This article is all about the best time management quotes.
But, before we start, let me just say that-
“Quotes don’t work, unless you do”.
That right there is a time management quote.
Although hey, quotes on time management do a lot more than just “inspire”, right?
They may be used as decoration on wall posters.
Or, maybe just a message you’re sending someone?
Whatever be your reasons, let’s start without wasting time (no pun intended).
Best Time Management Quotes
The essence of these best time management quotes is to impart the value of time.
Once you understand the value of time, I doubt you’d waste a nanosecond of it.
Quotes are basically the “shortest forms of the longest essays”. (©Techlazy).
I say that because, quotes convey the most, in the least possible words.
(Just a tip: When you’re done with quotes, at the very end, I’ve included some very effective, proven and actionable time management tips, have a peek!)
Let’s get productive then?
- “Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.”- Zig Ziglar
“Direction” is in many senses what time-management means. None of us lack time, we lack proper time management. It can be achieved simply by “directing” our focus and eliminating distractions.
- “Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway.”- Earl Nightingale
Regardless of you doing, or not doing a task, the time will pass anyway, right? At the end of the time, you can either be proud of a completed task, or regret of having wasted it.
- “The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.” –Stephen Covey
There’s a difference in “spending time” and actually being “productive”. If you complete a 1 hour task in 4 hours, you “spent” your time. Or worse, you lost 3 hours.
- “If you procrastinate when faced with a big difficult problem, break the problem into parts, and handle one part at a time.”- Robert Collier
The best of these best time management quotes which practically helps with time-management is this. I personally believe in setting a number of very small goals, than one big goal at a time.
- “A year from now you may wish you had started today.”- Karen Lamb
On this quote, you can replace “year” with anything. It can be day, month, week and so on. If you start today and now, you’ll be closer to your goals than starting at any other time.
- “How does a project get to be a year behind schedule? One day at a time.”- Fred Brooks.
Golden words indeed. No one plans on delaying or procrastinating for days or hours. It’s always “just another minute” and that minute adds up. The best way to be productive? Don’t allow the smallest of distractions.
- “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”- Bruce Lee.
Another reason we poorly manage time is we spend too much time thinking of managing time. And hey, this time management quote is from Bruce Lee. Would you dare question him? I do not.
- “The least productive people are usually the ones who are most in favour of holding meetings.”- Thomas Sowell.
This doesn’t mean meetings are useless. It simply means “thinking” of doing something is not always as productive as actually doing it. I believe there needs to be a balance between planning and action.
- “I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.” – Golda Meir
The way we generally make decisions is, we set a time to do things, and if the time passes, we feel as if we’ve failed. On the contrary, what Meir says is, do your work regardless of what the clock says and eventually it’ll be completed.
- “The bad news is, time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”- Michael Altshuler
So basically, you can sit idle and look at the clock. Or, do something with the time. Again, time isn’t stopping for any of us, but what happens with that time is up to us.
- “Your future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow.“
If we simply start checking off tasks in the “present” moment instead of scheduling them for later, our future-self will indeed thank us.
- “To do two things at once is to do neither.” – Publius Syrus
I get it, most of you must be believers of multi-tasking. Well, the American Psychology Association claims that multitasking reduces productivity. Singular-focus is much better, wouldn’t you agree?
- “Start from wherever you are and with whatever you’ve got.”- Jim Rohm.
Most of us never start because we await the right opportunity, tools, time and what not. Well, the one secret of managing time to your benefit is to “start”.
- “A man who dares to waste one hour of life has not discovered the value of life.”- Charles Darwin
We waste time as if we’ve forever. Ask yourself this, would you still waste a single second, if you knew exactly the number of hours you’ve left of your lifetime?
- “Whether it’s the best of times or the worst of times, it’s the only time we’ve got.”- Art Buchwald.
It simply means that time may or may not be in your favour, but the only moment you have control over is “now”. If you don’t act now, you may not have control over the future either.
- “Money, I can only gain or lose. But time I can only lose. So, I must spend it carefully.”- Unknown
I remember hearing Bill Gates say this, or maybe it was his wife. Either way, it’s the only asset you can’t earn more of no matter who you are. This quote alone makes “time” our biggest ever asset.
- “Time is at once the most valuable and the most perishable of all our possessions.”- John Randolph.
True that. Time is the one asset we lose the fastest, regardless of our actions or inactions, time we’re bound to lose. It better be lost with action, eh?
- “What may be done at any time will be done at no time.”- Unknown
“I can get it done in seconds” has been the undoing of many. The simplest, easiest tasks in my opinion should be completed the first. Else, they never are.
Must Read: Inspirational quotes about love and life
- “The surest way to be late is to have plenty of time.”- Leo Kennedy.
I’m not sure how you function, but I personally am the most productive under pressure. Assign yourself strict time-brackets for tasks and see how it works out?
- “You may delay, but time will not.”- Benjamin Franklin
Again, another one of the best time management quotes emphasizing the ever moving nature of time. Time cares not for you, or your actions, it goes on.
- “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”- Abraham Lincoln.
There was this very popular quote on time which said “Good things come to those, who wait”. While it may have been true for the 18th century, it isn’t so in the 21st. With all the competition and automation in the world, waiting is a bad move.
- “The best time to start was last year. Failing that, today will do.”- Chris Guillebeau.
The quote clearly says that starting “today” is the best time to get started. However, I disagree. I say replace “today” with “now”. Whatever your task is, it shouldn’t wait for the next hour or evening, do it now!
- “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”- Stephen King
Stephen King is one of my favourite novelists of all time. Anyway, this quote simply confirms what I said in the third line on this article. “Inspiration” doesn’t work, “work” works. (If that makes any sense at all.)
- “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”- Benjamin Franklin.
Arguably one of the most popular time management quotes of all time. Those who do not take action are just impending failures.
- “Don’t waste your time or time will waste you.” – Muse.
More than a motivational quote on time management, it’s a threat. A very practical and real threat which always delivers on its claims. Feel free to waste time, but then it’s guaranteed that with time, you’ll be wasted (as in, your goals, dreams, plans, and LIFE).
- “Better three hours too soon, than one minute too late.”- William Shakespeare.
Often, we delay tasks because the deadline isn’t immediately near. On the contrary, isn’t it better if you finish the task ahead of the deadline? Even from a “quality” perspective, with the leftover time, you can re-evaluate your result and just better it.
- “Take care of the minutes and the hours will take care of themselves.“- Lord Chesterfield
Wish to manage your time wisely? Forget the hours and days you have. Focus on making the most out of this very minute. Do it for 60 minutes, and you get an ultra-productive hour.
- “Time is really the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can’t afford to lose.” – Thomas Edison.
Think of it, even when you’re completely broke and have absolutely nothing, you do have one capital- time. And naturally, I’m sure you can think of a million reasons why we can’t afford to lose time.
- “Remember that time is money.” – Benjamin Franklin.
I’d just say that, you can always earn more money, but never more time. This makes time more valuable than money, but it often isn’t treated as equally.
- “Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus. ”- Alexander Graham Bell.
If the man who invented Telephones says “focus” works, focus works, end of discussion.
- “It’s about focusing on the fight and not the fright.” – Robin Roberts
One of the greatest reasons why we procrastinate and lose time is because we focus on the size of the task ahead. Climbing a mountain seems a daunting task, which results in delays and overthinking. Rather, if we just start climbing the mountain, it becomes much easier with each step.
- “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time”. – Abraham Lincoln
This quote may have multiple meanings. The most simple and beneficial deduction is, conquer the day and the week will take care of itself.
- How did it get so late so soon?” – Dr. Seuss
I’ll put it simply, if you don’t wish to start asking yourself that question an hour from now, quit this page (after bookmarking, obviously, so you can recharge your motivation once you’re down) and get to work, period.
- “A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week”– George Patton
Similar to quite a few other great thinkers, Patton too believes that “starting” is the key to all success. The “perfect moment” you’ve been waiting for? It’s never coming. It’s now or never.
- “The common man is not concerned about the passage of time, the man of talent is driven by it.” –Arthur Schopenhauer
“Common man” here means those without a goal or ambition. Time doesn’t affect them. They don’t care if they lose time. On the contrary, a man with talent and goals to achieve is motivated by the fact that time is passing. In other words, if passage of time doesn’t concern you, you probably need to think about your life plan, seriously.
- “We all know our money isn’t infinite, yet we end up treating our time and energy and attention as if they are.”- Shane Parrish
Imagine if your purse leaks and you’re losing money every second. You’d make every effort to patch the leak, wouldn’t you? Why then don’t you patch the leak in yourself when you’re sitting around doing nothing when you could be using that time for something more productive?
- “Realize that now, in this moment of time, you are creating. You are creating your next moment. That is what’s real.”- Sara Paddison
This one’s deep. Well, what you do an hour from now, would depend on what you do now . It’s a ripple effect. There are a million things you could do right now, and the smallest of actions literally shape your entire day.
- “I’ve actually not read any books on time management.“- Elon Musk.
A man nearly worth $40.00 billion, and arguably “the most productive guy” on the planet says he never read a productivity book. What this means? GET SHIT DONE. Books and quotes may help, but “working” is the only way to make the most of your time.
- “Time is what we want most, but what we spend worst.”- William Penn.
I included it last for a reason. If you’re reading this, you clearly need more time. Yet, you just spent all your time on this article reading the best time management quotes. I thank you for that, but now, do get back to work.
Time management tips
Enough with the quotes, eh?
If you’re here, you clearly wish to master time-management.
Here are some productivity tips from the ultra-successful:
- 5-minute slots: Elon Musk says break your task in 5minute fragments. He says a lot can be achieved in just 5 minutes, if you focus 100% on the task at hand.
- Plan ahead: Either use a calendar, or simple notes. What’s important is every minute of your next day should be pre-planned in advance. This reduces the choices you’ll have to make, leading up to less confusion and more productivity.
- Work from bigger to smaller tasks: It may help if you tackle the most time-consuming tasks early in the morning. Leaves you with more energy, less-stress and a feeling of achievement.
- Shorten the deadline: If you’ve a task that has a 6-hour deadline, reduce it to 5 or 4 hours, at least mentally. The perception of having less time generally boosts productivity (not for everyone though).
- Detect, and eliminate distractions: If you’re not productive, analyze why that is so. Once you know the reasons, make a conscious effort not to repeat the same.
Final Words on the best time management quotes
I’d wrap this up quickly and save you some time.
Let me just say that, “inspiration” runs out.
You may be fuelled now because you’ve just gone through the best time management quotes.
But, the same motivation may not be there tomorrow.
Well, simply bookmark this page, and glance through the quotes every (alternate) day.
I’ll be adding new time management quotes every week or so!
Finally, just learn to “do what you need most, instead of doing what you need now”.
Hope these best time management quotes inspired you, even if they didn’t, get back to work, nothing is more inspiring then ticking things off a checklist.