60 Quotes on procrastination to inspire, embolden and motivate you
By Eleanor Hope-Jones
Dec 08, 2022
What’s the use of quotes about procrastination?
Often procrastination strikes when you’re low on energy, feeling overwhelmed by a very busy life, and when you’ve already used up all your enthusiasm. It becomes hard to break down complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks.
But a spark of inspiration can turn that mood around. A single quote that resonates with you can change your day into a productive one and remind you what you’re working towards.
So let's take a look at some of the best quotes from funny procrastination quotes that will help you see the bright side to famous sayings about procrastination that just make sense.
10 Quotes on the dangers of procrastination
We all know procrastination is ‘bad’.
But sometimes a beautiful quote can illuminate exactly what the cost of procrastinating the days away will be in the long term. From Shakespeare to Picasso here’s what some of the greatest thinkers, artists and politicians of all time have had to say on the dangers of procrastination.
“It’s the job that’s never started as takes longest to finish.”— J. R. R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
“Someday is not a day of the week.” – Janet Dailey
“A year from now you may wish you had started today.” – Karen Lamb
“You may delay, but time will not.” – Benjamin Franklin
“In delay there lies no plenty.” – William Shakespeare
“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.”— Pablo Picasso
“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” – Abraham Lincoln
“Whatever you want to do, do it now. There are only so many tomorrows.” — Michael Landon
“You can’t get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good.” — Attributed to Jerry West
“How soon ‘not now’ becomes ‘never’.” — Attributed to Martin Luther
“Whatever you want to do, do it now. There are only so many tomorrows.”
10 Quotes on how to stop procrastinating
Now you feel well and truly horrified by the prospect of lounging your life away to procrastination, here are a few more actionable quotes. These quotes give tips and tricks on how to stop procrastinating and are great mantras to bear in mind when approaching a tricky or overwhelming project.
“Don’t wait for extraordinary circumstance to do good; try to use ordinary situations.” — Attributed to Charles Richter
“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.” — Attributed to Theodore Roosevelt
“One of the best escapes from the prison of procrastination is to take even the smallest step toward your goal.” — Denis Waitley from his book Empires of the Mind
“He who every morning plans the transactions of that day and follows that plan carries a thread that will guide him through the labyrinth of the most busy life.”— Victor Hugo
“Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.” — Attributed to Andrew Jackson
“A good solution applied with vigour now is better than a perfect solution applied ten minutes later.”— Attributed to George S. Patton
“A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.”— Attributed to Greg S. Reid
“Think of many things; do one.”— Portuguese proverb
“If you procrastinate when faced with a big difficult problem… break the problem into parts, and handle one part at a time.”— Attributed to Robert Collier
“Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up” — Brené Brown
10 Funny procrastination quotes
Looking for a lighter approach to procrastination? Injecting a little humour into your day when you’re struggling with procrastination can help you overcome it.
One of the most important steps in stopping procrastination is to forgive yourself for past procrastination. Humour reminds us of our common humanity, how normal it is to procrastinate and how it will pass.
“Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week.”— Spanish Proverb
“The sooner I fall behind, the more time I have to catch up.”— Unknown source
“One of the greatest labours—saving inventions of today is tomorrow.”— Often attributed to Vincent T. Foss
“My mother always told me I wouldn’t amount to anything because I procrastinate. I said, ‘just wait.’”— Usually attributed to Judy Tenuta
“I do my work at the same time each day — the last minute.”— Unknown source
“Procrastination taught me how to do 30 minutes of work in 8 hours and 8 hours of work in 30 minutes.” — Unknown source
“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” — Author Douglas Adams
“If you wait until the last minute, it only takes a minute to do.”— The Stock—Sanford corollary to Parkinson’s Law
“If you wait until the last minute, it only takes a minute to do.”
What’s a corollary anyway?
A corollary is an idea that follows on from something that has been proved. So because Parkinson’s Law states that a piece of work expands or contracts to fill the amount of time it’s given, the Stock—Sanford corollary argues you should then leave everything to the last minute.
“Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.”— Unknown source
“Do you know what happens when you give a procrastinator a good idea? Nothing!” — Attributed to Donald Gardner
10 Procrastination quotes for half-finished tasks
We’ve all been there. We made that first step towards getting a tricky task or annoying piece of work started, but lost steam. Perhaps other deadlines took priority or life got in the way, but now your tasks sit in the corner and you’re looking for some inspiration to finish them.
You ask and we’ll deliver!
“There is nothing so fatal to character as half-finished tasks.” – David Lloyd George
“A task left undone remains undone in two places — at the actual location of the task, and inside your head. Incomplete tasks in your head consume the energy of your attention as they gnaw at your conscience.”— Attributed to Brahma Kumaris
“Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they started.”— Attributed to David Allen
“I have spent my days stringing and unstringing my instrument, while the song I came to sing remains unsung.”— Attributed to Rabindranath Tagore
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”— Attributed to Jim Rohn
“Following through is the only thing that separates dreamers from people that accomplish great things.”— Attributed to Gene Hayden
“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”— Unknown Source
“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” — Attributed to Stephen King
“So what do we do? Anything. Something. So long as we just don’t sit there. If we screw it up, start over. Try something else. If we wait until we’ve satisfied all the uncertainties, it may be too late.”— Attributed to Lee Iacocca
“Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him.”— Dwight D. Eisenhower
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10 Famous procrastination quotes
We’ve taken a look at procrastination quotes that are famous in their own right, and procrastination quotes from famous people. So if you've been struggling to remember your favourite famous procrastination saying this might just be the place to find it.
“My advice is, never do to-morrow what you can to-day. Procrastination is the thief of time. Collar him.”— Charles Dickens, in his book David Copperfield
“Procrastination has been called a thief—the thief of time. I wish it were no worse than a thief. It is a murderer; and that which it kills is not time merely, but the immortal soul.”— William Nevins, in his book Practical Thoughts
“Procrastination is the enemy of success.” — Unknown Source
“He who awaits much can expect little.” — Commonly attributed to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
“Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.” — Unknown Source
“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with a lost opportunity. The ‘tide in the affairs of men’ does not remain at the flood; it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is deaf to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residue of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words: ‘Too late.’ There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect.”— Martin Luther King, in Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence
“In delay there lies no plenty.”— William Shakespeare, in his play Twelfth Night
“Nothing is so exhausting as indecision, and nothing so futile.”— Attributed to Bertrand Russell
“Procrastination is opportunity’s natural assassin.”— Popularised by Victor Kiam
“Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.”— Unknown Source
10 Inspiring procrastination quotes
Inspiring procrastination quotes that can help you get going are worth their weight in gold. Here are 10 of our favourites, from well known figures to catchy slogans and ancient wisdom. Wow, inspiration is everywhere.
“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”— Abraham Lincoln
“The trouble is that you think you have time.”— Jack Kornfield in his book Buddha’s Little Instruction Book
“Do it, just do it. Don’t let your dreams be dreams.”— Shia LaBeouf
“…hold every hour in your grasp. Lay hold of today’s task, and you will not need to depend so much upon tomorrow’s. While we are postponing, life speeds by.”— Seneca in Letters from a Stoic
“The shortest answer is doing.” – Edward Herbert
“Do it, and then you will feel motivated to do it.” – Zig Ziglar
“Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand—and melting like a snowflake.” – Francis Bacon
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” — Theodore Roosevelt
“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”— Usually attributed to Martin Luther King Jr.
“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”
What is the saying about procrastination?
Get it done. Just do it. Go for it. Start today. Only the things. Procrastination is the thief of time. The number of sayings about procrastination truly is endless.
We hope all these quotes help you do just that!
But if you’re struggling more deeply with chronic procrastination it might be worth reading our comprehensive guide on the psychology and causes of procrastination.