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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 January 6, 2021

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

3. Create a System

Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

5. Use a Ratings Scale

Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

7. Offer Feedback Forms

Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

8. Track Cost Effectiveness

This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

9. Use Self-Evaluations

Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

10. Monitor Time Management

This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

    The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

    While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

    11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

    We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

    Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

    For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

    Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

    Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

    From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

    12. Utilize Peer Feedback

    This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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    Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

    Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

    It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

    13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

    When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

    Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

    Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

    14. Use an External Evaluator

    Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

    They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

    While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

    Final Thoughts

    These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

    The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

    The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

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    Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

    Reference

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