Procrastination: it’s that guilty bad habit many of us hide, the one that keeps us from ticking off our to-do’s, from achieving our goals and dreams. Happily, getting back to work can be as simple as finding the right inspiration, and we’ve collected 70 powerful quotes about procrastination to help YOU find just that!
If you’re looking for a little inspiration, a way to find purpose and drive away procrastination, perhaps you need to look no further than the beautiful words of Anne Frank:
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”– Anne Frank, Jewish diarist
And if you need a little more, then this ultimate collection of motivational procrastination quotes guarantees to:
- Inspire you to get started … and to finally finish that project
- Remind you to stop putting things off!
- Help you to work out why you procrastinate
- Encourage you to steal back your time
- Give you the confidence to beat procrastination and pursue your goals
- Quotes to help you beat procrastination right now
- Quotes to inspire you to just get started …
- Quotes to help you keep going and then get finished!
- Quotes to help you work out why you procrastinate
- Quotes for dealing with dastardly deadlines
- Quotes to inspire you to stop putting things off
- Quotes about that famous thief, Procrastination
- Quotes for when procrastination is interfering with your success
- Quotes about the consequences of procrastination
- Quotes about procrastination to raise your spirits
- Have you finished procrastinating?
And here’s a quick tip for a regular anti-procrastination boost:
- Find a quote or two that really resonate with you, write (or print) them out – BIG and BOLD – and stick them up above your desk! The perfect motivational booster for every study and work session 😊
OR download your very own copy of our Quotes Pack: 41 Inspirational Posters perfect for study spaces and classroom walls, and suitable for any budget (pay-as-you-feel!). The hi-resolution pdf is perfect for printing in any size up to A2 (that’s big!) and is chock full of all 41 beautiful posters from our five popular quotes collections on exam inspiration, study motivation, overcoming procrastination, making progress and growth mindset!
Is there a quote about procrastination that always inspires YOU to get moving? Let us know in the comments!
Quotes to help you beat procrastination right now
What does it take to beat the desire to procrastinate? Well, these influential people have some great advice for you: it’s all about action! What’s more, that action can bring you satisfaction, reduce your stress and help you achieve your goals – sounds amazing, right?
1. All you need is (lights, camera) action!
“Action will destroy your procrastination.”– Augustine “Og” Mandino, American author
2. And that action is often the best medicine for your situation
“Often just by taking action, by doing something about the situation [you] can relieve the stress and help correct the situation.”– Catherine Pulsifer, self-help author
3. Doing something is better than doing nothing
“In a moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing to do. The worst thing you can do is nothing.”– Theodore Roosevelt, former President of the United States of America
4. There’s a time for thinking and a time for action
“Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.”– Napoleon Bonaparte, French military and political leader
5. Get practical: why not make beating procrastination into a game?
“Set a timer and compete to beat the clock to conquer procrastination.”– Monika Kristofferson, businesswoman
6. Or trick yourself with a little reverse procrastination!
7. It’s simple: you need to simplify your tasks
“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, health and wellness author
8. Search out the satisfaction in your work and studies
“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, American clergyman and positive thinking pioneer
9. Long-term thinking: the cure for ark-builders and procrastinators everywhere
“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, actor and author
10. Ditch the habit: turn the tables on procrastination and alter your destiny
“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, American author
Quotes to inspire you to just get started …
Are you a procrastinator who hates that start-of-a-project blank page dread? Then these next quotes about procrastination are for you!
They’re the perfect encouragement to get you over the hump and some words down on the page! Momentum and motivation here we come …
11. Get ahead, get started
“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, American writer and humourist
12. Beginning takes courage – so be daring!
“He who is begun has half done. Dare to be wise; begin.”– Horace, Ancient Roman poet
13. Don’t waste your time when you could be making progress
“The greatest amount of wasted time is the time not getting started.”– Dawson Trotman, evangelist
14. If you don’t get started, you’ll never be done
“It’s a job that’s never started that takes the longest to finish.”– J. R. R. Tolkien, British novelist and academic
15. It’s a myth: there’s no such thing as the perfect time to get started
16. All it takes is one little thing … and whoosh, you’ve started
“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
17. Don’t pave the way for regrets when you could have progress instead
“A year from now you may wish you had started today.”– Karen Lamb, author
Quotes to help you keep going and then get finished!
Perhaps instead you’re a perpetual half-tasker, someone who surrounds themselves with the bones of unfinished projects (whether purposefully or not).
If so, these are the quotes you’ll want to read for the motivation to stop procrastinating and finish off that one thing you’ve always wanted to do!
18. Relieve your stresses by finishing that lingering task (you know the one)
“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, productivity consultant
19. Let every step forward fuel your motivation to continue
“The momentum of continuous action fuels motivation, while procrastination kills motivation.”– Steve Pavlina, American self-help author
20. Got a good idea? Let that spark ignite your drive!
“Getting an idea should be like sitting on a pin; it should make you jump up and do something.”– E.L. Simpson
21. Facing off against an elephantine problem? Break it down, bite by bite
22. Half-finished task hanging over you? Sure, it’s fatiguing …
“Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.”– William James, American philosopher
23. … but finishing it could give you confidence, self-esteem and character!
“There is nothing so fatal to character as half finished tasks.”– David Lloyd George, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
24. The best way to get everything done is promptly
“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, British engineer
Quotes to help you work out why you procrastinate
Do you ever feel like you’re the only one who procrastinates on this essay or that particular task? These next quotes about procrastination will show you that it’s not just you.
Defining what procrastination means (to you) and where it commonly finds you is an important step in getting to work and making yourself proud!
25. Procrastination: the scholar’s weakness …
26. … and the artist’s too!
“A pursuit for perfection is the most leading cause of procrastination in artists.”– Neeraj Agnihotri, author
27. Is it procrastination if it’s still work? Erm…
“Anyone can do any amount of work providing it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment.”– Robert Benchley, American humourist, columnist and actor
28. Finding meaning in procrastination
“Doing things at the last minute reminds us of the importance of doing things at the first minute.”– Matshona Dhliwayo, Canadian author
29. Self-sabotage: the easy way out?
“Procrastination is, hands down, our favourite form of self-sabotage.”– Alyce P.Cornyn-Selby, author
Quotes for dealing with dastardly deadlines
Deadlines. Love them or hate them, we all face them! Do you prepare early? Or procrastinate until the last minute until the pressure pushes you to work?
For a little light relief, here are 4 quotes to encourage and inspire (or perhaps console) you as your next deadline approaches!
30. Deadlines just whoosh by so fast
“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”– Douglas Adams, author
31. Love drama? Procrastinate until your deadline looms
“A perfect method for adding drama to life is to wait until the deadline looms large.”– Alyce P.Cornyn-Selby, author
32. Putting things off just “one day at a time” soon adds up!
“How does a project get to be a year behind schedule? One day at a time.”– Fred Brooks, American software engineer and computer scientist
33. Be a diamond: work well under pressure
“I am a person who works well under pressure. In fact, I work so well under pressure that at times, I will procrastinate in order to create this pressure.”– Stephanie Pearl McPhee, writer
Quotes to inspire you to stop putting things off
At it’s heart procrastination is just the art of putting things off. So let’s dive into this huge collection of inspirational quotes about procrastination that will persuade you that putting things off is just not worth it …
34. Avoid those mountains and avoid the anxiety: it’s a win-win!
“Don’t procrastinate. Putting off an unpleasant task until tomorrow simply gives you more time for your imagination to make a mountain out a possible molehill. More time for anxiety to sap your self-confidence. Do it now, brother, do it now.”– Science Digest, 1949
35. Procrastination only makes your job harder in the end
“Putting off an easy thing makes it hard and putting off a hard one makes it impossible.”– George H. Lorimer, American journalist
36. … especially when tomorrow is busy too
“The problem with a lot of people is that they procrastinate as if tomorrow doesn’t have some tasks of its own.”– Edmond Mbiaka
37. The early bird may get the worm, but the procrastinator just gets … leftovers
“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”– Abraham Lincoln, former President of the United States of America
38. Just jump in! Relish the joy you’ll save from procrastination’s hands
“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, evangelical author
39. You’ll only end up playing catch-up from yesterday
40. So don’t put off what should have already been done
“Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday.”– Napoleon Hill, American self-help author
41. It’s never “the perfect time” to do something ….
“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.”– Napoleon Hill, American self-help author
42. … because the circumstances will never be perfect
“Conditions are never just right. People who delay action until all factors are favorable are the kind who do nothing.”– William Feather, American publisher and author
43. We all know Jefferson’s classic quote …
44. … but perhaps the consequences are more extreme:
“Anything worth putting off is worth abandoning altogether.”– Epictetus, Ancient Greek Stoic philosopher
45. … can you risk putting this task off forever?
“Don’t fool yourself that important things can be put off till tomorrow; they can be put off forever, or not at all.”– Mignon McLaughlin, American journalist and author
46. … or until you die?
“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.”– Pablo Picasso, Spanish surrealist and cubist artist
Quotes about that famous thief, Procrastination
You’ve probably all heard the famous saying “procrastination is the thief of time” (Edward Young) – so here’s the full quote, and in all its lyrical beauty (and a few more too!):
47. You’ll never get that time back
“Procrastination is the thief of time; year after year it steals, till all are fled, and to the mercies of a moment leaves the vast concerns of an eternal state. At thirty, man suspects himself a fool; knows it at forty, and reforms his plan; at fifty chides his infamous delay, pushes his prudent purpose to resolve; in all the magnanimity of thought, resolves, and re-resolves, then dies the same.”
– Edward Young, English poet
48. Procrastination is prolific …
“The greatest thief this world has ever produced is procrastination, and he is still at large.”– Henry Wheeler Shaw, American humourist
49. … so steal back your time …
“My advice is to never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time.”– Charles Dickens, English novelist and social critic
50. … and use it well in a way that makes you proud!
“Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its brevity.”– Jean de La Bruyère, French philosopher
51. It’s not just a thief, but an assassin
“Procrastination is opportunity’s natural assassin.”– Victor Kiam, American entrepreneur
52. … and also a deadly corruption
“Procrastination is also a subtle art of corruption – it corrupts valuable time.”– Dr. Amit Abraham, Indian author and acadmic
53. If you love life, don’t procrastinate away your time
Quotes for when procrastination is interfering with your success
If you’ve chosen the goals you’re working towards, you’re already primed for success. But what happens if success and progress is hindered by procrastination?
These next quotes show us that overcoming procrastination will encourage your progress and growth mindset. They also remind us that if you have a bad day, don’t worry! You can always try again tomorrow 😊
54. Procrastination can keep you from having everything you want
“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, author
55. Success a step-by-step, daily journey – and procrastination is a detour to avoid!
“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, writer
56. Don’t fear the future that success can bring you by hiding in the “someday”
“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, American motivational speaker
57. Take a procrastination vaccine and work towards success and happiness
58. If you try hard, there’s no need to fear judgement
“We are so scared of being judged that we look for every excuse to procrastinate.”– Erica Jong, American novelist
Quotes about the consequences of procrastination
This is the deep section – where we take a long hard look together at those difficult subjects: fear, regrets, courage and death.
Is procrastination stopping you from doing everything you want to achieve in your life?
It’s hard to look back at your last month, last year and take stock of where you’re headed. Hopefully, these wise words will inspire you to find the courage you need to overcome procrastination and head towards your goals!
59. Be brave and dare to live your life
“Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Be brave and take risks. Your life is happening right now.”– Roy Benett, American attorney and politician
60. Overcome fear and procrastination with action
“The breeding ground of fear is procrastination and inaction. We overcome them not by preparation, but by taking action.”– Debasish Mridha, American physician and author
61. It might be scary, but you can uproot anxiety by conquering procrastination
“Procrastination is the lazy cousin of fear. When we feel anxiety around an activity, we postpone it.”– Noelle Hancock, author
62. Skip the slippery slope of misery by taking action
“Stop putting it off! Procrastination breeds guilt, guilt breeds depression, and depression breeds failure.”– Barbara Corcoran, American businesswoman
63. Be brave, be daring, be courageous!
64. Don’t procrastinate your way into a life of missed opportunities
“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, American journalist
65. Sail away from Procrastination Harbour!
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”– Mark Twain, American writer and humourist
66. When is too late to stop procrastinating?
“We must be diligent today. To wait until tomorrow is too late. Death comes unexpectedly. How can we bargain with it?”– Buddha, ancient Indian religious leader
Quotes about procrastination to raise your spirits
We don’t want to end on all that doom and gloom, so here’s a few witty quotes about procrastination to send you on your way to making progress!
67. Let’s procrastinate on procrastination
“Procrastination is something best put off until tomorrow.”– Gerald Vaughan
68. Procrastinating on something you need to do? Why not hold a meeting about it?
“The least productive people are usually the ones who are most in favor of holding meetings.”– Thomas Sowell, American economist and social theorist
69. Procrastinators, unite!
“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
70. This has been fun, now here’s the check
“Procrastination is like a credit card: it’s a lot of fun until you get the bill.”– Christopher Parker, English actor
Have you finished procrastinating?
Let’s face it, if you’ve read this far you’ve probably been procrastinating from something… So I hope that you’re now so fed up of procrastination you’re ready to get to work!
AND don’t forget you can download our Quotes Pack to grab all the posters above plus many more from all our popular quotes collections! The hi-resolution pdf is perfect for printing in any size up to A2 (that’s big!), suitable for any budget (pay-as-you-feel!), and packed with 41 inspirational posters for every study space.
If you’ve enjoyed these procrastination quotes, the great news is: you can find LOTS more inspirational tips, hacks and secrets for making consistent progress with your studies right now, by signing up for the FREE exam success cheat sheet below!