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Quotations for Motivation #45 --- Procrastination

Updated on March 8, 2011

Quotations on Procrastination (Set No. 2)

Most of us are the kind of people who put things off until we have to do them. If there is a certain amount of production we are responsible for each day, we wait until the latest possible minute to get it out. In short, the tendency of most of us is to do as little as possible and "get by." If we have a letter to write, so long as it doesn't involve love or money coming in, we put off writing it as long as we can. The plan works very well with letters. Hold letters thirty days and most of them won't have to be answered at all. But the fact remains that those who get along best in the world, who make its outstanding successes, are those who do not wait until they HAVE to do something. They have energy. They form the habit of industry. They don't worry about inspirations or moods. They work, like it or not. They produce.

—Grove H. Patterson, Milwaukee Sentinel, Milwaukee, Wis., Aug. 22, 1930.

Indefiniteness of purpose and procrastination are the greatest enemies of success. They are twins, born of each other.

The world has no faith in the man who wabbles, who lacks a definite purpose, but it always makes way for the man who is headed straight for his goal, the man who knows what he wants and is going for it with all his might.

There are [people who] have put off and put off so long that there is very little hope of their ever starting. Yet all they need is a little more of the projectile force of a strong, definite purpose that will take them straight to whatever they may desire. ...

If I were asked to give one reason for a majority of the failures in life it would be this indefiniteness of purpose, lack of a great, overpowering purpose.

—Orison Swett Marden, The Chicago Daily News, Chicago, Ill., Oct. 29, 1917.

There are in this country today thousands of victims of the putter-off habit; procrastination runs in their blood.

They have put off so long that there is very little hope of their ever starting. Yet all they need is a little more of the projectile force of a strong, definite purpose that will take them straight to whatever they may desire. ...

If I were asked to give one reason for a majority of failures in life it would be this--indefiniteness, lack of a great, overmastering purpose.

"If you want a thing, go straight for it." This was the excellent working motto of a great English statesman.

Are you going straight for the thing you want? If not, what are you waiting for? Why don't you begin?

When you left school or college you probably felt that you were going to make yourself felt, yet here you are, many years afterward, almost where you were at the start. What is the matter?

Indefiniteness of purpose and procrastination are the greatest enemies of success. They are twins, born of each other.

The world has no faith in the man who wobbles, who lacks a definite purpose, but it always makes way for the man who is headed straight for his goal, the man who knows what he wants and is going for it with all his might.

Why don't you begin now to focus on the thing which you have started out to do? Though you have hesitated, wavered and waited all these years without doing what you expected to do, there is still time to do something. Do not hesitate any longer because you think conditions will be more favorable than today. Today is the best day of the year. Today is the day, my friend, to begin to improve your condition. The present moment is the only time that is assured you. Tomorrow may not be yours, but today is yours. Seize it, grasp it, wring every possibility out of it before you let it pass.

—Orison Swett Marden, The Chicago Daily News, Chicago, Ill., March 26, 1920.

To procrastinate is a psychological sin; to put off is ambition's suicide.

—David V. Bush, How To Fulfill Your Desires, Chicago, Ill., 1929.

You can't finish the job you never start.

—Jerome P. Fleishman, Journal of Living, New York, N.Y., February 1950.

Procrastination is the spark that ignites the quitter's flame.

—Willard K. Lasher, How You Can Get a Better Job, Chicago, Ill., 1954.

Procrastination is desolation.

—Frederick A. Hatch, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Feb. 28, 1898.

What’s put off to a more convenient time, invariably turns up when it is twice as hard to do it.

—Grady Imes, The Starkville News, Starkville, Miss., May 2, 1941.

"I should do this today, but I don't feel like it, and I'm going to wait until tomorrow," is often heard. All of us have said it. Perhaps we have drifted into the habit of saying it, and saying it too often too. A habit is easily formed, and this is one which will get us into more trouble than one would think, on first breath. ...

Laziness provokes more put-offs than anything else. Any task is never very hard, once one is set to it; once it is begun and gets going. ... It is just getting started, that's all. The worst of everything and anything is over after one gets started.

"Get up and get," or what we ordinarily term energy, is best formed by cultivating a habit for it just like many other habits. If we allow ourselves to cultivate or practice laziness and the custom of putting off until tomorrow what ought to be done today, we soon will be in a very bad way. Good habits, energy for work, wealth and comforts are amassed by people who, early in life, evade the habit of putting it off until tomorrow.

—Emmett J. Lee, The Gazette, Farmerville, La., Aug. 30, 1933.

If you put things off, you’ll seldom put them over.

—Purser Hewitt, The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss., Oct. 25, 1969.

The job you put off until tomorrow probably got the same treatment yesterday.

—Mark Beltaire, Sarasota Journal, Sarasota, Fla., June 16, 1980.

Putting it off until tomorrow is the reason we had so little to do yesterday.

—Lee R. Call, Star Valley Independent, Afton, Wyo., Aug. 28, 1959.

Procrastination is the most dangerous assailant of usefulness.

—Phil Conley, The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss., July 20, 1948.

Some people are so busy writing "tomorrow never comes," that they do not know today is going.

—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., July 15, 1906.

About half a man's time is spent in doing the things he should have done yesterday.

—Roy E. Gibson, Nephi Times-News, Nephi, Utah, June 9, 1955.

Failure is a cocktail whose ingredients usually are laziness, procrastination and non-service.

—W.A. MacKenzie, Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, Fla., Feb. 27, 1923.

Procrastination is the knock in the motor of progress.

—W.A. MacKenzie, Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, Fla., July 5, 1924.

The trouble with a lot of us is that we adopt the wrong nation–procrastination.

—W.A. MacKenzie, The Leesburg Morning Commercial, Leesburg, Fla. ,Feb. 9, 1927.

When duty is plain, delay is both foolish and hazardous. To keep putting off through just sheer inactivity is evidence of indolence and weakness. Procrastination steals time, and time is the stuff of which life is made. Every day is critical and every hour decisive in your work, and the one with a superior wisdom and diligence acts accordingly. It should not be a question of whether the way one does a thing will ever be found out, the self-respect of the worker ought to be sufficient to deter one from any slight due to the fact that no one is checking up on me. When it comes to doing anything as it ought to be done, there is no substitute for thoroughness, perseverance and diligent effort.

—Henry W. Minor, Christian Index, Atlanta, Ga., Feb. 25, 1943.

Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today–the taxes may go up.

—John Mooney, Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City, Utah, Nov. 9, 1951.

Beware of unconscious deterioration. It is human nature to put off until tomorrow the things that ought to be done now. It is human nature to think that tomorrow the task will be easier and you will be better prepared to cope with it. It is human nature to believe that what you lack of accomplishing today you can double up tomorrow. It is this drifting into habit, this drifting into the undesirable, drifting into eternity, that is to be dreaded. The saddest of all sights is the drifting soul, the derailed manhood. Drifting into habits will never win first place. Great seagoing vessels are anchored to the solid land. Their masters know that trusted to the sea the treacherous undercurrents will bear the ship into danger and destruction. You need to turn your face like flint against all tendency to drift. It takes a man to win. It is not an easy thing. Nothing worthwhile comes by chance. ... The world cannot measure the possibility of the man with endurance. It is that and not brilliance which wins. The man who never gives up will accomplish what he aims to do. Your own personality must count. What are you living for?

—J.L. Morris, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, June 4, 1906.

Today is generally too late for those who don't think tomorrow may be.

—Grantland Rice, New York Tribune, New York, N.Y., Jan. 18, 1920.

A procrastinator is a fellow who will stoop at nothing to conquer.

—Dana Robbins, The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss., May 5, 1970.

Life is a battle royal between the postponers and the posthaters, and the posthaters win. One great word stands out in the vocabulary of opportunity and it is the simple word N-O-W. ...

Procrastination, irresolution, languidness, failure, idleness, weakness of character--these are the milestones of life which lead over the precipice we call "Failure." ...

I think that one of the most potent words in the English language is the word, "N-O-W." It signifies ambition, initiative, as opposed to the sit-back, take-it-easy, drift-devil method in which a good many people live.

Oh, there is one word in the vocabulary of opportunity, and it is spelled N-O-W!

—Billy Sunday, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Jan. 6, 1919.

Procrastination is called the thief of time. It also steals our reputation for dependability and makes our job seem more difficult.

—Paul A. Wellington, Stride, Independence, Mo., April 1957.

NOTE: For more quotations on Procrastination, see the following Hub: Quotations for Motivation #3


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    Janell Rhiannon 

    7 years ago from CA, USA



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