The 36 Best Quotes for Maximizing Your Productivity

Dictionary.com defines productivity as “the quality, state, or fact of being able to generate, create, enhance, or bring forth goods and services”. If you couple that with Investopedia’s definition—”productivity, in economics, measures output per unit of input, such as labor, capital, or any other resource”—then you get a pretty good sense of what productivity means.

In short, productivity is about how effective you are at getting the right things done.

While the “right things” are different for everyone, there is a common thread—some days you’re just more productive than others.

If you’re feeling stuck or unproductive or need to inspire your team with a few words of wisdom, check out some of our favorite productivity quotes below.

And don’t forget to check out our blog and subscribe to our newsletter learn how we can help you build a stronger strategic business partnership and become a better leader or Force Multiplier. Achieve more and enjoy more!

1. “Focus on being productive instead of busy.” —Tim Ferriss, podcaster, author, and entrepreneur

2. “You may delay, but time will not.” —Benjamin Franklin

3. “Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.” —Dale Carnegie, author

4. “Productivity is being able to do things that you were never able to do before.” —Franz Kafka, author

5. “Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” —Paul J. Meyer, author, and entrepreneur

6. “It’s not always that we need to do more but rather that we need to focus on less.” —Nathan W. Morris, author, and finance expert

7. “You don’t get paid for the hour, you get paid for the value you bring to the hour.” —Jim Rohn, entrepreneur, and author

8. “Don’t confuse activity with productivity. Many people are simply busy being busy.” —Robin Sharma, author

9. “My goal is no longer to get more done, but rather to have less to do.” —Francine Jay, author

10. “Simplicity boils down to two steps: Identify the essential. Eliminate the rest.” —Leo Babauta, blogger

11. “Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else.” —Peter Drucker, management consultant

12. “The key to productivity is to rotate your avoidance techniques.” —Shannon Wheeler, cartoonist

13. “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” —Walt Disney, entrepreneur

14. “Action is the foundational key to all success.” —Pablo Picasso, artist

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

16. “We have a strategic plan. It’s called doing things.” —Herb Kelleher, airline executive, and lawyer

17. “If there are nine rabbits on the ground, if you want to catch one, just focus on one.” —Jack Ma, business magnate, investor, and philanthropist

18. “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” —Stephen Covey, educator, author, and businessman

19. “The really happy people are those who have broken the chains of procrastination, those who find satisfaction in doing the job at hand. They’re full of eagerness, zest, productivity. You can be, too.” —Norman Vincent Peale, minister, author

20. “I always had the uncomfortable feeling that if I wasn’t sitting in front of a computer typing, I was wasting my time–but I pushed myself to take a wider view of what was ‘productive.’ Time spent with my family and friends was never wasted.” —Gretchen Rubin, author

21. “If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” —Thomas Edison, inventor

22. “Life’s gardeners pluck the weeds and care only for the productive plants.” —Bryant McGill, author

23. “The true price of anything you do is the amount of time you exchange for it.” —Henry David Thoreau, philosopher

24. “So, if you want to get the most out of your day, do your most important work—your ONE Thing—early, before your willpower is drawn down. Since your self-control will be sapped throughout the day, use it when it’s at full strength on what matters most.” —Gary Keller, entrepreneur, and author

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

26. “If you want to be wealthy, spend your time earning, learning, or relaxing. Outsource or ignore everything else.” —Naval Ravikant, entrepreneur

27. “Tomorrow becomes never. No matter how small the task, take the first step now!” —Tim Ferriss, podcaster, author, and entrepreneur

28. “Creativity isn’t about wild talent as much as it’s about productivity. To find new ideas that work, you need to try a lot that don’t. It’s a pure numbers game.” —Robert Sutton, author

29. “Productivity growth, however it occurs, has a disruptive side to it. In the short term, most things that contribute to productivity growth are very painful.” —Janet Yellen, economist, educator, and government official

30. “Essentialism is not about how to get more things done; it’s about how to get the right things done. It doesn’t mean just doing less for the sake of less either. It is about making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at our highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential.” —Greg Mckeown, business writer, consultant, and researcher

31. “Don’t worry about breaks every 20 minutes ruining your focus on a task. Contrary to what I might have guessed, taking regular breaks from mental tasks actually improves your creativity and productivity. Skipping breaks, on the other hand, leads to stress and fatigue.” —Tom Rath, author, and researcher

32. “Productivity is the deliberate, strategic investment of your time, talent, intelligence, energy, resources, and opportunities in a manner calculated to move you measurably closer to meaningful goals.” —Dan S. Kennedy, strategic advisor, consultant, business coach, and author

33. “Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all.” —Peter Drucker, management consultant, educator, and author

34. “All things will be produced in superior quantity and quality, and with greater ease, when each man works at a single occupation, in accordance with his natural gifts, and at the right moment, without meddling with anything else.” —Plato, philosopher

35. “Ordinary people think merely of spending time, great people think of using it.” —Arthur Schopenhauer, philosopher

36. “Long hours spent checking off a to-do list and ending the day with a full trash can and a clean desk are not virtuous and have nothing to do with success. Instead of a to-do list, you need a success list—a list that is purposefully created around extraordinary results. To-do lists tend to be long; success lists are short. One pulls you in all directions; the other aims you in a specific direction. One is a disorganized directory and the other is an organized directive. If a list isn’t built around success, then that’s not where it takes you. If your to-do list contains everything, then it’s probably taking you everywhere but where you really want to go.” —Gary Keller, entrepreneur and author

What are your favorite productivity quotes?

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