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

Being productive is a key personal attribute that helps (and 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 referenced to help illustrate Our Story, this quote from the inspirational martial artist Bruce Lee is simple but powerful. It’s productive to think, but don’t overdo it otherwise you’ll never execute.


Photo of Johann Wolfgang Von Goeth with reference to a famous productivity quote
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”. Realize greater outcomes when “doing”.


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, which included looking ahead and staying positive, enabled her to push boundaries and reach goals most people deemed impossible at the time.


Photo of Peter Drucker - Peter has many famous productivity quotes
Source: Wikipedia

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

— Peter Drucker

Management consultant and author, Peter Drucker, touched on an important part of our everyday lives that many of us still have a large tendency to do. We focus a lot of our time on tasks that are unnecessary or provide little value.


Photo of Walt Disney - a master of productive leadership
Source: Wikipedia

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

— Walt Disney

Walt Disney was a pioneer of the American animation industry, and he emphasized the need to get on with things if you want to make progress. A lot of us are guilty of spending too much time communicating during our working day, and not enough “doing”. We often spend excessive time in needless meetings, participating in small talk around the office (or via video calls), and instant messaging with friends.


Photo of Henry Ford - many famous productivity quotes were made by 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 increasing productivity. This resonates with our mindset: being less busy in the workplace equates to a higher quality output, enabling you to achieve more.


Photo of Martha Stewart
Source: Wikipedia

“Life is too complicated not to be orderly.”

— Martha Stewart

The American businesswoman identified the reality of requiring solid structure in our day-to-day lives, and this is essential for our professional activities too. 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 we can do ordinary things, yet still achieve exceptional results. By breaking down large and challenging work into small and simplified tasks, completing objectives feels more attainable vs. so far out of reach.


Photo of Arthur Schopenhauer - followed by a famous productivity quote about maximizing your time
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 by not wasting it.


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 was arguably being modest with this statement, yet it holds strong relevance for many of us. Often we like to focus on the easier/less important tasks and problems, therefore delaying the most important or challenging ones, or even overlooking them entirely.

There you have it – our best famous productivity quotes!

Are there any other quotes that deserve a place on the list? Let us know in the comments section.


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 teams and other individuals 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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