26 Famous Time Management Quotes to Motivate You and Your Team

Mike Kulakov, January 18, 2020

At Everhour, we’re timekeeping fanatics, and we appreciate that time management can be one tough job. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the best time management quotes out there to keep you inspired and away from procrastination.

It’s also a great chance for you to refresh memory and remind yourself about all those remarkable people behind the quotes.

Quotes about time

Virgil - quotes about time

“Fugit irreparable tempos”

Virgil
ancient Roman poet, wrote three of the most famous poems in Latin literature

This is one of those about time quotes that has stood the test of time. Chances are you’ve heard it, or its shorted version “tempus fugit” (time flies), before being batted about by someone lamenting how short time is. “Fugit irreparable tempos” is Latin and means “it escapes, irretrievable time.” And it’s true! So, whenever you’re in the middle of a tough meeting wishing it would end, or a particularly challenging week, just remember that soon it will be over. Instead of relishing in a bad mood, try to focus on productivity and make your flying time worthwhile.

Benjamin Franklin - quotes about time

“Never leave till tomorrow that which you can do today”

Benjamin Franklin
one of the Founding Fathers of the United States

We all know that procrastination isn’t great for our productivity, but that doesn’t stop us from doing it anyway. We fill our precious time with “productive” activities like coffee breaks, cleaning the office fridge, or searching for the perfect new notepad. But while you procrastinate, time slips away. And this often means rushing to catch up later, resulting in jeopardized time with family or leisure activities. The first step to avoiding procrastination is knowing how much time you spend avoiding working. Use time tracking software for 7 days and be amazed at how you’re spending your time. Chances are change is on the horizon.

Leo Tolstoy - quotes about time

“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time”

Leo Tolstoy
one of the greatest authors of all time, received multiple nominations for the Nobel Prize

Whether you’ve managed to make it through reading War and Peace or just watched the TV version, this inspirational quote about time has two powerful messages. (Find it in War and Peace. Book Thirteen: 1812. Chapter XVII). The first is time. Knowing how best to spend your time allows you to optimize your productivity and avoid procrastination. The second is patience. While filling your time correctly is great, at the same time, remember, there is a time for everything. Sometimes it’s best to wait until an opportunity comes around, others you need to grab it while the iron is hot. In business, this might mean not rushing to send that late-night email to get it out of the way. Or conducting vital negotiations at 5 in the evening. Have patience and wait until the timing is right.

Quotes about time management

Lao Tzu - quotes about time

“Time is a created thing. To say, I don’t have time is to say, I don’t want to”

Lao Tzu
ancient Chinese philosopher and writer

Famous Chinese philosopher and writer, Lao Tzu, might’ve lived in the 6th Century BC, but this advice is no less relevant now than it was then. We all want to please others, so while “I don’t have time” might sound nicer, it’s not always the truth. When it comes to managing your workload, sometimes it pays to be upfront and honest about your priorities. This can save a lot of procrastination, hardship, and inefficiency. By concentrating on work you love, it might even feel that you’ve never ‘worked’ a day in your life. But, take this with a pinch of salt. Sometimes you need to do those tough tasks too. 

C.S. Lewis - quotes about time

“For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity”

C.S. Lewis
British writer and lay theologian

Are you a daydreamer? Perhaps you find yourself somewhere else entirely when you should be concentrating on the task in front of you? We’ve all had those days where we stare out the window and are thoroughly unproductive. But, if you’re experiencing these Alice in the rabbit hole moments too often, it’s time to do something about it. As C.S. Lewis alludes to, what you’re doing right this second affects the future. That’s why Angela from Accounts is now the Financial Director, while Jack from Sales got the boot. Learn to hone your focus, and you might even find that productivity is much more interesting than what’s going in your daydream. Try the Pomodoro technique to break down your day into efficient working periods with little breaks to boost your brainpower.

Albert Einstein - quotes about time

“I never think of the future. It comes soon enough”

Albert Einstein
German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity

A man with a lot to say about time, among other things, but this little gem has to be one of Einstein’s smartest quotes about time. Do you find yourself busy with the next big project and thinking only of what will happen at tomorrow’s meeting? Or, perhaps you’re reliving the last one. Either way, you’re missing the point. The only time is right now. We can’t change the past. And while our actions influence the future. What matters is what you’re doing this very second. Employing mindfulness techniques alongside proper time management can help you get back on track and focus on what really matters.

Charles Darwin - quotes about time

“A man who dares to waste one hour of life has not discovered the value of life”

Charles Darwin
naturalist, geologist and biologist; best known for his theories on evolution

Darwin was nothing if not direct. From “survival of the fittest” to “a scientific man ought to have no wishes, no affections, – a mere heart of stone,” some might suggest too straightforward. However, Darwin’s advice holds true. Time lost is time wasted. So that hour spent procrastinating over that fun new mobile game might’ve been better spent working towards something you care about – an exciting project, or even learning a new language. But that doesn’t mean all downtime is worthless. Learning to make the most of your working time, means that you can enjoy your free time and engage in meaningful self-care activities. Leaving you feeling refreshed not burned out!

Mahatma Gandhi - quotes about time

“There is more to life than simply increasing its speed”

Mahatma Gandhi
Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist, and political ethicist

Speeding towards the finish line with no plan in sight isn’t a good idea. You can quickly lose track of where you’re going and run yourself off course entirely. The same goes for your working life. When you rush your tasks or activities, you may soon find that the results aren’t quite what you desired. Instead, take a step back, breathe, rethink, and replan. Start your next project by laying out the steps in front of you and include good timekeeping practices and planning from the very beginning. If you’ve got a team to lead, take into account that speed doesn’t equal quality. Adding more working hours to your schedule doesn’t always lead to higher productivity. Instead, re-evaluate. You might even find that an adjusted working schedule helps pace your team gets you the results you deserve. 

Robert H. Schuller - quotes about time

“Tough times never last, but tough people do”

Robert H. Schuller
American Christian televangelist, pastor, motivational speaker, and author

There isn’t a person on the planet who has experienced a life free of problems. But, if you happen to hear of a person like this, send him our way, we’d love to listen to his secrets. The fact is we all experience challenges, and when the going gets tough, it’s important to remember this little phrase by Mr. Schuller: “Tough times never last, but tough people do.” Think of the challenges that come your way as opportunities to grow, and soon you’ll see the other side. It doesn’t make those difficult times less stressful, but it makes the struggle worth every second.

Ralph Waldo Emerson - quotes about time

“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late”

Ralph Waldo Emerson
American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, and poet

Emerson had it right with this one; we don’t know a good thing until it has passed. Often, we take the positives in our lives for granted. Perhaps it’s a kind boss who approves your desired holiday requests on time or an employee who is always on ready with their work. In the US alone, 65% of survey employees said they hadn’t received any recognition for their hard work. With lack of recognition listed as one of the top reasons for leaving a job, this could be risky business for companies looking to retain staff.  Showing recognition for a job well done can have tremendous results in your organization, and the costs are as low as a small ‘thank you.’ Although a bonus wouldn’t hurt either.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry - quotes about time

“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
French writer, best remembered for his novella “The Little Prince”

A favorite childhood story and moral tale, The Little Prince, has lots of wisdom to teach about the value of time and a little bit more. Like the good things in life we fail to appreciate, we also take for granted achievements that require very little time or effort. For example, perhaps you have a talent for programming. You do it well and have found very little need to improve. Soon you may feel under satisfied with this gift that has been granted. But if you invest a little time, and develop your skills, you may find pleasure in your own ‘rose.’

Jim Rohn - quotes about time

“Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time”

Jim Rohn
American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker

Of all the quotes about time management, this one holds a fundamental lesson. Time is a precious resource, and once it’s spent, it’s gone for good. While money can buy resources to increase your personal time, it’s still a finite resource. The bottom line is that managing your and your employees’ time correctly, not trying to acquire more of it, holds the key to both happiness and success.

Short quotes about time management

William Shakespeare - time management quotes

“Time and the hour run through the roughest day”

William Shakespeare
the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s greatest dramatist

Love him or hate him; there’s no doubt that Shakespeare’s works contained some words of wisdom that have lasted the ages. “Time and the hour run through the roughest day” is undoubtedly one of Shakesphere’s prolific quotes about time. These short verse encourage those who are struggling with the minutes to see the bigger picture. Take these words in heed when embroiled in lengthy negotiations where it seems even the seconds are dragging on, each one of them is vital in reaching the overall result, no matter how rough it may be.

Lord Chesterfield - time management quotes

“Take care of the minutes and the hours will take care of themselves”

Lord Chesterfield
British statesman, diplomat, man of letters, and an acclaimed wit of his time

Time passes quickly, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the moment. Blink and a minute passes, another blink, and it’s an hour, another, a year. But it’s up to us what we do in between those blinks. Focus on the minutes of your day and plan your time well. Find time to work, time for relaxation, and time to simply do the things you love. By organizing your time efficiently, you’ll soon find “boredom” isn’t a word that features in your vocabulary, and we hope “stress” isn’t either. 

Oscar Wilde - time management quotes

“Punctuality is the thief of time”

Oscar Wilde
Irish poet best remembered for his novel “The Picture of Dorian Gray”

We’re not suggesting being on time or meeting deadlines is overrated. After all, we are huge fans of making things happen on time…but they should be taken with a pinch of salt. Punctually is all well and good, but when you’re rushing around taking care of someone else’s priorities – meeting on their terms, their deadlines ­– something has got to give. Instead, take a step back a figure out what will work for you, set reasonable deadlines, and put you and your team’s health first. Keep these good timekeeping rules and optimize your work processes for the better.

Jack Kornfield - time management quotes

“The trouble is, you think you have time”

Jack Kornfield
bestselling American author and teacher in the vipassana movement in American Theravada Buddhism

From thinking you’ll finish that project by the next deadline to your passion project that’s sitting on the back burner (you’ll get there one day), thinking you have all the time in the world to do something is a dangerous game. By not making something a priority, you risk it never getting done. If you’re a manager, believing you have more time than you do could jeopardize your project (and client relationships). So before you begin, it’s vital you know how much time a task takes and how many people you need, before you start, not after. Using an integrated time tracker or free time card calculator, you can evaluate your team’s productivity and more accurately provide project quotes.

Jonathan Estrin - time management quotes

“The way we spend our time defines who we are”

Jonathan Estrin
writer and TV producer, best known for his work on Cagney & Lacey

Focusing on what you do in your minutes, may define how your hours and days are filled, but what defines you? How you spend your time, both at home and the office, say a lot about where your priorities lie. Showing up on time for work each day indicates dedication, while taking an extra hour at lunch may suggest your priorities fall elsewhere. But, this isn’t about what others think, this is about you. By defining your goals and dividing your time accordingly, you’ll be able to unlock new potential within yourself and for your company. 

Motivational quotes about time management

Steve Jobs - time management quotes

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life”

Steve Jobs
chairman, CEO, and co-founder of Apple Inc. (also Pixar & NeXT)

Steve Jobs was always one to march to the beat of his own drum. From dropping out of college to founding an innovative company known as Apple, Jobs put his ideas and priorities front and center. While this level of dedication to one’s ideas isn’t always conducive to a team environment, this is definitely one of those inspirational quotes about time management that you’ll want to pay attention to. Budding entrepreneurs, employees, and business owners alike take heed. You really do have a limited amount of time, so focus on what’s important, get the work done and be yourself, as far as you can be (there’s no need for diva-like strops).

Arthur Schopenhauer - time management quotes

“The common man is not concerned about the passage of time, the man of talent is driven by it”

Arthur Schopenhauer
German philosopher, best known for his 1818 work “The World as Will and Representation”

There are times in life that it may seem that we are coasting towards an inevitable end, where nothing can be done to stop the passage of time. If you’ve ever experienced a quarter or mid-life crisis, you’ll know this little voice too well. Don’t listen! Instead, be that other person, the one driven by success, spurred on by talent, and dependent on dedication. Use time to your advantage and become the person you always wanted to be and help your staff to do the same. We’re not saying every step you take will be the right one, but keeping moving forward is vital. When you look back, you’ll be amazed at how much you’ve achieved. 

John F. Kennedy - time management quotes

“We must use time as a tool, not as a couch”

John F. Kennedy
American politician, served as the 35th President of the United States

How do you think about time? As something that causes you to get up and go to work in the morning because it’s 8 am and you have to, or as an opportunity to do something great. If it’s the former, we get it; survival mode is necessary at times. But, instead, try to focus more on being in the latter category. Make every second count. Utilize the time that is given to your and your company’s advantage. Make plans and stick to them, and focus on getting the most out of the time that you do have.  

Funny quotes about time management

Henry David Thoreau - time management quotes

“It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?”

Henry David Thoreau
American essayist, poet, and philosopher, best known for his book “Walden”

Philosopher Henry David Thoreau is well-known for questioning what we think we know about society and the world around it. Drawing comparisons to the world all around, Thoreau questions why we are busy and what are we doing with our time? Are we busy like ants, trying to build a new nest, or are we merely keeping busy to fill the time? While it might be funny to think of humans as creatures scuttling about, look a little closer and consider if you’re productively using your day or simply keeping busy for busyness’ sake. Once you’ve done that, it might be time to make some changes to reinvigorate your routine. 

Coco Chanel - time management quotes

“Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door”

Coco Chanel
French fashion designer, the founder, and namesake of the Chanel brand

Although Ms. Chanel might’ve warned against beating on a wall in the hope that it might become a door, her biography paints her as doing just that. Overcoming poverty to become a world-famous fashion designer is no easy feat, after all. Or maybe it’s best to interpret this phrase another way. If you see no solution to your problem – such as a missing door – try another solution, a window perhaps. You are the master of your own fate and timekeeping, so don’t waste it.

Bill Watterson - time management quotes

“There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want”

Bill Watterson
American former cartoonist and the author of the comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes”

If it’s getting to the end of the day and you’re sitting and running through a list of all those tasks you need to reassign until tomorrow; you’re not alone. Trying to accomplish too much in one day is a fool’s game, no matter how admirable it may be. There’s simply never enough time to do it all – managing a family, work projects, house cleaning, hobbies, evening classes, etc. In fact, you’d have to be the Flash to get all that done, and he’d probably struggle too. So, if you’ve done your best work, and your team is satisfied, then it’s time to put down that computer or those tools, take a well-earned rest and accept that those tasks will simply have to wait until tomorrow.

Andy Warhol - time management quotes

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself”

Andy Warhol
American artist, film director, and producer who was a leading figure in the pop art

Time might pass and the day’s challenges with it, but if you want something to change in your life, then that’s down to you. If you’re content in how things are going, let time pass as it does. But if you have the desire for growth, and to push your company forward, then it’s time to get down to business. Make every moment count by actively engaging in activities that will make that happen. Start by monitoring what you currently do with your time (and what your team does), then adjust that to make it work more efficiently towards your goals. That way, you’ll soon become the pilot of your own success.

Chris Guillebeau - time management quotes

“The best time to start was last year. Failing that, today will do”

Chris Guillebeau
American non-fiction author, best known for The Art of Non-Conformity blog and book

What are you doing right this second? Aside from reading this article, that is. Are you planning your next meeting, wondering whether to create a conference call for the project or even to get started with that startup idea you had? If you’re like most of us, you might be ‘planning’ these things, but there’s never a deadline. You might say to yourself, “I’ll start on Monday.” Then Monday will roll around, and it’ll be next week, then the next. Take matters into your own hands and get started on working on making the future a reality. When? Well, there’s no better time than the present. What are you waiting for?

Mikhail Bulgakov - time management quotes

“One can find time for everything if one is never in a hurry”

Mikhail Bulgakov
Russian writer, medical doctor and playwright active, best known for his novel “The Master and Margarita”

“If only there were 25 hours in a day or 8 days in a week.” If you’ve caught yourself muttering these phrases, perhaps after another Sunday working, then you may have a problem with time management. Of course, there is enough time for everything if you have no deadlines, but that’s not the reality. To be able to optimize your day and make the most out of the precise time we have, while having a little time to relax, it’s essential to get your timekeeping in order. Sit down the night before and plan the day ahead. Try not to over-schedule yourself, as tempting as it may be, and be realistic about what you can accomplish in a day, without putting any undue stress on yourself. By planning in advance, you’ll save yourself a massive headache and will be able to head to bed and not worry about what tomorrow will bring.

Bonus

Kelly Bonneau - quotes about time

“Without Everhour, we would be unable to accurately track the hours associated with each individual project we are working on as a company”

Kelly Bonneau
Everhour client, Accounting Manager at 7shifts

Thanks, Kelly, for that fantastic quote! We can’t help but agree, and it’s not just our opinion.

Did you know?

Over 3,000+ teams of different sizes and industries choose Everhour to track time and expenses, properly bill their clients and better understand how long specific jobs took for future quotes and estimates for a reason.

Read what our clients actually had to say about us here.

Or, if you’re ready to make a change in your timekeeping habits – Get in touch and see how Everhour can help you get to grips with timekeeping for you and your business.

Mike Kulakov

IT entrepreneur, executive and a former engineer. Responsible for company growth as well as the team’s motivation. Big fan of playing tennis, snowboarding, traveling, reading books, and (of course) I live and breathe our product.