80 Procrastination Quotes to Get You Focused

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Do you tend to put things off? These procrastination quotes will have you ready to start doing things now.

Over the years, I’ve come to accept that I’m a natural procrastinator. No matter how much I want to avoid it, its just my nature. Whenever there’s something that needs to be done – whether its big or small, important or irrelevant – my instinct is to “start later” or “put it off until tomorrow”.

I’ve come to accept that – no matter how much I want to avoid it – there will always be times when I’ll find myself frantically slaving away on a task that should have been finished yesterday, last week, or even months ago.

Of course, there are definitely times when I need to get some real work done and overcome my tendencies to procrastinate. When I do, I like to check out quotes from amazing people who took action and accomplished incredible things in their lives.

Of course, reading quotes instead of actually getting started on an important task is a form of procrastination itself, but after a few quotes I usually find myself pumped enough to get working.

Here are the best procrastination quotes to get you started, and even a few that will leave you thinking a little delay isn’t always a bad thing.

Quotes About Procrastination

Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.

Napoleon Bonaparte

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

Getting an idea should be like sitting on a pin; it should make you jump up and do something.

E.L. Simpson

Following-through is the only thing that separates dreamers from people that accomplish great things.

Gene Hayden

The only difference between success and failure is the ability to take action.

Alexander Graham Bell
A woman with curly blonde hair laughing after accomplishing a difficult task
“Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.” – Mark Twain

Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all.

Peter Drucker

Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.

Abraham Lincoln

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

Alexander Graham Bell

If you procrastinate when faced with a big difficult problem… break the problem into parts, and handle one part at a time.

Robert Collier
A shirtless man rolling a large wooden fiber optic spool across a vacant lot
“Putting off an easy thing makes it hard, and putting off a hard one makes it impossible.” – George H. Lorimer

One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon – instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our windows today.

Dale Carnegie

Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today because if you enjoy it today, you can do it again tomorrow.

James A. Michener

Perhaps the most valuable result of an education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not.

Thomas Huxley/span>
Travelers starting business tasks in a United Club lounge in Newark Airport
“Waiting is a trap. There will always be reasons to wait – The truth is, there are only two things in life, reasons and results, and reasons simply don’t count.” – Robert Anthony

My advice is to never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time.

Charles Dickens

Often just by taking action, by doing something about the situation can relieve the stress and help correct the situation.

Catherine Pulsifer

To do anything in this world worth doing, we must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in and scramble through as well as we can.

Sydney Smith

Procrastination is opportunity’s natural assassin.

Victor Kiam

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
Ranch tools, gloves, and a metal cup of coffee laid out on a wooden table
“He who is begun has half done. Dare to be wise; begin.” – Horace

Anything worth putting off is worth abandoning altogether.

Epictetus

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.

Richard Tangye

Begin to weave and God will give you the thread.

German Proverb
“The habit of always putting off an experience until you can afford it, or until the time is right, or until you know how to do it is one of the greatest burglars of joy. Be deliberate, but once you’ve made up your mind–jump in.” – Charles R. Swindoll

It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.

Seneca

Never put off for tomorrow, what you can do today.

Thomas Jefferson
Procrastination quote and an empty office at an Austin tech startup
“Procrastination is the bad habit of putting of until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday.” – Napoleon Hill

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

A year from now you may wish you had started today.

Karen Lamb

The least productive people are usually the ones who are most in favor of holding meetings.

Thomas Sowell

A primary reason people don’t do new things is because they want to do them perfectly – first time. It’s completely irrational, impractical, not workable – and yet, it’s how most people run their lives. It’s called The Perfection Syndrome.

Peter McWilliams and John Roger
A graphic designer drawing a story board by hand ahead of a meeting
“Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.” – David Allen

Time wasted is existence; used is life.

Edward Young

Often greater risk is involved in postponement than in making a wrong decision.

Harry A. Hopf

A perfect method for adding drama to life is to wait until the deadline looms large.

Alyce P. Cornyn-Selby

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

There is nothing so fatal to character as half finished tasks.

David Lloyd George
An architect beginning a new project in his office after finishing another one
“We are so scared of being judged that we look for every excuse to procrastinate. ” – Erica Jong

Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.

Sydney Harris

How does a project get to be a year behind schedule? One day at a time.

Fred Brooks

Someday is not a day of the week.

Janet Dailey

Don’t wait for someone to take you under their wing. Find a good wing and climb up underneath it.

Frank C. Bucaro

Procrastination is the lazy cousin of fear. When we feel anxiety around an activity, we postpone it.

Noelle Hancock

Success is not obtained overnight. It comes in instalments; 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
An empty desk with a Mac pro turned off and a 2017 calendar on the wall
“A day can really slip by when you’re deliberately avoiding what you’re supposed to do.” – Bill Watterson

By what right do I, who have wasted this day, make claims on tomorrow?

Alain Fournier

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 can’t get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good.

Jerry West

We all sorely complain of the shortness of time, and yet have much more than we know what to do with. Our lives are either spent in doing nothing at all, or in doing nothing to the purpose, or in doing nothing that we ought to do. We are always complaining that our days are few, and acting as though there would be no end of them.

Seneca
Stephen Kind quote by an antique Corona Typewriter on a brown desk
“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” – Stephen King

Procrastination is, hands down, our favorite form of self-sabotage.

Alyce P. Cornyn-Selby

We must be diligent today. To wait until tomorrow is too late. Death comes unexpectedly. How can we bargain with it?

Buddha

Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.

Napoleon Hill

Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.

William James

It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.

Leonardo da Vinci

The man who waits to know everything is the man who never does anything.

Craig D. Lounsbrough
A detailed wooden lattice on the side of a contemporary building in Chicago
“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” – Abraham Lincoln

Doing things at the last minute reminds us of the importance of doing things at the first minute.

Matshona Dhliwayo

Procrastination is like going to a fancy restaurant and filling up on bread and not leaving enough room for dinner.

Richie Norton

If you want to get ahead in life, I’ve found that perhaps the most useless word in the world is “tomorrow.

José N. Harris

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

One of the greatest labor-saving inventions of today is tomorrow.

Vincent T. Foss
A rose latte garnished with dried rose petals at Peter's Yard in Edinburgh
“If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done.” – Rita Mae Brown

The two rules of procrastination: 1) Do it today. 2) Tomorrow will be today tomorrow.

Author Unknown

What may be done at any time will be done at no time.

Scottish Proverb

Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week.

Spanish Proverb

The best way to get something done is to begin.

Author Unknown

I remember reading somewhere about an organization called Procrastinators Anonymous. I think they had been in existence for some years but had never gotten around to having a meeting.

Unknown
A dark warehouse full of empty art supplies, canvases, and tables
“One of these days, is none of these days.” – Unknown

How soon not now, becomes never.

Martin Luther

In delay there lies no plenty.

William Shakespeare

Neither a wise 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

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

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.

Jim Rohn
View of the Golden Gate Bridge at dawn outside of San Francisco
“If you put off everything till you’re sure of it, you’ll never get anything done.” – Norman Vincent Peale

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. Because success is heavy, carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the ‘someday I’ll’ philosophy.

Denis Waitley

Begin while others are procrastinating. Work while others are wishing.

William Arthur Ward

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

Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment

Robert Benchley
A boy with a backpack walking by a white building on his way to a job
“Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.” – Michael Landon

Getting – and staying – motivated is vital for success. We hope these procrastination quotes remind you that everyone finds it hard to focus sometimes. And now your head is back in the game… go get started!

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Quincy Seale

Quincy is KIM's lead editor and content writer, and has invested in online properties since 2009. Quincy holds an MBA from the University of Dundee and an MSc from the University of Edinburgh, and lives in San Antonio with his wife Natalie, son Alex, and his dog Oban.