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Procrastination quotes can be that little nudge you need to get off the couch and start checking things off your to-do list. You know, those tiny bits of wisdom that somehow break through your most stubborn resistance and whisper in your ear, “Get up. Get moving. You’ve got this.”
And really, we’ve all been there. Even the most successful people in the world can’t resist the strong pull of the procrastination tide once in a while.
Thankfully, we live in a digital age with countless procrastination apps and tools at our fingertips, all with the intent to kick procrastination to the curb. Yet, there’s something undeniably powerful about a well-phrased quote that strikes a chord, ignites a spark, and drives us to act.
In this article, we’re going to explore 90 relatable quotes about procrastination that are sure to kick-start your motivation engine. These pearls of wisdom, some witty, some profound, are just what you need when that inevitable temptation to delay rears its head again.
Top 10 most relatable procrastination quotes
We are all unique in our approach to tasks and goals. Some people like to learn all productivity tips on earth before creating a personal routine, and others just stick to proven time-management techniques. Yet, there’s a common thread that binds us all – the ever-so-tempting urge to procrastinate.
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t had a date or two with procrastination. These ten quotes mirror this universal phenomenon, painting a picture that hits close to home for everyone from a chronic procrastinator to an occasional dabbler.
Here are 10 procrastination quotes everyone can relate to:
1. I think of a hundred brilliant things to do every day, then I put them off.
How many times have you woken up with a mind buzzing with all these amazing ideas, only to let the day slip away without acting on them? George Carlin’s quote encapsulates this common human behavior, nudging us to recognize this pattern.
The brilliance of your ideas doesn’t lie in their conception but in their execution. You can only ever make your dream come true if you do something about it. Sadly, most people just continue dreaming.
2. Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday.
Reflect on those times when you had an important task to complete but instead found yourself putting it off for another day. If you are being honest, wouldn’t it be nice to just get it over with and move on instead of delaying and stressing out about it?
Napoleon Hill’s quote encapsulates this detrimental habit of procrastination, where we delay tasks that we could totally have finished already. As daunting as the task might seem right now, remember that the anxiety and stress of not doing it can often be worse than the task itself.
3. Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.
Imagine carrying a backpack filled with uncompleted tasks – at some point, the burden becomes more exhausting than the act of simply doing them.
William James’ quote hits home on how an uncompleted task drains our energy, hanging over our heads like a persistent cloud. Tell yourself it’s time to unload the weight, finish those lingering tasks, and experience the relief and satisfaction that follows. Your productivity is not about running with the weight but about lightening your load!
4. 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.
When you a pursuing a big goal, even a seemingly impossible goal, every little step counts. You might not see it as much today, but imagine that a year from now, you’ll be 365 little steps closer to your goal than you are now!
This procrastination quote from Israelmore Ayivor emphasizes how important every bit of progress is in the long run. Success is like a snowball: stay committed to taking those daily steps like little layers of snow, and you’ll be surprised by how much your project can grow if you just keep rolling.
5. Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week.
“Tomorrow” is a mystical land where 99% of human productivity is stored. This Spanish proverb humorously captures our tendency to put off tasks for a tomorrow that’s always just a day away.
But each time we do that, we’re cramming our future with tasks that could be done today – often resulting in “never.” Let’s escape this illusion and make “today” our most productive day!
6. A year from now you may wish you had started today.
This well-known Karen Lamb’s quote hit me hard when I heard it for the first time. It sends a powerful message: time is precious, and lost time is never found again.
Instead of regretting your today’s decisions in the future, use this quote as a wake-up call to start now because the opportunity you have today might not be there tomorrow. By starting today, you get a step closer to where you want to be tomorrow.
7. I was going to procrastinate, but I just never got around to it.
Maya Angelou’s humorous take on procrastination reveals an ironic truth.
Sometimes, we’re so caught up in the cycle of delay that we even procrastinate on procrastination. We make ourselves so busy with unimportant work that there is never time to do anything meaningful.
While it gives a chuckle, it’s also a reality check. Are you really too busy, or are you just avoiding the task?
8. Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment.
It’s so easy to convince yourself that you are productive and justify procrastination when you are doing trivial work instead of working on your important project. It’s not like you are being lazy doing nothing, right?
Robert Benchley’s quote is a mirror reflecting your misdirected productivity. You are capable of doing so much work, but are you channeling your efforts toward what truly matters? Take the time to prioritize, redirect your efforts, and ensure that your energy (that is limited, by the way) fuels your key tasks, and not just any tasks.
9. Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.
Imagine standing at the edge of time, looking back at all the tasks you never managed to finish. Regretting all the things you always wanted to do but never got to actually do. All the exciting dreams you never pursued. Sounds painful, huh?
Pablo Picasso’s profound thought asks you to consider whether you’d be content with that image. It’s not about fear but about the satisfaction of doing your best to have the life you fully enjoy. Make sure you don’t leave a trail of ‘what could have been,’ but a path marked by ‘I did it.’
10. People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals – that is, goals that do not inspire them.
Have you ever felt that your goals just don’t excite you enough to act?
This procrastination quote by Tony Robbins, one of the most inspiring people on the planet, is an invitation to reassess those goals. It’s tempting to postpone the projects that don’t ignite a spark in you.
Sometimes a habit of procrastination tells you that it’s time to revisit your goals, and if they don’t light the fire within you, reassess your “why” behind them. A compelling goal is a strong antidote to procrastination.
Procrastination quotes that inspire action
When you’re deep in the procrastination pit, it can feel impossible to find a way out. But in reality, all it takes is a little spark to ignite the action. This collection of quotes is that spark. They’re designed to stir your inner motivation, wake up your dormant productivity, and propel you into action!
Each quote in this section carries a nugget of wisdom, a dash of inspiration, or a call to action. Use them as your personal cheerleaders, holding you accountable when procrastination tries to take your focus away from your goals.
11. 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
12. Don’t wait. The time will never be just right. – Napoleon Hill
13. Begin while others are procrastinating. Work while others are wishing. – William Arthur Ward
14. A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided. – Tony Robbins
15. The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. – Amelia Earhart
16. Action is the foundational key to all success. – Pablo Picasso
18. Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking. – William Butler Yeats
19. Set a timer and compete to beat the clock to conquer procrastination. – Monika Kristofferson
20. You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do. – Henry Ford
Best quotes on overcoming procrastination
Procrastination can feel like a relentless foe, always ready to strike just when you’re about to get started. But like any challenge, it can be overcome. The quotes in this section offer insights into the nature of procrastination and provide practical tips to beat it. They’re your guide, your mentor, and your roadmap to stop procrastinating.
The journey of overcoming procrastination is one of persistence and perseverance. Let these quotes accompany you on your journey, offering guidance and motivation along the way. They’ll remind you that, no matter how daunting procrastination may seem, you have the power to conquer it!
Here are the 10 best quotes about overcoming procrastination:
21. Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going. – Sam Levenson
22. Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Be brave and take risks. Your life is happening right now. – Roy Benett
23. Procrastination usually results in sorrowful regret. Today’s duties put off until tomorrow give us a double burden to bear; the best way is to do them in their proper time. – Ida Scott Taylor
24. Following through is the only thing that separates dreamers from people that accomplish great things. – Gene Hayden
25. Don’t wait for your feelings to change to take action. Take action and your feelings will change. – Barbara Baron
26. The only difference between success and failure is the ability to take action. – Alexander Graham Bell
27. Procrastination is the fear of success. People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. – Denis Waitley
29. Start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible. – St. Francis of Assisi
30. Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they started. – David Allen
Procrastination and perfectionism quotes
As a recovering perfectionist, I know firsthand how this constant striving for improvement can lead to procrastination and make relatively small goals take forever to accomplish.
In this section, you’ll find quotes that highlight the complex relationship between procrastination and perfectionism. They will help you recognize when your pursuit of perfection is fueling procrastination and offer words of motivation to break free.
These quotes will help you balance your desire for perfection with the need for action:
31. Done is better than perfect. – Sheryl Sandberg
32. Waiting for perfect is never as smart as making progress. – Seth Godin
33. Perfectionism is the enemy of progress. – Winston Churchill
34. I’m a perfectionist, which I think is just a fancy way of saying I’m too scared to do any work. – Unknown
36. A pursuit for perfection is the most leading cause of procrastination in artists. – Neeraj Agnihotri
37. Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. – Orison Swett Marden
38. Perfectionism is not a quest for the best. It is a pursuit of the worst in ourselves, the part that tells us that nothing we do will ever be good enough. – Julia Cameron
39. Perfectionism is often an excuse for procrastination. – Paul Graham
40. Better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing perfectly. – Robert H. Schuller
Funny procrastination quotes
Procrastination is not funny when it sabotages your happiness and ruins your life. But a healthy bit of self-irony has never hurt anyone.
This section is all about laughter, levity, and a lighthearted take on our common inclination to put things off. These quotes offer a humorous perspective on procrastination, reminding us that a good laugh can sometimes be the best medicine.
Here are some of the funniest procrastination quotes ever:
42. Procrastinate now, don’t put it off. – Ellen DeGeneres
43. I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by. – Douglas Adams
44. The future is shaped by your dreams, so stop wasting time and go to sleep! – Unknown
45. Only Robinson Crusoe had everything done by Friday. – Unknown
46. Procrastination is like going to a fancy restaurant and filling up on bread and not leaving enough room for dinner. – Richie Norton
47. My mother always told me I wouldn’t amount to anything because I procrastinate. I said, ‘Just wait.’ – Judy Tenuta
48. I never put off till tomorrow what I can do the day after. – Oscar Wilde
49. Tomorrow is the only day in the year that appeals to a lazy man. – Jimmy Lyons
50. The sooner I fall behind, the more time I have to catch up. – Steven Wright
Motivational quotes for procrastinators
If you are used to doing things “tomorrow,” breaking the procrastination habit can be challenging. But with the right motivation and a bit of guidance, it’s possible to take back control of your time and put procrastination on a leash!
As you explore these motivational quotes, let their messages sink into your consciousness. When procrastination looms large, come back to read your favorite sayings again and get inspired to be strong against it.
Here are 10 motivational quotes for chronic procrastinators:
51. Procrastination is opportunity’s natural assassin. – Victor Kiam
52. Time is an equal opportunity employer. Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day. Rich people can’t buy more hours. Scientists can’t invent new minutes. And you can’t save time to spend it on another day. Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving. No matter how much time you’ve wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow. – Denis Waitley
53. Procrastination is the thief of time. – Edward Young
54. Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in. – Andrew Jackson
55. The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life. – Jessica Hische
56. 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
57. Remember, time is a greedy player who wins without cheating, every round! It’s the law. – Charles Baudelaire
58. Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday. – Don Marquis
59. If you believe you can accomplish everything by “cramming” at the eleventh hour, by all means, don’t lift a finger now. But you may think twice about beginning to build your ark once it has already started raining. – Max Brooks
60. My advice is, never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time. Collar him! – Charles Dickens
Inspiring procrastination quotes for students
Student life is often a whirlwind of assignments, exams, projects, and balancing personal commitments. And where there’s work to be done, procrastination is never far behind.
This section is for all the students out there who need a little extra push to conquer procrastination and ace their studies. The quotes here are hand-picked for students, offering the inspiration and encouragement needed to beat the procrastination blues.
61. The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one. – Mark Twain
62. Do something today that your future self will thank you for. – Sean Patrick Flanery
63. If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done. – Rita Mae Brown
64. The scholar’s greatest weakness: calling procrastination research. – Stephen King.
65. I always wanted to be someone. I should have been more specific. – Lily Tomlin
66. A perfect method for adding drama to life is to wait until the deadline looms large. – Alyce P.Cornyn-Selby
67. It’s a job that’s never started that takes the longest to finish. – J. R. R. Tolkien
68. I am not a procrastinator. I’m just extremely productive at unimportant things. – Unknown
69. During a very busy life I have often been asked, “How did you manage to do it all?” The answer is very simple. It is because I did everything promptly. – Sir Richard Tangye
70. How does a project get to be a year behind schedule? One day at a time. – Fred Brooks
Most famous procrastination quotes of all time
Procrastination is a timeless human quality that’s been with us through the ages. While people didn’t have the pleasure of smartphone distractions back in the day, they had all kinds of different ways to delay important work.
The most famous procrastination quotes are being shared, quoted, and referenced over and over again because they resonate across generations, cultures, and situations. They appeal to those of us who are trying to avoid procrastination and find the motivation to build a good life for ourselves.
These timeless pieces of wisdom prove that, no matter the era or circumstance, the battle against procrastination is one we all face – and can all conquer.
Here are 10 famous quotes that tell you to stop procrastinating:
71. Never put off for tomorrow, what you can do today. – Thomas Jefferson
72. You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today. – Abraham Lincoln
73. Don’t wait for the right opportunity: create it. – George Bernard Shaw
74. The future depends on what you do today. – Mahatma Gandhi
75. In a moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing to do, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing. – Theodore Roosevelt
76. The perfect time to start something never arrives. – Seth Godin
77. Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. – Steve Jobs
78. Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle. – Abraham Lincoln
79. A day can really slip by when you’re deliberately avoiding what you’re supposed to do. ― Bill Watterson
80. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. – Lao Tzu
Best quotes to say No to procrastination
The quotes in this section are all about that moment of refusal – the moment when you stand tall, look procrastination in the eye, feel the urge to put your task off, but resist it and get things done. They’re your ally in this battle, equipping you with the confidence and determination to refuse delay and embrace action.
When you say no to procrastination, you’re saying yes to progress, yes to achievement, and yes to your true potential.
These quotes will remind you of your power to resist procrastination and stay productive:
81. The greatest amount of wasted time is the time not getting started. – Dawson Trotman
82. You may delay, but time will not. – Benjamin Franklin
83. 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
84. Delay is the deadliest form of denial. – C. Northcote Parkinson
85. Putting off an easy thing makes it hard and putting off a hard one makes it impossible. – George H. Lorimer
86. Conditions are never just right. People who delay action until all factors are favorable are the kind who do nothing. – William Feather
87. If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin. – Ivan Turgenev.
88. Procrastination is my sin. It brings me naught but sorrow. I know that I should stop it. In fact, I will – tomorrow. – Gloria Pitzer
89. The problem with a lot of people is that they procrastinate as if tomorrow doesn’t have some tasks of its own. – Edmond Mbiaka
90. 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
Can’t get enough? Read procrastination books
There’s a profound depth to the issue of procrastination that quotes only begin to scratch the surface of. Procrastination books offer a much deeper dive into the intricacies of why we procrastinate and provide actionable strategies to stop.
These books allow you to explore various perspectives, understand the psychology behind procrastination, and provide a holistic approach to tackling it.
It’s like moving from appreciating the beauty of a single flower to understanding the entire ecosystem of a blooming garden!
I hope these relatable procrastination quotes have inspired you, opened your eyes, and, above all, encouraged you to take action. Feel free to bookmark this page and return whenever you feel lazy; they’ll nudge you into action when you need it most.