We have compiled a list of what we think are the best famous productivity quotes for motivation and inspiration.

Being productive was (and still is) a key personal attribute that helped many great leaders and inspirational figures to achieve their goals and push themselves further.


Photo of Bruce Lee
Source: Wikipedia

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

— Bruce Lee

Also used to help illustrate Our Story, this quote from the inspirational martial artist Bruce Lee is simple but powerful. It’s great and can be productive to think, but don’t overdo it otherwise you will never execute.


Photo of Johann Wolfgang Von Goeth
Source: Wikipedia

“To think is easy. To act is difficult. To act as one thinks is the most difficult.”

— Johann Wolfgang Von Goeth

The influential German novelist clearly identified the difference between the “thinking” and the “doing”, in that the “doing” is where you take your efforts to the next level.


Photo of Nancy Astor
Source: Wikipedia

“It is hopeless trying to go forward when you are looking backward.”

— Nancy Astor

Nancy Astor was a British politician and the first (seated) female Member of Parliament. Nancy’s productive mindset of looking ahead and being positive, enabled her to push boundaries and reach goals most would have deemed impossible at the time.


Photo of Peter Drucker
Source: Wikipedia

“Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all.”

— Peter Drucker

Management consultant, author and educator, Peter Drucker, touches on an important part of our day-to-day which many of us have a large tendency to do – focusing a lot of our time on tasks that are not necessary to complete.


Photo of Walt Disney
Source: Wikipedia

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

— Walt Disney

A pioneer of the American animation industry, Walt Disney emphasized the need to get on with it if you want to make progress. A lot of us are guilty of spending too much time communicating during our working day; whether that’s in needless meetings, small talk around the office (or via video calls in today’s world), or instant messaging with friends.


Photo of Henry Ford
Source: Wikipedia

“Improved productivity means less human sweat, not more.”

— Henry Ford

Henry Ford, an American business magnate, highlighted the importance of less is more when it comes to being more productive. This resonates seamlessly with our mindset that being less busy and doing less hours on the job, equates to increased productivity.


Photo of Martha Stewart
Source: Wikipedia

“Life is too complicated not to be orderly.”

— Martha Stewart

The American businesswomen and writer identified the reality of needing solid structure in our day-to-day lives, and this relates heavily to our professional activities too. If we are to be efficient and get ahead, we need to support our efforts with routines and process.


Photo of Warren Buffett
Source: Wikipedia

“It is not necessary to do extraordinary things to get extraordinary results.”

— Warren Buffett

Business tycoon, Warren Buffett mentioned that all of us not need to be extraordinary to achieve our goals. By breaking down a large/challenging workload or problem into small and simplified tasks, that goal which seemed so far away can be realized more easily.


Photo of Arthur Schopenhauer
Source: Wikipedia

“Ordinary people think merely of spending time, great people think of using it.”

— Arthur Schopenhauer

German philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer, compared the outlook on time between ordinary and extraordinary people. Use your time wisely, don’t waste it on the unnecessary.


Photo of Albert Einstein
Source: Wikipedia

“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

— Albert Einstein

The theoretical physicist is arguably being modest with this statement, yet it holds a strong relevance with many of us. We have a tendency to focus on the easier/less important tasks and problems, therefore delaying the most important or challenging ones or even leaving them entirely.

There you have it – our best famous productivity quotes, and ones which will never get old.


As the founder of LessBizy, Dean is obsessed with productivity and credits the majority of his career "wins" to maximizing it where possible. In the last 10 years Dean has continually explored and implemented small and large changes to increase his own productivity, as well as helped others to do the same. Dean's background is in technology consulting, project management and operations transformation, and during the past 5 years he's held senior leadership roles for various large multi-national companies.

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