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70 Best Time Management Quotes

70 Best Time Management Quotes

Do you ever feel like there is never enough time in the day? Despite the fact that time is perhaps the most sought-after resource available for our use, most of us are dreadful at spending it wisely. Enjoy the following 70 time management quotes organized by topic.

Plan for Success

What is the point of exercising proper time management without a clear plan built to take us where we want to go?

1. “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

2. “Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning.” – Winston Churchill

3. “Think ahead. Don’t let day-to-day operations drive out planning.” – Donald Rumsfeld

4. “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

5. “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” – Dwight Eisenhower

6. “I always say, don’t make plans, make options.” – Jennifer Aniston

7. “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” – Yogi Berra

8. “Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.” – Henry David Thoreau

9. “Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” – Alan Lakein

10. “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln

11.  “If you don’t know exactly where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?” – Steve Maraboli

12. “Meticulous planning will enable everything a man does to appear spontaneous.” – Mark Caine

13. “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

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14. “A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.” – George Patton

15. “He who every morning plans the transaction of the day and follows out that plan, carries a thread that will guide him through the maze of the most busy life. But where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incidence, chaos will soon reign.” – Victor Hugo

Fix Your Focus

Laser-like focus on the task at hand is a deadly weapon that will help you accomplish more work in less time.

16. “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

17. “You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” – Mark Twain

18. “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” – Oprah Winfrey

19. “Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” – Zig Ziglar

20. “To conquer frustration, one must remain intensely focused on the outcome, not the obstacles.” – T.F. Hodge

21. “You cannot run at full throttle when applying your mindset to all of the different things running through your head. Focusing is the key to manifesting your desires.” – Stephen Richards

22. “Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.” – Alexander Graham Bell

23. “I try to learn from the past, but I plan for the future by focusing exclusively on the present. That’s where the fun is.” – Donald Trump

24. “Always focus on the front windshield and not the review mirror.” – Colin Powell

25. “Temperamentally anxious people can have a hard time staying motivated, period, because their intense focus on their worries distracts them from their goals.” – Winifred Gallagher

26. “It’s about focusing on the fight and not the fright.” – Robin Roberts

27. “What do I mean by concentration? I mean focusing totally on the business at hand and commanding your body to do exactly what you want it to do.” – Arnold Palmer

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28. “Concentration is the secret of strength.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

29. “Inspiration is the windfall from hard work and focus. Muses are too unreliable to keep on the payroll.” – Helen Hanson

30. “Once taken off one task without completing the transaction, the mind continues to seek closure. Fight to stay focused on the task at hand.” – Jeff Davidson

Unleash Your Productivity

Productive workers can produce higher output in less hours, resulting in more free time for much-needed fun and relaxation.

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

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

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

34. “Stressing output is the key to improving productivity, while looking to increase activity can result in just the opposite.” – Paul Gauguin

35. “Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.” – Warren Buffett

36. “Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt

37. “In both children and adults, there can be a hard-to-deny link between a robust sense of hope and either work productivity or academic achievement.” – Jeffrey Kluger

38. “The way we measure productivity is flawed. People checking their BlackBerry over dinner is not the measure of productivity.” – Timothy Ferriss

39. “On every level of life, from housework to heights of prayer, in all judgment and efforts to get things done, hurry and impatience are sure marks of the amateur.” – Evelyn Underhill

40. “The least productive people are usually the ones who are most in favor of holding meetings.” – Thomas Sowell

41. “Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.” – David Allen

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42. “The best time to start was last year. Failing that, today will do.” – Chris Guillebeau

43. “Remember that time is money.” – Benjamin Franklin

44. “There is nothing less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all.” – Peter Drucker

45. “Start from wherever you are and with whatever you’ve got.” – Jim Rohm

Strive for Increased Efficiency

Cut useless activities and create systems to organize your workflow to avoid wasted time, money, and effort.

46. “Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.” – Peter Drucker

47. “Just in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very efficient. There`s a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning.” – Bill Gates

48. “Never waste any time you can spend sleeping.” – Frank Knight

49. “A particular shot or way of moving the ball can be a player’s personal signature, but efficiency of performance is what wins the game for the team.” – Pat Riley

50. “The higher your energy level, the more efficient your body. The more efficient your body, the better you feel and the more you will use your talent to produce outstanding results.” – Tony Robbins

51. “The most efficient way to produce anything is to bring together under one management as many as possible of the activities needed to turn out the product.” – Peter Drucker

52. “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.” – Bill Gates

53. “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

54. “The men who succeed are the efficient few. They are the few who have the ambition and will power to develop themselves.” – Robert Burton

55. “The way to get things done is not to mind who gets the credit for doing them.” – Benjamin Jowett

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Are You Using Time Wisely?

Let’s close with 20 quotes about time itself. Time is a mysterious, fleeting thing that has a way of escaping our grasp in the blink of an eye. Are you making the most of your time?

56. “How did it get so late so soon?” – Dr. Seuss

57. “Lost time is never found again.” – Benjamin Franklin

58. “If time were to take on human form, would she be your taskmaster or freedom fighter?” – Richie Norton

59. “I like to do weird things in the shower, like drink my coffee, brush my teeth and drink a smoothie. It’s good time management.” – Michelle Williams

60. “Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” – Marthe Troly-Curtin

61. “The essence of self-discipline is to do the important thing rather than the urgent thing.” – Barry Werner

62. “We are time’s subjects, and time bids be gone.” – William Shakespeare

63. “You can have it all. Just not all at once.” – Oprah Winfrey

64. “Time is the longest distance between two places.” – Tennessee Williams

65. “Procrastination is the foundation of all disasters.” – Pandora Poikilos

66. “You can’t make up for lost time. You can only do better in the future.” – Ashley Ormon

67. “Time is what we want most, but what we spend worst.” – William Penn

68. “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” – Mother Teresa

69. “I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.” – Golda Meir

70. “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.” – Abraham Lincoln

I hope these time management quotes provided you with a healthy dose of inspiration that will boost your productivity!

More by this author

Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

More About Goals Setting

Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

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