Short as life is, we make it still shorter by the careless waste of time.
—Victor Hugo (1802–85) French Novelist
I wish I could stand on a busy corner, hat in hand, and beg people to throw me all their wasted hours.
—Bernard Berenson (1865–1959) American Art Critic, Historian
The way to wealth is as plain as the way to market. It depends chiefly on two words, industry and frugality; that is, waste neither time nor money, but make the best use of both. Without industry and frugality, nothing will do; and with them, everything.
—Benjamin Franklin (1706–90) American Political Leader, Inventor, Diplomat
Waste not, want not. Wilful waste makes woful want.
Rust wastes more than use.
All that really belongs to us is time; even he who has nothing else has that.
—Baltasar Gracian (1601–58) Spanish Scholar, Prose Writer
The word which gives the key to the national vice is waste. And people who are wasteful are not wise, neither can they remain young and vigorous. In order to transmute energy to higher and more subtle levels one must first conserve it.
—Henry Miller (1891–1980) American Novelist
Everyone should keep a mental wastepaper basket and the older he grows the more things he will consign to it—torn up to irrecoverable tatters.
He who is the cause of another’s advancement is thereby the cause of his own ruin.
—Niccolo Machiavelli (1469–1527) Florentine Political Philosopher
The waste of life occasioned by trying to do too many things at once is appalling.
—Orison Swett Marden (1850–1924) American New Thought Writer, Physician, Entrepreneur
Willful waste brings woeful want.
—Thomas Fuller (1608–61) English Cleric, Historian
Waste is worse than loss. The time is coming when every person who lays claim to ability will keep the question of waste before him constantly. The scope of thrift is limitless.
—Thomas Edison (1847–1931) American Inventor, Scientist, Entrepreneur
As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.
—Henry David Thoreau (1817–62) American Philosopher
It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste.
—Henry Ford (1863–1947) American Businessperson, Engineer
The greatest wastes are unused talents and untried ideas.
Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.
—Theophrastus (c.372–c.286 BCE) Greek Philosopher
The injury of prodigality leads to this, that he that will not economize will have to agonize.
—Confucius (551–479 BCE) Chinese Philosopher
Many people take no care of their money till they come nearly to the end of it, and others do just the same with their time.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) German Poet
All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you. The only thing blame does is to keep the focus off you when you are looking for external reasons to explain your unhappiness or frustration. You may succeed in making another feel guilty about something by blaming him, but you won’t succeed in changing whatever it is about you that is making you unhappy.
—Wayne Dyer (1940–2015) American Self-Help Author
What is taken from the fortune, also, may haply be so much lifted from the soul. The greatness of a loss, as the proverb suggests, is determinable, not so much by what we have lost, as by what we have left.
—Christian Nestell Bovee (1820–1904) American Writer, Aphorist
The waste of plenty is the resource of scarcity.
—Thomas Love Peacock (1785–1866) English Satirist, Novelist, Author
In delay we waste our lights in vain, like lamps by day.
—William Shakespeare (1564–1616) British Playwright
Time is what we want most, but what alas! we use worst.
—William Penn (1644–1718) American Entrepreneur, Political leader, Philosopher
We are condemned to kill time, thus we die bit by bit.
—Octavio Paz (1914–98) Mexican Poet, Diplomat
Pour the bulk of your time into action, not deciding. The state of indecision is a major time waster. Don’t spend more than 60 seconds in that state if you can avoid it. Make a firm, immediate decision, and move from uncertainty to certainty to action. Let the world tell you when you’re wrong, and you’ll soon build enough experience to make accurate, intelligent decisions.
—Steve Pavlina (b.1971) American Motivational Speaker
Most inputs are useless and time is wasted in proportion to the amount that is available.
—Tim Ferriss (b.1977) American Self-help Author
The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.
—Bertrand A. Russell (1872–1970) British Philosopher, Mathematician, Social Critic
Excesses are essentially gestures. It is easy to be extremely cruel, magnanimous, humble or self-sacrificing when we see ourselves as actors in a performance.
—Eric Hoffer (1902–83) American Philosopher, Author
Next to the dog, the wastebasket is man’s best friend.
The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom; for we never know what is enough until we know what is more than enough.
—William Blake (1757–1827) English Poet, Painter, Printmaker