It needs to be done. You know it needs to be done.
But that internal gremlin, your inner resistance, keeps telling you to put it off.
Maybe you have anxiety around that thing you need to do. Or maybe it's boring, unpleasant, or a lot of work.
Whatever the reason, you're not doing it, and now you feel even worse because of your procrastination.
If procrastination could be measured in energy expended, we could light up a house — maybe an entire city!
There are volumes written on how to get things done and push past procrastination. But sometimes reading about it is just another way of procrastinating.
Perhaps all you need are a few words to hurl you over the hump of hesitation so you can take that first step.
With that in mind, we've curated some of the best procrastination quotes to give you the impetus you need to do what needs to be done.
68 Procrastination Quotes To Inspire You To Get Things Done
1. “Do not defer it. What is right to be done cannot be done too soon.” ― Jane Austen
2. “My advice is to never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time.” ― Charles Dickens
3. “By what right do I, who have wasted this day, make claims on tomorrow?” ― Alain-Fournier
4. “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” ― Abraham Lincoln
5. “Procrastination is also a subtle act of corruption – it corrupts valuable time” ― Dr. Amit Abraham
6. “Don't let procrastination take over your life. Be brave and take risks. Your life is happening right now.” ― Roy Bennett
7. “Procrastination is the lazy cousin of fear. When we feel anxiety around an activity, we postpone it.” ― Noelle Hancock
8. “Whatever actions you take, keep in mind that over the course of life, you will fail far more from timidity, procrastination, and carefulness than you will from just stepping up to the plate and, as we say in Australia, giving it a bloody go!” ― Margie Warrell
9. “Never leave till tomorrow that which you can do today.” ― Benjamin Franklin
10. “Rejection is more valuable than inaction. All that I have learned until now has been because of rejections. Inaction didn’t teach me a thing.” ― Neeraj Agnihotri
11. “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
12. “Delay is as dangerous as the wrong answer.” ― Frank Herbert
13. “Just because we're busy doesn't mean we're being productive. Working is one of the most dangerous forms of procrastination.” ― Gretchen Rubin
14. “Thinking too much leads to paralysis by analysis. It's important to think things through, but many use thinking as a means of avoiding action.” ― Robert Herjavec
15. “The best possible way to prepare for tomorrow is to concentrate with all your intelligence, all your enthusiasm, on doing today's work superbly today. That is the only possible way you can prepare for the future.” ― Dale Carnegie
16. “Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday.” ― Napoleon Hill
17. “Procrastination exposes goals or dreams to risk.” ― Bernard Osei Annang
18. “There are those who fear the sunset, worried they will never see light again. There are those who ignore the sunrise, squandering dawn, believing they will never run out of daylight. And then there are those who have learned to live in the sun's warmth, gauging time by its positions, thankful at night that the day happened. Be aware of time. Use it wisely. Be thankful for the light allotted.” ― Richelle E. Goodrich
19. “Habitual procrastinators will readily testify to all the lost opportunities, missed deadlines, failed relationships and even monetary losses incurred just because of one nasty habit of putting things off until it is often too late.” ― Stephen Richards
20. “Someday is not a day of the week.” ― Janet Dailey
21. “It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.” ― Leonardo da Vinci
22. “What is deferred is not avoided.” ― Sir Thomas More
23. “The breeding ground of fear is procrastination and inaction. We overcome them not by preparation, but by taking action.” ― Debasish Mridha
24. “You may even welcome the distraction. But if you use it as an excuse for not doing what you are supposed to do, you can blame no one but yourself. If you truly wish to accomplish something, you should allow nothing to stop you, and chances are you'll succeed.” ― Julie Andrews
25. “If you wait for things to be perfect, you walk away with nothing. Just jump in and get started.” ― Jennifer Ritchie Payette
26. “Have more than one idea on the go at any one time. If it's a choice between writing a book and doing nothing I will always choose the latter. It's only if I have an idea for two books that I choose one rather than the other. I always have to feel that I'm bunking off from something.” ― Geoff Dyer
27. “We all look for opportunities in the form of an ideal state of affairs; the perfect weather for picnic, enough time to call a friend, or a good offer to sell the house. The truth is, you have the power to create the state of affairs that you call opportunities.” ― Majid Kazmi
28. “Never put things off… you will wake up and find them gone.” ― James Jones
29. “What may be done at any time will be done at no time.” ― Scottish Proverb
30. “The man who waits to know everything is the man who never does anything.” ― Craig D. Lounsbrough
31. “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
32. “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
33. “I want you to learn right at the outset not to play with the spoon before you take the medicine. Putting off an easy thing makes it hard, and putting off a hard one makes it impossible. Procrastination is the longest word in the language, but there’s only one letter between its ends when they occupy their proper places in the alphabet.” ― George Lorimer
34. “‘Someday’ is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you.” ― Timothy Ferriss
35. “If and perhaps…. The language of procrastination and uncertainty. That's just people looking to justify their own lack of action.” ― John Flanagan
36. “How easy it is to slip.
How hard it is to climb.
How wise it is to keep in step
And never fall behind.”
― Richelle E. Goodrich
37. “If you take too long in deciding what to do with your life, you'll find you've done it.” ― George Bernard Shaw
38. “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
39. “Procrastination is driven by a presumption of regret.” ― Rayvern White
40. “It is always easier to edit what has been written than to write what has not been started.” ― Cody Mclain
41. “It is better to act too quickly than it is to wait too long.” ― Jack Welch
42. “Procrastination is like going to a fancy restaurant and filling up on bread and not leaving enough room for dinner.” ― Richie Norton
43. “Do something instead of killing time. Because time is killing you.” ― Paulo Coelho
44. “The problem with a lot of people is that they procrastinate as if tomorrow doesn't have some tasks of its own.” ― Edmond Mbiaka
45. “We have made our tasks infinitely more difficult because we failed to do yesterday what we are glad to do today. To delay longer will make the war more protracted and increase the sacrifices for victory. Let us stop asking ourselves if it is necessary to do more now. Let us ask ourselves what more we can do today, so we have less to sacrifice tomorrow.” ― John Gilbert Winant
46. “If you want to get anywhere, you have to start somewhere.” ― Frank Sonnenberg
47. “The more time you have to do things, the less you are able to get done.” ― Joyce Rachelle
48. “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
49. “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
50. “Don't ask for directions if you're not going to start the car.” ― Rob Liano
51. “Let's make progress, not excuses.” ― Justin Cotillard
52. “Everyone has the same amount of hours per day, it’s not that you don’t have enough time, it’s that you don’t have a clear focus.” ― Bridget English
53. “What you're willing to do today is what you'll be willing to do tomorrow.” ― Sharon Pearson
54. “Lack of confidence, sometimes alternating with unrealistic dreams of heroic success, often leads to procrastination, and many studies suggest that procrastinators are self-handicappers: rather than risk failure, they prefer to create conditions that make success impossible, a reflex that of course creates a vicious cycle.” ― James Surowiecki
55. “Think of your many years of procrastination; how the gods have repeatedly granted you further periods of grace, of which you have taken no advantage. It is time now to realise the nature of the universe to which you belong, and of that controlling Power whose offspring you are; and to understand that your time has a limit set to it. Use it, then, to advance your enlightenment; or it will be gone, and never in your power again.” ― Marcus Aurelius
56. “One of the very worst uses of time is to do something very well that need not be done at all.” ― Brian Tracy
57. “Think of the most discouraging thing that you are currently carrying or the biggest project you can’t seem to tackle. Forget about how it happened, forget about how you got there, just look at the clock, and before that number changes, do one little thing to make it better. After you do, enjoy your moment of victory, and then do it again. In less than the time it takes you to blink, the past will burden you no more.” ― Dan Pearce
58. “Fight your fear, your laziness, your ignorance before you worry about fighting the competition.” ― Amit Kalantri
59. “Instead of waiting for the right moment, be the right moment. You won't be ready for anything if you aren't ready to be you.” ― Kaiden Blake
60. “Procrastination causes pressure that zaps creativity and excellence.” ― Todd Stocker
61. “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work” ― Chuck Close
62. “The man who has the disease of tomorrow is the most unfortunate man in the world.” ― G.I. Gurdjieff
63. “Let's take care of the little things while they're still little.” ― John G. Miller
64. “Procrastination is the foundation of all disasters.” ― Pandora Poikilos
65. “When we procrastinate, we also put a hold on happiness.” ― Charles F. Glassman
66. “No task is a long one but the task on which one dare not start. It becomes a nightmare.” ― Charles Baudelaire
67. “How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment to improve the world.” ― Anne Frank
68. “Now is the time to get serious about living your ideals. How long can you afford to put off who you really want to be? Your nobler self cannot wait any longer. Put your principles into practice – now. Stop the excuses and the procrastination. This is your life! You aren’t a child anymore. The sooner you set yourself to your spiritual program, the happier you will be. The longer you wait, the more you’ll be vulnerable to mediocrity and feel filled with shame and regret, because you know you are capable of better. From this instant on, vow to stop disappointing yourself. Separate yourself from the mob. Decide to be extraordinary and do what you need to do – now.” ― Epictetus
Which of these procrastination quotes got you moving?
Did any of these procrastination quotes jumpstart your motivation?
You can use these quotes in so many ways to inspire you during times of lethargy or resistance.
- Post them around the house on sticky notes.
- Frame your favorite quote and put it on your desk.
- Write them down in your journal.
- Use them as positive affirmations to speak out loud.
- Print your favorite quote on a coffee mug or t-shirt.
Let these words of wisdom inspire you every day to do your best, to follow through, and to get the job done.
Start viewing yourself as an action-taker, not a procrastinator, and be determined not to allow procrastination to undermine your goals.
Before you know it, procrastination will be a problem of the past, and you'll be an inspiration to others who want to be high achievers just like you.