60 Productivity Quotes That Will Inspire Anyone

Updated: 09 Nov, 2021 | Bill Peatman

Whether you live to work or work to live, you want to be more productive.

If you work to live, meaning your work is a means to an end of more leisure and independence, you want to be efficient so you can finish faster and get on to what you love most.

If you live to work and genuinely love what you do, you want to do as much of it as possible to maximize your engagement.

We will look at what some of the world's most successful people have to say about being more productive.

10 Productivity Quotes About Getting Started

For procrastinators, the most challenging part about getting stuff done might be getting started. Picking up the pencil, turning on the computer, making the phone call can seem overwhelming. Here is some inspiration to help you take that first step.

"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing."

-Walt Disney

 

"There's a tendency to mistake preparation for productivity. You can prepare all you want, but if you never roll the dice, you'll never be successful."

-Shia LaBeouf

 

"Don't wait. The time will never be just right." --Napoleon Hill "Action is the foundational key to all success."

-Pablo Picasso

 

"There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long-range risks of comfortable inaction."

-John F. Kennedy

 

"Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration; the rest of us just get up and go to work."

-Stephen King

 

"To think is easy. To act is difficult. To act as one thinks is the most difficult."

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

Productivity quotes about getting started

"Lost time is never found."

-Benjamin Franklin

10 Productivity Quotes About Prioritizing

Getting started is critical. Determining the right tasks to work on is the next step. Not all actions are productive or need to be done by you. If you find yourself reacting to whatever appears in your inbox all day, here are some quotes to inspire you to set priorities.

"Focus on being productive instead of busy."

-Tim Ferriss

 

"If there are nine rabbits on the ground, if you want to catch one, just focus on one."

-Jack Ma

 

"Never mistake motion for action."

-Ernest Hemingway

 

"It's not knowing what to do, it's doing what you know."

-Tony Robbins

 

Productivity quotes about prioritizing

 

"The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities."

-Stephen Covey

 

"It is not enough to be busy... The question is: What are we busy about?"

-Henry David Thoreau

 

"To think is easy. To act is difficult. To act as one thinks is the most difficult."

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

'You've got to keep control of your time, and you can't unless you say no. You can't let people set your agenda in life"

- Warren Buffet

 

"Art is the elimination of the unnecessary."

- Pablo Picasso

10 Productivity Quotes about Delegation

OK, you have your priorities down. Anything that does not have to be done by you can and should be delegated to others. Many executives stumble here because they don't want to take the time to explain how to do a task to someone else ("it would be faster to do it myself"), or they don't trust anyone to have the same standards for quality ("nobody can do it as well as I can). Here are some quotes to get over those concerns:

 

Productivity quotes about delegation

 

"The inability to delegate is one of the biggest problems I see."

-Eli Broad

 

"No person will make a great business who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit."

-Andrew Carnegie

 

"A star wants to see himself rise to the top. A leader wants to see those around him rise to the top."

-Simon Sinek

 

"As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others."

-Bill Gates

 

"My job at Microsoft was to delegate and then be able to carefully review, but not to micromanage. To have a way of connecting and integrating without getting in the way."

-Steve Ballmer

 

"Nobody can do everything well, so learn how to delegate responsibility to other winners and then hold them accountable for their decisions."

-George Foreman

 

"Good leaders delegate and empower others liberally, but they pay attention to details, every day."

-Colin Powell

 

"The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling while they do it."

-Theodore Roosevelt

 

"Trust is powerful. It is also fast. It can be lost quickly. Trust is also reciprocal. If you give trust, it will be given back to you. Delegation is a result of this trust."

-Steven R. Covey

10 Productivity Quotes About Time Management

If you have successfully delegated the small stuff, you still must manage your time on the big stuff. Time is, of course, one resource you cannot manufacture. But you can conserve it. Here are some quotes to help you manage your time.

 

Productivity quotes about time management

"Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year--and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!"

-Tony Robbins

 

"The true price of anything you do is the amount of time you exchange for it."

-Henry David Thoreau

 

"The key is in not spending time but in investing it."

-Stephen R. Covey

 

"Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax."

-Abraham Lincoln

 

"Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin."

-Mother Teresa

 

"Time is really the only capital that any human has, and the only thing he can't afford to lose."

-Albert Einstein

 

"People often complain about lack of time when the lack of direction is the problem."

-Zig Ziglar

 

"You don't need more time… You just need to decide."

-Seth Godin

 

"There is more to life than simply increasing its speed."

-Mahatma Gandhi

10 Productivity Quotes About Quality

Next, we will look at quality. There is no point in being productive if the work or product you turn out does not meet your customers' standards for quality. You must define what success means for you, your customers, and your employees. There are two kinds of quality—the quality of work and quality of effort. Here are some quotes to inspire you to succeed in both.

 

Productivity quotes about quality

"Quality means doing it right when no one is looking."

-Henry Ford

 

"Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected."

-Steve Jobs

 

"Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the client or customer gets out of it."

-Peter Drucker

 

"Excellence is not an exception; it is a prevailing attitude."

-Colin Powell

 

"The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor."

-Vince Lombardi

 

"The quality, not the longevity, of one's life is what is important."

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

"The difference between style and fashion is quality."

-Giorgio Armani

 

"Always do things right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest."

-Mark Twain

 

"Quality is to give the customers what they want."

-Sam Walton

10 Productivity Quotes on Focus

Ultimately, your productivity depends on your ability to focus on what is most important and meaningful to you. Once you have determined to get started, prioritize tasks, delegate the small stuff, allocate time, define your quality standards, the last step is execution. It is time to get stuff done. That takes focus. Here are some inspirational quotes to get you in the zone.

 

Productivity quotes about focus

"Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun's rays do not burn until brought to a focus."

-Alexander Graham Bell

 

"The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus."

-Bruce Lee

 

"I don't care how much power, brilliance, or energy you have; if you don't harness it and focus it on a specific target and hold it there, you're never going to accomplish as much as your ability warrants."

-Zig Ziglar

 

"That's been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains."

-Steve Jobs

 

"Most people have no idea of the giant capacity we can immediately command when we focus all of our resources on mastering a single area of our lives."

-Tony Robbins

 

"Energy is the essence of life. Every day you decide how you are going to use it by knowing what you want and what it takes to reach that goal, and by maintaining focus."

-Oprah Winfrey

 

"Always remember, your focus determines your reality."

-George Lucas

 

"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new."

-Socrates

 

"My success, part of it certainly, is that I have focused in on a few things."

-Bill Gates

Ready to Get Productive?

The sequence of the topics of these quotes gives you a formula for productivity. Here is how to put these quotes into practice:

  • Get started.

  • Prioritize your work.

  • Delegate tasks that others can do.

  • Set aside the right amount of time for your work.

  • Deliver your highest quality effort and work.

  • Focus on the results you want.

Each of these stages can be a launchpad or a roadblock to productivity. If you get stuck in any of these areas--getting started, prioritizing, delegating, managing your time, defining quality, and focusing—you might consider engaging with a managed virtual assistant service. Managed virtual assistant services hire, train, and supervise remote executive assistants on your behalf. Their account managers are productivity experts that help you with each stage of the productivity journey, freeing you to spend most of your time in stage 6—focused on the work that matters most to you and your business.

If you would like to learn more about how a managed virtual assistant service can work for you, download this guide.

Discover how a virtual assistant can boost your productivity,

About the Author: Bill is Prialto's senior content marketing manager and writes about the future of work and how businesses can be more productive and successful. His work has appeared in the World Economic Forum Agenda blog and CIO magazine.

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