This article contains a collection of procrastination quotes that will inspire, motivate, and contemplate; some will even make you laugh out loud.
These quotes come from authors, philosophers, psychologists, comedians, and many more. Some will resonate with you, and some will not.
When you start reading the quotes, please keep in mind why people procrastinate and consider strategies you can use to stop procrastinating.
The contents of this page include
The funny quotes here point out the amusing aspects of procrastination. However, the turn of phrase often contains an important point or valuable advice about the truths of procrastination.
"One of the greatest labor-saving inventions of today is tomorrow"
- Vincent T. Foss
"If you wait until all the lights are "green" before you leave home, you'll never get started on your trip to the top."
- Zig Ziglar
"It was my fear of failure that first kept me from attempting the master work. Now, I'm beginning what I could have started ten years ago. But I'm happy at least that I didn't wait twenty years."
- Paulo Coelho
"You can't just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood.
What mood is that? Last-minute panic."
- Bill Watterson
"I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow."
- Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind
"I never put off till tomorrow what I can possibly do - the day after."
- Oscar Wilde
Quotes about the dangers of procrastinating speak to the idea of missed opportunities, experiences, and potentially a diminished life.
"Procrastination is the thief of time"
- Edward Young
"I spent my days stringing and unstringing my instrument, while the song I came to sing remains unsung"
- Rabindranath Tagore
"Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it."
- Scott Peck
"Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday."
- Napoleon Hill
These quotes tend to contain elements of helpful advice and tips on how to overcome procrastination.
"Begin to weave and God will give the thread"
- German Proverb
"If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don't just stick there scowling at the problem. But don't make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people's words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient."
- Hilary Mantel
"If you choose to not deal with an issue,
then you give up your right of control over the issue
and it will select the path of least resistance."
- Susan Del Gatto
"Success is not obtained overnight. It comes in installments; you get a little bit today, a little bit tomorrow until the whole package is given out. The day you procrastinate, you lose that day's success."
- Israelmore Ayivor
"In a moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing to do. The worst thing you can do is nothing."
- Theodore Roosevelt, former President of the United States of America
"If you’re a procrastinator, you will find every excuse not to do what you need to do. Here’s a thought: do it first. I call it reverse procrastination."
– Jeff Goins, American author
"Overcoming procrastination is not, I repeat, not about cramming additional work into your day … overcoming procrastination is about simplifying your life to make space for the activities that matter most."
– Richie Norton, health and wellness author
These quotes motivate and inspire you to take action to stop procrastination.
"Action will destroy your procrastination."
- Og Mandino
"If you have goals and procrastination you have nothing. If you have goals and you take action, you will have anything you want."
- Thomas J. Vilord
"You may delay, but time will not."
- Benjamin Franklin
"Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task."
- William James
"A wise person does at once what a fool does at last. Both do the same thing; only at different times."
- Lord Acton
"Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till to-morrow what you can do to-day."
- Lord Chesterfield
"The most pernicious aspect of procrastination is that it can become a habit. We don’t just put off our lives today; we put them off till our deathbed. Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny. This second we can turn the tables on Resistance. This second, we can sit down and do our work"
– Steven Pressfield, American author
"My evil genius 'procrastination' has whispered me to tarry 'til a more convenient season."
- Mary Todd Lincoln
"My constant battle is putting aside time wasters, and I have to watch out for procrastination. Staying on the path of something you're trying to create has much to do with having confidence in yourself and in your capacity to realize the things you want out of life."
- Ruby Dee
"I have an advanced degree in procrastination and another one in paranoia."
- Joanne Harris
"I try to procrastinate, if I can, productively, like I'll work on something else as procrastination. Or I take a walk. Because often I find, if you get out, more things come to you."
- Noah Baumbach
"Procrastination is the soul rebelling against entrapment."
- Nassim N. Taleb, in “The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms”
As with most human quirks and habits, identifying the cause is often an effective way to overcome the habit. These quotes highlight that procrastination is not new; it has been around since humans roamed the earth. Rather than invent the wheel, there is much current research on how to beat procrastination.
Identifying what you procrastinate on and why is an excellent place to start. In other words, what are your procrastination escape valves?
Understand why you procrastinate. Then apply targeted strategies to overcome procrastination.
Which type of procrastinator are you? Find out here
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