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Last Updated on January 25, 2021

30 Best Procrastination Quotes to Get You Back to Work

30 Best Procrastination Quotes to Get You Back to Work

What do your 3pm fridge raid and perfectly alphabetised bookshelf have in common?

You most likely did both of them when you should have been doing work.

Procrastination is one of the most human behaviours. We’re all guilty of putting off what we know is important from time to time, and it seems the more pressing the task at hand, the better we are at avoiding it.

Sure, it means that every time we have an important deadline we end up with a spotlessly clean house and a completely empty inbox, but the real work gets left until the very last minute and is finished in a frenzy of stress and caffeine.

But we can gain control over procrastination by noticing it as soon as possible and stopping it in its tracks. On the contrary, you know you have a bad habit when you’re aware you’re putting something off, and you continue avoiding it anyway.

To start you off with combating procrastination, here are 30 procrastination quotes to get you in a motivated frame of mind, because if procrastination has any enemies, it’s motivation to work harder.

A Few Home Truths

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


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


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


“Success is not obtained overnight. It comes in instalments; 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


“The man who waits to know everything is the man who never does anything.”
― Craig D. Lounsbrough


“Procrastination is like going to a fancy restaurant and filling up on bread and not leaving enough room for dinner.”
― Richie Norton, The Power of Starting Something Stupid: How to Crush Fear, Make Dreams Happen, and Live without Regret


“Procrastination is the lazy cousin of fear. When we feel anxiety around an activity, we postpone it.”
― Noelle Hancock, My Year with Eleanor


“Doing things at the last minute reminds us of the importance of doing things at the first minute.”
― Matshona Dhliwayo


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


“A day can really slip by when you’re deliberately avoiding what you’re supposed to do.”
― Bill Watterson, There’s Treasure Everywhere


“By what right do I, who have wasted this day, make claims on tomorrow?”
― Alain-Fournier, Le Grand Meaulnes


“If you want to get ahead in life, I’ve found that perhaps the most useless word in the world is “tomorrow.”
― José N. Harris


Some Practical Advice

    “If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.”
    ― Hilary Mantel


    “Thinking too much leads to paralysis by analysis. It’s important to think things through, but many use thinking as a means of avoiding action.”
    ― Robert Herjavec, The Will To Win: Leading, Competing, Succeeding


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


    “It is only by working the rituals, that any significant degree of understanding can develop. If you wait until you are positive you understand all aspects of the ceremony before beginning to work, you will never begin to work.”
    ― Lon Milo DuQuette, The Magick of Aleister Crowley: A Handbook of the Rituals of Thelema


    “Do first what you don’t want to do most.”
    ― Clifford Cohen


    “How often do you find yourself saying, “In a minute”, “I’ll get to it” or “Tomorrow’s good enough” and every other possible excuse in the book? Compare it with how often you decide it’s got to be done, so let’s get on and do it! That should tell you just how serious your procrastinating problem really is.”
    ― Stephen Richards, The Secret of Getting Started: Strategies to Triumph over Procrastination


    “How to stop procrastinating starts with believing you can overcome procrastination.”
    ― Robert Moment, How to Stop Procrastinating


    “Never put things off…you will wake up and find them gone.”
    ― James Jones


    Some Tough Love

      “Do something instead of killing time. Because time is killing you.”
      ― Paulo Coelho, Aleph


      “If you take too long in deciding what to do with your life, you’ll find you’ve done it.”
      ― George Bernard Shaw


      “If you want to get ahead in life, I’ve found that perhaps the most useless word in the world is “tomorrow.”
      ― José N. Harris


      “What is deferred is not avoided.”
      ― Thomas More


      “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work”
      ― Chuck Close


      “If you always do what is easy and choose the path of least resistance, you never step outside your comfort zone. Great things don’t come from comfort zones.”
      ― Roy Bennett


      “Your ideas have legs and just as they run through your head, they could be running through someone else’s head and it’s just a matter of who gets to the finish line first. Nothing is new under the sun so act on your ideas.”― Sanjo Jendayi


      “You may not be punished for your procrastination, but for sure you will be punished by your procrastination.”
      ― Debasish Mridha


      When You Need Pulling out of Procrastination

        “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


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


        Print these quotes out, stick them on the wall in front of your desk – do whatever it takes to remember why you shouldn’t be putting your work off, or getting distracted by a desire to rearrange your socks into colour order.

        It won’t be easy, but being aware of how detrimental procrastination is to your longer-term goals is the first step towards overcoming it.

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        More Tips About Beating Procrastination

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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        Tam Henderson

        A productive copywriter for busy marketing directors who don't have the time or appetite for writing.

        30 Best Procrastination Quotes to Get You Back to Work

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        Last Updated on March 2, 2021

        8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

        8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

        The negative effects of procrastination can range from simply missing a deadline on an important task to something more long-term, such as a missed opportunity that kills a dream. Some of us might be lucky enough to identify our tendency to procrastinate in time and still do something about it.

        For others, it can have long-lasting effects that resonate throughout their lives.

        The reason we procrastinate varies from person to person and is not always obvious. Sometimes, it is a hidden fear that we don’t want to acknowledge, or it could even be as simple as not wanting to do something because it just doesn’t motivate us.

        Whatever the reason may be, if you know you are a procrastinator, you should be careful, as it has far more damaging effects than you may realize. You can find out if you’re a chronic procrastinator with this free assessment: Are You a Chronic Procrastinator?

        Here are the 8 most common effects of procrastination that can destroy not only your productivity, but your life.

        1. Losing Precious Time

        How much time have you wasted procrastinating?

        The worst thing about procrastinating is the moment you realize that you are two, five, or ten years older and nothing has changed.

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        This is a terrible feeling because you can’t turn back the hands of time; you just have to live with the helpless feeling of regret. There is nothing worse than feeling frustrated at yourself, knowing the situation could have been so different if only you had taken that first step.

        2. Blowing Opportunities

        How many opportunities have you wasted because you didn’t take advantage of them when they were there? This is when the effects of procrastination make you really want to kick yourself.

        What you don’t realize is that the opportunity could have been life changing, but you missed out on it. Most opportunities only come around once; you are never guaranteed a second chance.

        Opportunities are the world’s way of giving you more, so do yourself a favor and grab them with both hands as soon as they present themselves.

        3. Not Meeting Goals

        Procrastination seems to come on with full force when we entertain the thought of goals, of wanting to achieve or change something. You might have a strong desire to change, but you just can’t seem to take the first step forward.

        This is normally confusing and perplexing; you might find yourself thinking, “Why is it so hard to go for something that I want so badly?” Only you can answer that; you’ll have to explore a little deeper into the resistance.

        We set goals because we have a deep desire to better our lives in some way. If you don’t do this because of procrastination, you reduce the possibility to better your life.

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        Uncover the root cause behind your procrastination if it’s preventing you from achieving your goals, or you may never attain them.

        And if you need a bit of help in reaching your goal, The Dreamers’ Guide To Taking Actions And Reaching Your Goals is what you need. It’s a free guide that will help you tackle your procrastination behavior and craft an actionable plan to start to reach your goal. Grab your free guide here.

        4. Ruining a Career

        The way you work directly affects your results, how much you achieve, and how well you perform, so the effects of procrastination can end up being detrimental to your career.

        Procrastination may prevent you from meeting deadlines or achieving your monthly targets. What consequence will this eventually have on your career?

        You might miss out on promotions or even be at risk of losing your job. You can try to hide it for a while, but don’t doubt that long-term procrastination at work will almost certainly ruin your career.

        5. Lower Self-Esteem

        This is one of the vicious circles you might find yourself in. We tend to procrastinate because low self-esteem makes us feel that we won’t be able to get a task or project done the right way. Unfortunately, procrastinating only increases feelings of low self-esteem, making us doubt ourselves even more.

        One study involving 426 college students found that “academic procrastination was negatively predicted by self-esteem, and self-control”[1].

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        When we have low self-esteem, we hold ourselves back, feel unworthy of success, and begin to self-sabotage. Procrastination eats away your confidence, slowly but surely.

        If this resonates with you, focus on building your self-esteem instead of holding on to the illusion that you should be able to do something, as this makes you force yourself into something when you are not ready.

        6. Making Poor Decisions

        Poor decision making is one of the worst effects of procrastination. When you procrastinate, you make decisions based on criteria that most likely wouldn’t be there if you didn’t procrastinate, like pressure to finally make a decision because time is running out.

        Emotions heavily influence the decisions we make, and procrastination increases negative emotions, which can push us into making decisions that don’t serve us in the long run.

        Instead of rushing through decisions while procrastinating, write out all the possibilities and find a calm moment to analyze the pros and cons of each.

        7. Damage to Your Reputation

        When you keep saying you will do something and you don’t, your reputation gets tarnished, as nobody wants empty promises. Besides damaging your own reputation, you are damaging your self-esteem and self-confidence. You will find that it gets easier to procrastinate each time because you are not surprising yourself anymore.

        People could stop depending on you and hold back on offering you opportunities because they could be worried that you will simply procrastinate, leaving them to clean up the mess.

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        Even if you already have a reputation of being a procrastinator, you can turn it around. Next time someone asks you for something, use all of the tools at your disposal to get it done on time. Each time you fulfill a request, your reputation will begin to build back up, which will lead to more opportunities and better relationships with those around you.

        8. Risking Your Health

        Among the effects of procrastination are mental health problems like stress and anxiety, and these in turn are linked to health issues. If your procrastination leads to feelings of depression, this will start to affect other areas of your life.

        If you procrastinate too much with something, it will most likely start to stress you out and cause anxiety, especially when other people or things are involved, and all of this can lead to poor health outcomes.

        Another way that procrastination can affect your health in the short term is when you continually put off check-ups and postpone appointments or things you need to do, such as exercise. The problem only gets worse and the consequences more dire.

        Final Thoughts

        The effects of procrastination may not seem all that bad at first, but over time, those effects can build, leading to stress, anxiety, broken dreams, and low self-esteem. Instead of letting procrastination take hold, take the time to develop time management techniques to help you deal with it when it appears.

        In a study on procrastination interventions, researchers discovered that cognitive behavioral therapy significantly reduced procrastination and, furthermore, “reduced procrastination more strongly than the other types of interventions”[2]. If you find yourself continuing to struggle with procrastination, cognitive behavioral therapy may be a great option to try.

        You can also check out this video to get started on changing your mindset around procrastination:

        More on Overcoming the Effects of Procrastination

        Featured photo credit: NordWood Themes via unsplash.com

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