Inspiring Productivity Quotes to Get You Through the Day


Written by Holly Bartlett

Being productive is not always about keeping yourself busy. While a busy work life can be a sign that you’re staying on top of things, efficiency is the real name of the game. As Robin Sharma once said, “Don’t confuse activity with productivity. Many people are simply busy being busy.” 

But don’t let me stop there. Here are 50+ more productivity quotes to keep you motivated at work.

Motivational Productivity Quotes for Work

Sometimes, just a little motivation can get us very far. These quotes are for when we just need a small push to get the ball rolling. Whether you’re going through a work slump or your group project is taking longer than expected, a few words of wisdom can inspire us to show up and be our best selves. 

  • “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” – Martin Luther King
  • “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, and productivity. You can be, too.” – Norman Vincent Peale

If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves - Thomas Edison

  • “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney
  • “The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work.” – Oprah Winfrey
  • “The only way around is through.” – Robert Frost
  • “Ordinary people think merely of spending time, great people think of using it.” – Arthur Schopenhauer
  • “Sometimes, things may not go your way, but the effort should be there every single night.” – Michael Jordan
  • “Edit your life frequently and ruthlessly. It’s your masterpiece after all.” – Nathan W. Morris

You can't have a million dollar dream without a minimum work ethic.

  • “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”– Bruce Lee
  • “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” – Albert Einstein
  • “Action is the foundational key to all success.”  –Pablo Picasso
  • “If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.” –Barack Obama
  • “Worrying gets you nowhere. If you turn up worrying about how you’re going to perform, you’ve already lost.” –Usain Bolt
  • “To think is easy. To act is hard. But the hardest thing in the world is to act in accordance with your thinking.” –Goethe
  • “Work like there is someone working twenty-four hours a day to take it all away from you.” –Mark Cuban
  • “You can’t get much done in life if you only work on days when you feel good.” — Jerry West

Productivity Quotes for Managing Your Time Wisely

Productivity isn’t all about the effort you put in. When you’re giving 100% but just can’t seem to meet those work deadlines, it might be time to reconsider your strategy with these productivity quotes for managing your time effectively:

  • “You may delay, but time will not.” – Benjamin Franklin
  • “Focus on being productive instead of busy.” -Tim Ferriss
  • “You don’t need more time in your day. You need to decide.” –Seth Godin
  • “You don’t get paid for the hour, you get paid for the value you bring to the hour.” – Jim Rohn
  • “Where your attention goes, your time goes”. – Idowu Koyenikan
  • “You can do anything, but not everything.” – David Allen
  • “Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.” – Caterina Fake
  • “Never mistake motion for action.” – Ernest Hemingway 
  • “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
  • “Most people spend 50% of their time on tasks that have no relevance to their work and they wonder why they’re not getting ahead.” — Brian Tracy

You can do anything, but not everything.

  • “Don’t worry about breaks every 20 minutes ruining your focus on a task. Contrary to what I might have guessed, taking regular breaks from mental tasks actually improves your creativity and productivity. Skipping breaks, on the other hand, leads to stress and fatigue.” – Tom Rath
  • “It’s not always that we need to do more but rather that we need to focus on less.” – Nathan W. Morris
  • “Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else.” – Peter Drucker
  • “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen Covey
  • “Productivity is not about getting everything done, rather it is about getting things done effectively.” –Brianna Gray
  • “Start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” –Francis of Assisi
  • “Lost time is never found again.” –Benjamin Franklin
  • “If you have time to whine, then you have time to find a solution.” –Dee Dee Artner
  • “Efficiency is doing better what is already being done.” — Peter F. Drucker
  • “When I talk about productivity, I talk about effectiveness. Because productivity doesn’t suggest that you get the right things done. It just means that you get a lot of stuff done. But that’s not what matters. Effectiveness, however, refers to getting the right things done.” — Darius Foroux
  • “Details matter, it’s worth waiting to get it right.”― Steve Jobs
  • “Inevitably we find ourselves tackling too many things at the same time, spreading our focus so thin that nothing gets the attention it deserves. This is commonly referred to as “being busy.” Being busy, however, is not the same thing as being productive.” — Ryder Carroll
  • “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
  • “Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” — Jim Rohn
  • “What looks like multitasking is really switching back and forth between multiple tasks, which reduces productivity and increases mistakes by up to 50%.” — Susan Cain

Genius is a myth, hard work is real. -Asim

Quotes for Making Productivity Count

Productivity has to count for something. If you’re putting in the work and not getting results, there’s no reason to give up. Only give yourself a reason to work – productivity is driven by purpose and you need a reward at the end of the day.

  • “If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster. We may be very busy, and we may be very efficient, but we will also be truly effective only when we begin with the end in mind.” — R. Stephen Covey
  • “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” — Steve Jobs
  • “The tragedy in life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.” – Benjamin E. Mays
  • “Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it.” – Stephen Hawking
  • “Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” — Theodore Roosevelt
  • “I do not equate productivity to happiness. For most people, happiness in life is a massive amount of achievement plus a massive amount of appreciation. And you need both of those things.” — Tim Ferriss

Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.

  • “Don’t mistake activity with achievement.”― John Wooden
  • “It’s not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: what are we busy about?” — Henry David Thoreau
  • “Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.” — Thomas A. Edison
  • “Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, you ought to set up a life you don’t need to escape from.” – Seth Godin
  • “If one wanted to crush and destroy a man entirely, to mete out to him the most terrible punishment, all one would have to do would be to make him do work that was completely and utterly devoid of usefulness and meaning.” – Fyodor Dostoevsky

Final Thoughts

Motivational quotes are a great boost when you’re having a tough day. I hope that these quotes have inspired you to be productive. But remember to take breaks. Productivity isn’t necessarily about working hard but being smart about how you spend your time. So, whether you’re pushing towards a work deadline or studying for exams, take these words both as inspiration and some food for thought.

Need some cheering up during a gruelling workday? Laughter might be the cure. Check out our funny and relatable time management jokes and memes for a real mood-lifter!