45 procrastination quotes: Inspiring sayings to support productivity

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Last Updated on March 10, 2020

Do you tend to postpone unloved tasks until tomorrow? I've curated over 45 productivity and procrastination quotes to inspire those of you, who struggle with this sticky and annoying habit. And if this doesn't help, make sure to read until the end of this blog post. I've put together some helpful tips and resources for procrastinators.

procrastination quotes

We tend to postpone unloved tasks until tomorrow

Do you have emails sitting in your inbox that you know you won’t respond to until next week? Haven’t you wanted to unclutter your recipe box lately?  And what about your wish to cook more at home from scratch?

How many good habits have you implemented in your daily routine yet? Many famous people through history knew already the procrastination game.

procrastination is the bad habit
“Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday.”
Napoleon Hill

“Procrastination is the thief of time.”
Edward Young

“Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.”
Benjamin Franklin

“Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.”
Mark Twain

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

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

'Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.' Mahatma GandhiClick To Tweet

“Good executives never put off until tomorrow what they can get someone else to do today.”
John C. Maxwell

“A man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.”
Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway

“Seize today, and put as little trust as you can in tomorrow.”
Horace

“Whatever you want to do, do it now. There are only so many tomorrows.”
Michael Landon

“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

Further reading: 91 habit quotes about change

Open tasks are dangerous concentration robbers

Each task that you don't finish is similar to a ball you are juggling: As soon as it is in the air you have to keep an eye on it. Unfinished duties are the most dangerous concentration robbers in the world. This is something the psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik could prove – that's why it is also known as the Zeigarnik-Effekt.

uncompleted task quote
“Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.”
Wiliam James

“To fight fear, act. To increase fear – wait, put off postpone.”
David Joseph Schwartz

'If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it.' Olin MillerClick To Tweet

“The greatest loss of time is delay and expectation, which depend upon the future. We let go the present, which we have in our power, and look forward to that which depends upon chance, and so relinquish a certainty for an uncertainty.”
Seneca

“Women often postpone their lives, thinking that if they're not with a partner then it doesn't really count. They're still searching for their prince, in a way. And as much as we don't discuss that, because it's too embarrassing and too sad, I think it really does exist. “
Jane Campion

“Life is very short. Try to enjoy your ‘now.' Many people think that when they become such-and-such then they will be happy. I personally don't think it is healthy to postpone your happiness. My message is, ‘Enjoy the moment.'”
Adina Porter

Further Reading: 77 education and explore learning quotes

Just start!

Instead of waiting for the perfect moment and first developing a sophisticated plan, it is sometimes better to just start somewhere. Once you have gained momentum and overcome your initial challenges, you can still switch to a structured approach.

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

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

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

“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.”
Bruce Lee

“Whatever you want to do, do it now. There are only so many tomorrows.”
Michael Landon

Laziness

The big difference between procrastination and laziness is the “intention”. Only a few people like to postpone important tasks. The procrastinator actually intends to do something but cannot motivate himself. The lazy one does not want to do it at all.

laziness
“Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired.”
Jules Renard

“A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two different things.”
Benjamin Franklin

“There are no ugly women, only lazy ones.”
Helena Rubenstein

'Tradition is laziness.' Gustav MahlerClick To Tweet

“Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction.”
Anne Frank

“There are two cardinal sins from which all others spring Impatience and Laziness.”
Franz Kafka

Further Reading: 72 good night and sleep quotes for a healthy dose of rest

Cultivate the right attitude!

Unrealistic goals will discourage you and cause you to quickly give up and procrastinate. High goals, where you know from the beginning that you can never reach them, are the best breeding ground for procrastination. Set realistic goals you can still achieve. Your goals must inspire you, but they should never block you. Click through for goal setting quotes.

attitude quote
“It is your attitude at the beginning of a task that determines success or failure.”
Corrine Dewlow

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

“The finest eloquence is that which gets things done; the worst is that which delays them.”
Lloyd George

“The simple act of paying positive attention to people has a great deal to do with productivity.”
Thomas Peters

“Positive thinking won’t let you do anything but it will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.”
Zig Ziglar

Related: 100 being happy quotes to unlock the key to happiness

More words of wisdom motivating you to conquer difficult or easy tasks

We particularly often postpone tasks when they are large and complex. These tasks scare us because there is no direct end in sight and we quickly feel overwhelmed. In order to prevent this from happening to you, you take your big task and divide it into small portions. Then you go step by step and complete one mini action after another.

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

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

“Where duty is plain, the delay is both foolish and hazardous; where it is not, a delay may provide both wisdom and safety.”
Tryon Edwards

'Do today, what you usually can't do and save the frequent and usual things for tomorrow.' Cristina Rose SchumacherClick To Tweet

“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty and joy to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble.”
Helen Keller

“Attempt easy tasks as if they were difficult, and difficult as if they were easy; in the one case, that confidence may not fall asleep, in the other that it may not be dismayed.”
Baltasar Gracian

Get further inspired and boost your productivity with your personal motto in life

Funny quotes about procrastination

The following funny quotes will put a smile on your face on yet they are thought-provoking with a big grain of truth.
Further Reading: Funny quotes about life that will lift your spirits

christopher parker quote
“Procrastination is like a credit card it's a lot of fun until you get the bill.”
Christopher Parker

“Never put off till tomorrow the fun you can have today.”
Aldous Huxley

“My only hobby is laziness, which naturally rules out all others.”
Granni Nazzano

“Household tasks are easier and quicker when they are done by somebody else.”
James Thorpe

'Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.' Robert A. HeinleinClick To Tweet

“Never do today what you can put off till tomorrow. Delay may give clearer light as to what is best to be done.”
Aaron Burr

“Yesterday's the past and tomorrow's the future. Today is a gift – which is why they call it the present.”
Bill Keane

Did you love these thought-provoking quotes and images?

Then make sure to click through to my 101 picture quotes and cute motivational images

3 quick tips to overcome procrastination

What can you do to reduce the number of open tasks and free your brain?

  1. Finish everything that can be done fast immediately. Instead of shifting 5 unanswered emails into a new week, just reply to them as soon as possible. If you batch tasks of the same type, such as writing 5 emails at once instead of spending an hour on each email individually, you save time and energy. But don't fool yourself. If you have some free time, don't do the optional things for today/tomorrow, but start the critical ones for the day after tomorrow. Even if the optional things happen relatively “fast”, at a certain point they are only used as a distraction. This is the real challenge of the well-known “procrastination”, which postpones long-term problems and prefers to vacuum again instead.
  2. The second tip is the most important: Dare to ask yourself with all the open tasks: Can't I just drop this ball? Do you really need to buy new curtains? Wouldn't your living room still look great with the old ones? And do you really have to attend the overdue Tupperware party? Would the world go down without your attendance? You would be surprised what you can let go without any serious consequences.
  3. And last but not least write down those few tasks you really want to accomplish on a To-Do List. Set clear dates and make sure that you stick to your goals. For me, tackling one big thing a day has proved to be much more effective than several little tasks spread over the day. If you want to dig deeper into the simple truth behind extraordinary results, there is a great book I can highly recommend: => 1Thing by Gary Keller (Affiliate Link!)When you write things down, you aren’t forced to remember them. That’s another ball you can drop. With this kind of simple strategy, you will be rewarded with a peace of mind. The satisfaction over the achievement will dominate the uncomfortable feeling of always being behind on your own resolutions. Above all, you create free space for new thoughts. The fewer “old balls” you are juggling, the higher you can throw the balls. And hitting the jackpot is only possible if you make up your mind about the most important tasks instead of the most urgent tasks. Your ideas may be bold and your visions grand. These are the balls you should keep an eye on.

Further Reading: 68 motivational quotes about reading books

How to increase productivity in your household

Inspirational quotes about procrastination might not be enough when you want to become more productive in your household. I have put together a simple approach to get rid of the chaos in your kitchen one step at a time:

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