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70 Best Time Management Quotes

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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

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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 October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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