile, I’m trying to grow my blog. And I still have to do all the mom things.

And I am beyond burned out. So instead of hitting my to-do list hard, I’ve been spending a lot of time lately doing nothing.

Which has done exactly zero for my productivity.

So this morning I decided to go in search of some inspiration to help me get my head back in the game. I ended up falling down a productivity quote rabbit hole.

Turns out, it was just what I needed.

How Productivity Quotes Can Help You Stop Procrastinating

If procrastination were a disease I would definitely be a terminal case.

I have a seriously bad habit of waiting until the last minute to do things. Or wasting time when I should be working.

For example, I’ve been putting off writing a new blog post all week. After writing thousands of words for my freelance clients in the last few days, I just didn’t feel like I could write another thing.

But here I am, writing this one. So if you’re wondering whether productivity quotes actually work, here’s the proof.

They work because they can give you a different perspective. And sometimes, you just need to look at a situation differently to stop wasting time and do something.

And in case you need a little nudge, I thought I’d share a few of the best productivity quotes I found with you.

These quotes can help get you motivated and energized. They’re perfect when you’re stuck in a rut or tired of procrastinating.

In fact, they’re so good you might want to embroider one on a pillow or print it on a t-shirt. 🙂

At the very least, they can get you off the couch so you can start making the most of your time again.

33 Productivity Quotes to Inspire You to Take Action

bruce lee productivity quote

1. “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” – Bruce Lee

I had never heard this productivity quote before but it became an instant favorite as soon as I read it.

It reminds me of something advice I got when I was starting my blog the first time around: at some point, you have stop learning and start doing.

And it’s so true. The more you think about a thing, the longer it takes you to start doing it. Wait long enough and it won’t happen.

So if you’re struggling to be productive, pick one small thing you can do to get the ball rolling. And then go do it.

Sometimes the first step can be the hardest. But taking it is essential if you’ve got the procrastination bug.

2. “What looks like multitasking is really switching back and forth between multiple tasks, which reduces productivity and increases mistakes by up to 50%.” – Susan Cain

3. “Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else.” – Peter Drucker

4. “You can’t get much done in life if you only work on days when you feel good.” – Jerry West

5. “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” – Francis Of Assisi

warren buffett quote

6. “SOMEONE’S SITTING IN THE SHADE TODAY BECAUSE SOMEONE PLANTED A TREE A LONG TIME AGO.” – WARREN BUFFET

So true, right?

Trees take a long time to grow. And you could say the same thing for a blog or a business or anything you’re trying to do.

But whatever your idea is, it won’t grow if you don’t plant it or tend to it. So if there’s a big idea you’ve been sitting on for a business or a side hustle or something else, ask yourself what’s holding you back?

Getting over those hurdles is key. Once you can get around the mental roadblock, you can really kick your productivity into high gear.

7. “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

8. “Action is the foundational key to all success.” – Picasso

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

10. “It’s fine to decide not to decide about something. You just need a decide-not-to-decide system to get it off your mind.”  David Allen

noel dejesus quote

11. “Every day that I procrastinate, every day that I sit stagnant in fear, every day that I fail to better myself, someone else out there with the same goals and dreams as me is doing the exact opposite.” – Noel DeJesus

Have you ever had a killer idea for something, only to find out someone else has beaten you to the punch?

It’s definitely happened to me, more than once.

Here’s an example. I’m a huge fan of historical fiction and history in general. So for the longest time, I’ve had this idea for a novel about a specific historical figure.

Only, I’ve just thought about it, not actually done anything with it. And this spring, one of my favorite historical fiction writers published a novel about my exact same idea.

I guess you could say great minds think alike. But the difference between that writer and me is that even though we had the same vision for a book, she made it a reality.

This productivity quote is a reminder that if you don’t act on those great ideas you get, somebody else will.

12. “No matter how many personal productivity techniques you master, there will always be more to do than you can ever accomplish in the time you have available to you, no matter how much it is.” – Brian Tracy

13. “Reflect on what you do in a day. You may have never realized how some simple, harmless activities rob you of precious time.” – Vivek Naik

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

15. “If we attend continually and promptly to the little that we can do, we shall ere long be surprised to find how little remains that we cannot do.” ― Samuel Butler

tony morgan productivity quote

16. “You get to decide where your time goes. You can either spend it moving forward, or you can spend it putting out fires. You decide. And if you don’t decide, others will decide for you.” – Tony Morgan

I love this quote because it’s a reminder that we can ultimately control how we spend our time.

You can choose to be productive, or not. You can choose to move forward, or not. 

Shouldn’t be a hard choice, right?

But a lot of the time, it is. We get so stuck in our heads that we tend to the things that don’t matter instead of focusing on the things that do.

So if you’re constantly putting out fires instead of being productive, stop and consider what you can do to change that.

Think about where your priorities lie. What’s most important? What would help you move forward with your goals?

If you can answer those questions, you can make an action plan to start getting ahead.

17. “When you waste a moment, you have killed it in a sense, squandering an irreplaceable opportunity. But when you use the moment properly, filling it with purpose and productivity, it lives on forever.” – Menachem Mendel Scheerson

18. “Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week’s value out of a year while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week.” – Charles Richards

19. “While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior.” –Henry C. Link

20. “Build your own dreams or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” – Farrah Gray

h. jackson brown jr. quote

21. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore, Dream, Discover.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.’s mother

Now, before you jump in and tell me Mark Twain said this, I just want you to know the internet disagrees.

But regardless of who you chalk this gem up to, it’s an awesome productivity quote for those of us who need a push.

There are so many things I wanted to do in my 20s. Guess what? Never did ’em.

And I still struggle with saying ‘yes’ to things I want now and ‘no’ to things I don’t.

I love this quote because it means there’s still time for all of us to do the things we want. If we’re willing to make time for them.

22. “Don’t confuse activity with productivity. Many people are simply busy being busy.” – Robin Sharma

23. “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, and carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the ‘someday I’ll’ philosophy.” – Denis Waitley

24. “One always has time enough, if one will apply it well.” ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

25. “It’s how we spend our time here and now, that really matters. If you are fed up with the way you have come to interact with time, change it.” – Marcia Wieder

robert sutton productivity quote

26. “Creativity isn’t about wild talent as much as it’s about productivity. To find new ideas that work, you need to try a lot that don’t. It’s a pure numbers game.” – Robert Sutton

This quote basically sums up how I feel about my freelancing writing business and blogging.

Basically, throw things at the wall to see what sticks.

Because sometimes, that’s really what you have to do to be creative. Just keep trying things to see what works or what doesn’t.

Sometimes it’s a fail but then sometimes, you make progress. So then you try out the next thing and the next and before you know it, you’re right back in the productivity groove.

motivating productivity quotes

27. “Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well.” – Louisa May Alcott

28. “Position yourself to succeed by doing the other things in your life that rejuvenate you. Exhaustion affects your quality and productivity.” – Jeff VanderMeer

29. “Productivity growth, however it occurs, has a disruptive side to it. In the short term, most things that contribute to productivity growth are very painful.” – Janet Yellen

30. “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

edmund hillary productivity quote

31.”It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” – Sir Edmund Hillary

Here’s what this quote says to me: the biggest obstacle that’s getting in your way when you’re trying to be productive is you.

And a lot of the time, that’s totally true for me. And it might be for you too.

Because here’s the thing. When you want to succeed at something, you can end up sabotaging yourself without even realizing it.

It’s not a conscious decision a lot of the time. You’re afraid of failing or afraid of not failing so you freeze and nothing gets done.

To get over the mountain, you have to get out of that mindset. The sooner you do, the sooner you can stop wasting time.

32. “If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” – Thomas Edison

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

motivating productivity quotes

Do You Have a Favorite Productivity Quote for Motivation?

There are so many amazing productivity quotes out there, this list really could be a lot longer.

If you have a favorite quote that helps you stay motivated, head to the comments and tell me about it!

And please pin and share this post if it inspired you!

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Hi there, I'm Rebecca, homeschooling single mom of two. I built a six-figure freelance writing business from home and now I teach busy moms how to save money, make money and master their time! Follow me on Pinterest and Twitter and don't forget to check out the Resource Library--it's packed with tons of free tools to help make the busy mom life easier!

Comments

  1. Great list. It definately awakens inspiration and drive. I hope to be reminded of these tidbits of advice, that are far more than they seem, in times I can’t seem to move forward.
    I’d add one that sounds counterintuitive but was personally profound, to my own list.
    “All things worth doing, are worth doing bad.”
    I will refer to your list when I need a motivational boost.

    • Thanks Kristin! I love that quote you shared, it’s a great reminder that even if you don’t get the exact results you’re looking for the first time, it’s still important to try. Feeling uninspired is the worst and productivity quotes are great when you need some motivation.

  2. Great List of quotes that motivate and inspire! I love the good quotes, and most of these were new to me. Will definitely add them to my list of go to quotes when I need that extra push of motivation.

    • Thanks Margaret, glad you liked them! I never realized how helpful productivity quotes could be until I needed some inspiration. Reading them definitely helped me get my motivation back!

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