The sooner I fall behind, the more time I have to catch up.
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 (1913–83) American Journalist, Author
In putting off what one has to do, one runs the risk of never being able to do it.
—Charles Baudelaire (1821–67) French Poet, Art Critic, Essayist, Translator
With mere good intentions hell is Proverbially paved.
—William James (1842–1910) American Philosopher, Psychologist, Physician
To do anything truly worth doing, I must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in with gusto and scramble through as well as I can.
—Og Mandino (1923–96) American Self-Help Author
Vagueness and procrastination are ever a comfort to the frail in spirit.
—John Updike (1932–2009) American Novelist, Poet, Short-Story Writer
The truth is that we live out our lives putting off all that can be put off; perhaps we all know deep down that we are immortal and that sooner or later all men will do and know all things.
—Jorge Luis Borges (1899–1986) Argentine Writer, Essayist, Poet
Begin while others are procrastinating. Work while others are wishing.
—William Arthur Ward (1921–94) American Author
Every beginning is hard.
Delay always breeds danger, and to protract a great design is often to ruin it.
—Miguel de Cervantes (1547–1616) Spanish Novelist
Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today. You may enjoy doing it so much that you want to do it again.
—Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826) American Head of State, Lawyer
The end of man is action.
—Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881) Scottish Historian, Essayist
We are very near to greatness: one step and we are safe; can we not take the leap?
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
Today’s greatest labor-saving device is tomorrow.
—Woodrow Wilson (1856–1924) American Head of State
Shun idleness. It is a rust that attaches itself to the most brilliant metals.
—Voltaire (1694–1778) French Philosopher, Author
Is not he imprudent, who, seeing the tide making toward him apace, will sleep till the sea overwhelms him?
Never do today what you can put off till tomorrow.—Delay may give clearer light as to what is best to be done.
Act—act in the living present.
—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–82) American Poet, Educator, Academic
What you theoretically know, vividly realize.
—Francis Thompson (1859–1907) English Poet, Ascetic
Procrastinators: Leaders of tomorrow.
Postponement: the sincerest form of rejection.
To be always intending to live a new life, but never to find time to set about it; this is as if a man should put off eating and drinking and sleeping from one day and night to another, till he is starved and destroyed.
Eighty percent of success is showing up.
—Woody Allen (b.1935) American Film Actor, Director
Be wise today; ’tis madness to defer; next day the fatal precedent will plead; thus on, till wisdom is push’d out of life.
—Edward Young (1683–1765) English Poet
The time to begin most things is ten years ago.
—Mignon McLaughlin (1913–83) American Journalist, Author
He who awaits much can expect little.
—Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1927–2014) Colombian Novelist, Short-Story Writer
Delay not to seize the hour.
—Aeschylus (525–456 BCE) Greek Poet
Beginnings are apt to be shadowy and so it is the beginnings of the great mother life, the sea.
—Rachel Carson (1907–64) American Naturalist, Science Writer
One of these days is none of these days.
Unhappy he who does his work adjourn, and to tomorrow would the search delay: his lazy morrow will be like today.
—Persius (34–62 CE) Roman Satirist
“Mean to” don’t pick no cotton.
The way to get ahead is to start now. If you start now, you will know a lot next year that you don’t know now and that you would not have known next year if you had waited.
—William Feather (1889–1981) American Publisher, Author
Words are mere bubbles of water, but deeds are drops of gold.
To avoid an occasion for our virtues is a worse degree of failure than to push forward pluckily and make a fall.
—Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–94) Scottish Novelist
We must not waste life in devising means. It is better to plan less and do more.
—William Ellery Channing (1780–1842) American Unitarian Theologian, Poet
He lay beside her, an insomniac with visions of vastness. He thought of desert stretches so huge no Chosen People could cross them. He counted grains of sand like sheep and knew his job would last forever. He thought of aeroplane views of wheatlands so high he couldn’t see which way the wind was bending the stalks. Arctic territories and sled-track distances.Miles he would never cover because he could never abandon this bed.
—Leonard Cohen (1934–2016) Canadian Singer, Songwriter, Poet, Novelist
Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.
Life, as it is called, is for most of us one long postponement.
—Henry Miller (1891–1980) American Novelist
The average American worker has fifty interruptions a day, of which seventy percent have nothing to do with work.
—W. Edwards Deming (1900–93) American Engineer, Statistician
Words gain credibility by deed.
—Terence (c.195–159 BCE) Roman Comic Dramatist
But is a word that cools many a warm impulse, stifles many a kindly thought, puts a dead stop to many a brotherly deed. No one would ever love his neighbor as himself if he listened to all the buts that could be said.
—Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton (1803–73) British Novelist, Poet, Politician
Only Robinson Crusoe had everything done by Friday.
Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
—Napoleon I (1769–1821) Emperor of France
Talking is easy, action difficult.
How soon ‘not now’ becomes ‘never’.
—Martin Luther (1483–1546) German Protestant Theologian
Nothing is more expensive than penuriousness, nothing more anxious than carelessness, and every duty which is bidden to wait returns with seven fresh duties at its back.
—Charles Kingsley (1819–75) English Clergyman, Academic, Historian, Novelist
You know you are getting old when it takes too much effort to procrastinate.
Don’t say you don’t have enough time.
You have exactly the same number of hours per day
that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur,
Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci,
Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.
—H. Jackson Brown, Jr. (b.1940) American Self-Help Author
When the morning’s freshness has been replaced by the weariness of midday, when the leg muscles give under the strain, the climb seems endless, and suddenly nothing will go quite as you wish-it is then that you must not hesitate.
—Dag Hammarskjold (1905–61) Swedish Statesman, UN Diplomat
If you don’t place your foot on the rope, you’ll never cross the chasm.