When you find a quote that resonates with you—and we’re confident some of these productivity quotes will do just that—it’s worth hanging on to. That’s the beauty of a few well-said words. They summarize something important, something worth being reminded of, and they fill you with fire every time you hear, read, or say them.
We’ve selected these productivity quotes because they cover various aspects of productivity, from prioritizing to finding your focus to that all-important link between getting stuff done and feeling happy. Be sure to note the quotes about productivity that get you fired up so you can refer back to them when you need a little inspiration.
19 Inspiring Productivity Quotes to Get You Moving
“A woodpecker can tap twenty times on a thousand trees and get nowhere, but stay busy. Or he can tap twenty-thousand times on one tree and get dinner.”
—Seth Godin, author and marketing guru in The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick)
“The Principle of Priority states (a) you must know the difference between what is urgent and what is important, and (b) you must do what’s important first.”
—Steven Pressfield, author, in The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
“It’s about looking at the whole of one’s time and seeing where the good stuff can go… Even if we are busy, we have time for what matters. And when we focus on what matters, we can build the lives we want in the time we’ve got.”
—Laura Vanderkam, author and speaker in her TED talk How To Gain Control Of Your Free Time
“The secret to high performance isn’t rewards and punishments, but that unseen intrinsic drive —the drive to do things for their own sake. The drive to do things cause they matter.”
—Dan Pink, author and analyst, in his TED talk The Puzzle of Motivation
“I value self-discipline, but creating systems that make it next to impossible to misbehave is more reliable than self-control.”
—Tim Ferriss, author, entrepreneur, and public speaker in an interview with The Observer
On finding your focus
“Efforts to deepen your focus will struggle if you don’t simultaneously wean your mind from a dependence on distraction.”
—Cal Newport, author and computer scientist in Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
“An important part of any focusing regimen is to set aside time at the end of the day—just before going to sleep—to acknowledge your successes, review your goals, focus on your successful future, and make specific plans for what you want to accomplish the next day.”
—Jack Canfield, author, motivational speaker, and entrepreneur in The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be
“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.”
—Steve Jobs, entrepreneur and co-founder of Apple
On managing energy
“Remember, you and you alone are responsible for maintaining your energy. Give up blaming, complaining and excuse making, and keep taking action in the direction of your goals—however mundane or lofty they may be.”
On the link between positivity and productivity
“Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them. They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures, and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closer to the fulfillment of their goals rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them.”
—Jack Canfield in The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be
“If you can raise somebody’s level of positivity in the present, then their brain experiences what we now call a happiness advantage… Your intelligence rises, your creativity rises, your energy levels rise. In fact, we’ve found that every single business outcome improves. Your brain at positive is 31% more productive than your brain at negative, neutral or stressed.”
—Shawn Achor in his TED talk, The Happy Secret To Better Work
On productivity and happiness
“Happiness is not just a mood—it’s a work ethic.”
—Shawn Achor in The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work
“Human beings, it seems, are at their best when immersed deeply in something challenging.”
—Cal Newport in Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
We hope these productivity quotes kicked you into gear if you needed it or just reminded you of the why behind your work. We all need that reminder sometimes, and thankfully, we have access to it whenever we want through the wise words of experts like these. Go get those goals today. We’re right behind you.
Your turn: Which of the productivity quotes we featured struck a nerve with you? Did we miss any? Tell us more in the comments.
Want more productivity quotes…or just inspirational quotes in general? Here are over 82 of them that say it all when you need it most.
Author: Tania Braukamper
Tania Braukamper is an Australian-born writer and photographer. She believes in curiosity, kindness, and adventure as a state of mind.