The 215 best Time Management Quotes

time management quotes
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🖊 This article was last updated on April 22, 2020

time management quotes
Last updated: January 2019

On my Instagram and Twitter account, I regularly share time management, productivity quotes, and sayings about time (besides lots of other useful information as well of course).

Personally, I love quotes. But I had a hard time to collect all of them. So I decided to share all the quotes I have collected so far, in case someone’s looking for quotes on time management and productivity as well.

All of the quotes on this page are either related to time management, productivity, or time itself. I hope you’ll like this curated list.

To make it a bit easier to find, I divided the quotes into 8 categories:

Getting started

"A hard thing is done by figuring out how to start" - Rand Fishkin

A hard thing is done by figuring out how to start

Rand Fishkin
"A year from now you will wish you had started today" - Karen Lamb

A year from now you will wish you had started today

Karen Lamb
"Any time is a good time to start a company" - Ron Conway

Any time is a good time to start a company

Ron Conway

Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.

Napoleon Hill

Do not wait to strike until the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking

William B. Sprague

Do what you can, where you are, with what you have.

Theodore Roosevelt

Dream big. Start small. But most of all, start.


Eighty percent of success is showing up.

Woody Allen

Even a correct decision is wrong when it was taken too late.

Lee Lacocca (Chrysler)

Even if you don’t have the perfect idea to begin with, you can likely adapt.

Victoria Ransom

For an entrepreneur, sometimes the smallest step in the right direction, ends up being the best step of your life. Stick in your little toe first if you must, but take the step.


He who begins many things finishes but few

German proverb

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

Anne Frank

I find it best to dive right in and learn the hard way.

@petecashmore (Mashable)

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Leonardo da Vinci

Ideas are commodity. Execution of them is not.


Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.

Guy Kawasaki

If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.

Napoleon Hill

If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.

Bruce lee

If you’ve got an idea, start today. There’s no better time than now to get going. That doesn’t mean quit your job and jump into your idea 100 percent from day one, but there’s always small progress that can be made to start the movement.

Kevin Systrom (Instagram)

It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.

@scottbelsky (Behance)

Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.

Samuel Johnson

Nothing will happen unless you take the initiative to do it.

Akhil Nigam

Screw it, let’s do it.

@richardbranson (Virgin)

Start from wherever you are and with whatever you’ve got.

Jim Rohn

Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.

Napoleon Bonaparte

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

Chinese proverb

The best time to start was last year. Failing that, today will do.


The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.

Nolan Bushnell

The longer you’re not taking action the more money you’re losing

Carrie Wilkerson

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.

Amelia Earhart

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.

Mark Twain

The time for action is now. It’s never too late to do something.

Carl Sandburg

The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing.

Walt Disney

To any entrepreneur: if you want to do it, do it now. If you don’t, you’re going to regret it.

Catherine Cook

What is not started will never get finished

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.

Mother Theresa

Goals & Plans

"A goal without a plan is just a wish" - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

A goal without a plan is just a wish

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
"A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week" - George Patton

A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week

George Patton

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

Benjamin Franklin

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.

Abraham Lincoln

Goals aren’t enough. You need goals plus deadlines: goals big enough to get excited about and deadline to make you run. One isn’t much good without the other, but together they can be tremendous.

Ben Feldman

I always say, don’t make plans, make options.

Jennifer Aniston

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.

Wayne Gretzky

If Plan A doesn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters.

Claire Cook

If you don’t know exactly where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?

Steve Maraboli

If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.

Yogi Berra

In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.

Dwight Eisenhower

Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning.

Winston Churchill

Meticulous planning will enable everything a man does to appear spontaneous.

Mark Caine

Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.

Alan Lakein

Remember to celebrate milestones as you prepare for the road ahead.

Nelson Mandela

The best way to predict the future is to create it.

Peter F. Drucker

The most efficient way to live reasonably is every morning to make a plan of one’s day and every night to examine the results obtained.

Alexis Carrel

Think ahead. Don’t let day-to-day operations drive out planning.

Donald Rumsfeld

Making mistakes

A brilliant idea doesn’t guarantee a succesful invention. Real magic comes from a brilliant idea combined with willpower, tenacity, and a willingness to make mistakes

Lori Greiner

A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new

Albert Einstein

Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.

Joshua Marine

Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong.

Donald Porter (British Airways)

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work

Thomas Edison

I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.

@JeffBezos (Amazon)

I’ve also learned that the biggest lessons came from my biggest mistakes.

Gurbaksh Chahal

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

Michael Jordan

If you start with nothing and end up with nothing, there’s nothing lost.

Michael Dunlop

If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not making decisions.

Catherine Cook

It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.


Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.


Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly and get on with improving your other innovations.

Steve Jobs (Apple)

Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.

Winston Churchill

The earlier you start, the more time you have to mess up.

Emil Motycka

The hardest part about being an entrepreneur is that you’ll fail ten times for every success.


The most valuable thing you can make is a mistake- you can’t learn anything from being perfect.

Adam Osborne

The price of inaction is far greater than then cost of a mistake.

@MegWhitman (HP)

Things go wrong all the time when you’re running your own business, but it’s how you perceive it and deal with it that matters.


What good is an idea if it remains an idea? Try. Experiment. Iterate. Fail. Try again. Change the world.


You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.

Christopher Columbus

You can’t fall if you don’t climb. But there’s no joy in living your whole life on the ground.


You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over.

@richardbranson (Virgin)

You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.

Beverly Sills


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

Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work

Stephen King

Believe you can and you’re half way there.

Theodore Roosevelt

Change your thoughts and you change your world.

Norman Vincent Peale

Choose a job that you like, and you will never have to work a day in your life.


Do. Or do not. There is no try.

Yoda (Star Wars)

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.

Mary Kay Ash

Every master was once a disaster

T. Harv Eker

Everything started as nothing.

Ben Weissenstein

Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.

George Addair

Fall seven times and stand up eight.

Japanese proverb

Find something you love and do it better than everyone else.

Gurbaksh Chahal

Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.

Jim Rohn

Genius is 1% inspiration, and 99% perspiration.

Thomas Edison

I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.

Mother Teresa

I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.

Stephen Covey

I don’t look to jump over 7-foot bars. I look for 1-foot bars that I can step over.

Warren Buffet

I learned that nobody’s better than you to get your business off the ground. The experience you get is priceless.


If you are going through hell, keep going.

Winston Churchill

If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.

Vincent Van Gogh

One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it is worth watching


Rarely have I seen a situation where doing less than the other guy is a good strategy.

Jimmy Spithill

Success comes down to hard work plus passion, over time. If you work really, really hard over a long period of time, it will pay off.

Stanley Tang

The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work.

Oprah Winfrey

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it.

Chinese proverb

Time = life; therefore, waste your time and waste of your life, or master your time and master your life.

Alan Lakein

To have a great idea, have a lot of them.

Thomas Edison

We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.

Charles R. Swindoll

Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.

Napoleon Hill

Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.

Henry Ford

Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something we love is called passion.


You shouldn’t focus on why you can’t do something, which is what most people do. You should focus on why perhaps you can, and be one of the exceptions.

@SteveCase (AOL)

A person’s success in life can be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.

Tim Ferriss


A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do

Bob Dylan
"At first, do things that don't scale" - Paul Graham

At first, do things that don’t scale

Paul Graham

Behind every adversity is an opportunity. If you lament over the adversity, you will miss the opportunity.

Ajaero Tony Martins

Business opportunities are like buses: there’s always another one coming.

@richardbranson (Virgin)

Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart.

Ancient Indian Proverb

Don’t make decisions based on fear.

Jake Nickell

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

Your future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow.



"Always focus on the front windshield and not the review mirror" - Colin Powell

Always focus on the front windshield and not the review mirror

Colin Powell
"Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still" - Chinese Proverb

Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still

Chinese Proverb

Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.

Alexander Graham Bell

Concentration is the secret of strength.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do an evening review at the end of the day to reflect on what went well, and what you’d do differently next time.

Marilyn Suttle

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.


Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.

Peter F. Drucker

Either you run the day, or the day runs you.

Jim rohn

Essential to time-management is a change in focus, a change from being “busy” to a focus on outcomes.


Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph: a beginning, a struggle and a victory.

Mahatma Gandhi

Focusing on one thing and doing it really, really well can get you very far.

Kevin Systrom (Instagram)

Have the end in mind and every day make sure your working towards it

Ryan Allis

I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.

Steve Jobs (Apple)

I’m here to build something for the long-term. Anything else is a distraction.

Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook)

If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be ‘meetings.’

Dave Barry

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.


It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.

Aristotle Onassis

It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.

Babe Ruth

It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?

Henry David Thoreau

Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent, and not enough time on what is important.

Stephen Covey

One cannot manage too many affairs: like pumpkins in the water, one pops up while you try to hold down the other.

Chinese proverb

One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.

Tony Robbins

Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday and avoiding today.

Wayne Dyer

Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.

Paul J. Meyer

The essence of self-discipline is to do the important thing rather than the urgent thing.

Barry Werner

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

Thomas Sowell

The shorter way to do many things is to only do one thing at a time.


There is nothing less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all.

Peter F. Drucker

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

Abraham Lincoln

Those who make the worse use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness.

Jean De La Bruyere

Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.

David Allen

I never could have done what I have done without the habit to concentrate myself on one subject at a time.

Charles Dickens

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.

Jim Ryun

Always focus on the front windshield and not the review mirror.

Colin Powell

Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.

Chinese proverb

If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on.



"Always deliver more than expected" - Larry Page

Always deliver more than expected

Larry Page
"Be so good they can't ignore you" - Steve Martin

Be so good they can’t ignore you

Steve Martin

Better understated than overstated. Let people be surprised that it was more than you promised and easier than you said.

Jim Rohn

Don’t be cocky. Don’t be flashy. There’s always someone better than you.

Tony Hsieh (Zappos)

Don’t wait for perfection. Life isn’t perfect. Do the best you can and ship. Real people ship, and then they test and then they ship again. Then you wake up one day and you have something insanely great.

Guy Kawasaki

Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.

@drewhouston (Dropbox)

Done is better than perfect


High expectations are the key to everything.

Sam Walton (Walmart)

Over-deliver every time.


Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.

Vince Lombardi

The extra mile is a vast, unpopulated wasteland.


The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark.


Waiting for perfect is never as smart as making progress.



"All that really belongs to us is time; even he who has nothing else has that" - Baltasar Gracian

All that really belongs to us is time; even he who has nothing else has that

Baltasar Gracian

Being rich is having money, being wealthy is having time.


Better three hours too soon, than one minute too late.

William Shakespeare

Broke people are busy with their time, wherein succesful people are productive with their time.


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

Even if your watch is full of diamonds, the hour is still 60 minutes.


Everything happens to everybody sooner or later if there is time enough.


He lives long that lives well; and time misspent is not lived but lost.

Thomas Fuller

I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.

Douglas Adams

If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.

Bruce Lee

If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got.

Lee Lacocca (Chrysler)

In truth, people can generally make time for what they choose to do; it is not really the time but the will that is lacking.

Sir John Lubbock

Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.

Zig Ziglar

Lost time is never found again.


Lost wealth may be replaced by industry, lost knowledge by study, lost health by temperance or medicine, but lost time is gone forever.

Samuel Smiles

Money, I can only gain or lose. But time I can only lose. So, I must spend it carefully.


My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.

Steve Jobs (Apple)

Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year – and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!

Tony Robbins

One thing you can’t recycle is wasted time.


Ordinary people think merely of spending time. Great people think of using it.


The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.

Michael Altshuler

The common man is not concerned about the passage of time, the man of talent is driven by it.


The great dividing line between success and failure can be expressed in five words: “I did not have time.”

Franklin Field

The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.

Stephen Covey

The surest way to be late is to have plenty of time.

Leo Kennedy

This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Time is at once the most valuable and the most perishable of all our possessions.

John Randolph

Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.

Jim Rohn

Time is really the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can’t afford to lose.

Thomas Edison

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.

Carl Sandburg

Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.


Time is what we want most, but what we spend worst.

William Penn

Time isn’t the main thing. It’s the only thing.

Miles Davis

Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.

Marthe Troly-Curtin

Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week.


Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.

M. Scott Peck

What may be done at any time will be done at no time.

Scottish proverb

Whether it’s the best of times or the worst of times, it’s the only time we’ve got.

Art Buchwald

While we are postponing, life speeds by.


You can’t make up for lost time. You can only do better in the future.

Ashley Ormon

You cannot kill time without injuring eternity.

Henry David Thoreau

You may delay, but time will not.

Benjamin Franklin

You will never “find” time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.

Charles Bruxton

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.

Steve Jobs (Apple)

What about you? Do you have any quotes related to time management or productivity, that are not on this page? Let me know in the comments and I’ll add them to this curated list.

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