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79 Productivity Quotes to Help You Prepare, Prioritize, Take Action and Eliminate Obstacles

Productivity quotes.

A whole lot of boring, right?

Get things done. Be efficient. Stay busy. Achieve success.

Being productive is important, but productivity quotes may seem to be a bit boring in comparison to some more snazzy, modern and funny quote topics.

This is like comparing apples and oranges, however. Productivity may not have the pithy and snarky quotes like some of the hard work quotes. But they are just as important for achieving any sort of measurable success.

Well productivity quotes may seem a bit “bleh!”. But they are the front line motivation for getting things done. The following productivity quotes hopefully will give you motivation to accomplish more.

Productivity Quotes to Help You Set the Right Priorities

Anyone who understands time management understands that being busy does not mean you are being productive. To be productive you need to be actively working at reaching all of your goals and doing so in a manner as efficient as possible.

This section of quotes on being productive remind us that all effort is not created equal. Some tasks simply matter. These tasks will move the bar further and help you accomplish a heck of a lot more, without doing any more work. Mostly based on the 80/20 (or Pareto Principle) I call these super important actions the Productivity Sweet Spot.

“A wind that blows aimlessly is no good to anyone.”
– Rick Riord​an

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“Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is specifically your own.”
– Bruce Lee

“Create with the heart; build with the mind.”
– Criss Jami

“Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.”
– Dale Carnegie

“Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”
–Theodore Roosevelt

“If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.”
– Benjamin Franklin

“It is not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?”
– Henry David Thoreau

“It’s not always that we need to do more but rather that we need to focus on less.”
– Nathan W. Morris

“Life is too complicated not to be orderly.”
– Martha Stewart

“Make each day your masterpiece.”
– John Wooden

“My goal is no longer to get more done, but rather to have less to do.”
– Francine Jay

“Position yourself to succeed by doing the other things in your life that rejuvenate you. Exhaustion affects your quality and productivity.”
– Jeff VanderMeer

“Productivity is being able to do things that you were never able to do before.”
– Franz Kafka

“Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.”
– Warren Buffett

“Simplicity boils down to two steps: Identify the essential. Eliminate the rest.”
– Leo Babauta

“Sometimes the biggest gain in productive energy will come from cleaning the cobwebs, dealing with old business, and clearing the desks—cutting loose debris that’s impeding forward motion.”
– David Allen

“Stop measuring days by degree of productivity and start experiencing them by degree of presence.”
– Alan Watts

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”
– Albert Einstein

“The best things in life make you sweaty.”
– Edgar Allan Poe

productive week quotes - “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen Covey
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“The purpose of life is not to be happy—but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you lived at all.”
– Leo Rosten

“The simple act of paying positive attention to people has a great deal to do with productivity.”
– Tom Peters

“The tragedy in life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.”
– Benjamin E. Mays

“The true price of anything you do is the amount of time you exchange for it.”
– Henry David Thoreau

“There is no waste in the world that equals the waste from needless, ill-directed, and ineffective motions.”
– Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Sr.

“Writing crystallizes thought and thought produces action.”
– Paul J. Meyer

Motivational Quotes for Work Productivity and Conquering Obstacles

Whether you are trying to mow your lawn or lead a team through some complicated project at work, there are always going to be unaccounted for obstacles that get in your way. Unexpected things happen and become obstacles to getting the job done in a timely manner.

These obstacles will mess with your focus, interrupt your flow state, and even cause procrastination. It should be obvious these obstacles are something to be avoided if possible, planned for if unavoidable or at least considered as a force that will try to fight even the best productivity plan.

Below are some of the best motivational productivity quotes for dealing with these obstacles. Both expected and unexpected.

“It's hard to beat a person who never gives up.”
– Babe Ruth

“You can fool everyone else, but you can't fool your own mind.”
– David Allen

“If you have time to whine then you have time to find solution.”
– Dee Dee Artner

“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”
– Earl Nightingale

productivity quotes for employees - “Productivity growth, however it occurs, has a disruptive side to it. In the short term, most things that contribute to productivity growth are very painful.”	– Janet Yellen

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”
– Henry Ford

“The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.”
– Jean-Baptiste Poqeulin (Moliere)

“You can’t get much done in life if you only work on days when you feel good.”
– Jerry West

“When someone tells me "no," it doesn't mean I can't do it, it simply means I can't do it with them."
”– Karen E. Quinones Miller

“Sometimes, things may not go your way, but the effort should be there every single night.”
– Michael Jordan

“The individual who says it is not possible should move out of the way of those doing it.”
– Tricia Cunningham

“Starve your distraction and feed your focus.”
– Unknown

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
– Wayne Gretzky

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
– Winston Churchill

Inspirational Quotes to Motivate Employees to Take Action

Let’s clear up something quickly. The quotes in this section are inspirational. They are motivational. The can lead you to improve your action taking and productivity.

But these quotes are not magic.

Just because Walt Disney said, “quit talking and begin doing” and you share this quote with an overly talkative and unfocused employee, does not mean you will revolutionize their lives.

For quotes to be powerful and life changing, the person hearing the quote has to be ready to listen, think about it and take action. This never happens overnight, and will never happen at all unless the employee in question wants it to happen.

In fact even quotes themselves are a little bit anemic when it comes to bring about long lasting change. They tell a universal “truth” and provide a bit of motivation and stop there.

Far more effective are affirmations. Good affirmations will be tailored to the individual and designed specifically to remind strengthen an individual's weakness or area of focus.

If you want some ideas of daily positive affirmations that can actually change someone’s life to share with an employee if (and only if) they are ready for helping affirmations here are a few helpful affirmations that may help them improve some aspects of their work life.

Regardless, for now, here are some motivational quotes on productivity. Read on:

“Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you'll be able to see further."
– Thomas Carlyle

“Greatness is sifted through the grind, therefore don't despite the hard work now for surely it will be worth it in the end.”
– Sanjo Jendayi

“No great achiever - even those who made it seem easy -  ever succeeded without hard work.”
– Jonathan Sacks

“Action is the foundational key to all success.”
– Picasso

“Light tomorrow with today.”
– Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.”
– Amelia Earhart

“Your talent determines what you can do. Your motivation determines how much you are willing to do. Your attitude determines how well you do it.”
– Lou Holtz

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
– Stephen King

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”
– Walt Disney

“Everyday that I procrastinate, everyday that I sit stagnant in fear, everyday that I fail to better myself, someone else out there with the same goals and dreams as me is doing the exact opposite.”
– Noel DeJesus

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
– Henry David Thoreau

“Build your own dreams or someone else will hire you to build theirs.”
– Farrah Gray

“Hard work keeps the wrinkles out of the mind and spirit.”
– Helena Rubinstein

motivational quotes for work productivity - “A worker without genius is better than a genius who won't work.” – Leopold Auer

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”
– Bruce Lee

“It’s not knowing what to do, it’s doing what you know.”
– Tony Robbins

“Someday is not a day of the week.”
– Janet Dailey

“Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness.”
– Sigmund Freud

“Great acts are made up of small deeds.”
– Lao Tzu

“I have learned that real angels don't have gossamer white robes and Cherubic skin, they have calloused hands and smell of the days' sweat.”
– Richard Evans

“My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition.”
– Indira Gandhi

“A year from now you may wish you had started today.”
– Karen Lamb

“Focus on being productive instead of busy.”
– Tim Ferriss

“I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”
– Thomas Jefferson

“A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”
– Colin Powell

Productivity Quotes to Encourage You to Plan Effectively

If there is a single key to being productive this is it: planning.

If you plan your work effectively chances are great that you will also be very productive. If you fail to plan your work at all and take things “as they come” you can almost be guaranteed to have low efficiency and poor productivity.

The quotes below reinforce the idea of planning and productivity being joined at the hip in a mutually beneficial tug of war with inefficiency and chaos.

So if you are looking for some posts regarding productivity. It would also be wise to research much of the planning that goes on behind being productive, and efficient.

To put it plainly, it is not only important to grasp a few simple productivity hacks but it is just as important to understand the mistakes people make when creating their own “to do” lists.

It is important to research books that will help you improve productivity.  But it is also important to understand your human nature and understand how some extrinsic rewards you can use to drive your own personal productivity.

“Effective performance is preceded by painstaking preparation.”
– Brian Tracy

“Never neglect details. When everyone’s mind is dulled or distracted the leader must be doubly vigilant.”
– Colin Powell

“To be disciplined is to follow in a good way. To be self disciplined is to follow in a better way.”
– Corita Kent

“Long-range planning works best in the short term.”
– Doug Evelyn

inspirational quotes to motivate employees - “Productivity is the deliberate, strategic investment of your time, talent, intelligence, energy, resources, and opportunities in a manner calculated to move you measurably closer to meaningful goals.” – Dan S. Kennedy

“Plans are nothing; planning is everything.”
– Dwight D. Eisenhower

“You've got to get up every morning with determination if you're going to go to bed with satisfaction.”
– George Lorimer

“Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.”
– John Wayne

“Good well-being promotes good productivity.”
– Lailah Gifty Akita

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”
– Paul J. Meyer

“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
– Proverbs 29:18

“You don’t need a new plan for next year. You need a commitment.”
– Seth Godin

“Your daily choices and actions should be rational and productive.”
– Sunday Adelaja

“No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things just take time. You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.”
– Warren Buffett

Did you find the quote you were looking for?

79 quotes on productivity. That is quite a few efficiency quotes. Do you feel more productive now?

Hopefully these productivity quotes have given you a bit of inspiration. Motivation not just to get the job done, but to get it done as efficiently as possible to either give yourself well deserved personal time or the time to accomplish even more.

Regardless, I hope you enjoyed the productivity quotes on this page and that when all is said and done they were not dry and boring, but thoughtful and inspirational.

Sometimes it actually does only take a little push in the right direction to get you moving toward a powerful and important change. Hopefully these quotes are your push.

Love these powerful productivity quotes?

Do they inspire you to do more? Or are they just the ramblings of men and women whose best days have passed them by? I hope you enjoyed these quotes but regardless please let me know what you think in the comments at the bottom of the page.

Don’t see your favorite productivity quote on this page? Please feel free to also share these in the comments below.

Remember no matter how good your personal productivity is; there is always room for improvement.

Be kind and please share these productivity picture quotes in your favorite social media platform (like Pinterest).

79 Productivity Quotes to Help You Prepare, Prioritize, Take Action and Eliminate Obstacles
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