Quotes about Productivity

Ever since I landed in the productivity space, to say that I am crazy with productivity is probably an understatement. I think it’s an art to be efficient, and I find it really helpful to look at productivity quotes when I am feeling out of sort. So why not share them with the rest of the community? It’s really unproductive to be sharing 101 quotes about productivity with no context. So today, I am picking 11 powerful quotes about productivity that resonate with me. Hopefully, these productivity quotes can also motivate you and provide a much-needed boost!

Focus & Prioritize 

It is not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about? Henry David Thoreau

This quote about productivity really resonates with me. I remember at the start of my internship, I used to work really long hours. I let the hours define who I was. It felt great to tell others how “busy” I was. However… what was I really busy doing? This is why Henry’s quote resonates so much to me.

What are we really busy doing?

The ants are busy at work because they are doing jobs that are important to the colony. The entire colony survival depends on the worker ants.

Find your goal and passion, and be busy. Things started picking up at my internship when I started defining concrete goals and setting objectives to meet it.

Stressing output is the key to improving productivity, while looking to increase activity can result in just the opposite. – Paul Gauguin 

However, we got to be careful even when we are busy. Because being busy does not equate to being productive.

Are you busy being productive?

What is meant by being productive is truly leveraging the resources you have to accomplish more with less effort. This is why is important to really stress on the output, instead of increasing the work.

The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing. – Thomas A. Edison

It’s all about being honest with yourself when it comes to being productive.

Simplicity boils down to two steps: Identify the essential. Eliminate the rest. – Leo Babauta

In order to start being more productive and efficient in what we are doing, we have to focus on what is important. I follow the 80/20 principle really strongly. Are you spending 80% of your time to get 20% of the work done, or are you spending 20% of your time to get 80% of the work done? To get started, identify your 80/20 tasks and eliminate the unproductive tasks to improve your efficiency.


‘Tomorrow’ is the thing that’s always coming but never arrives. ‘Today’ is the thing that’s already here and never leaves. And because that’s the case, I would much prefer to invest in today than sit around waiting for an arrival that’s not arriving. – Craig D. Lounsbroug

This is one of my favorite quotes about productivity. How often do you find yourself pushing the deadline to the next day?

It’s always tomorrow, but as Lounsbrough highlighted, tomorrow never arrives. Spend some time investing in the task today and you will find your task progressing, slowly but surely.

You can’t get much done in life if you only work on days when you feel good. – Jerry West

Jerry West is an influential basketball player. A very disciplined individual, he believes in putting in his best efforts every day. If there is one thing that will never betray you, it is your effort. You will only see progress and feel productive when you put in the efforts needed.

Action is the foundational key to all success. – Picasso

At Hive, we believe in taking action. This is because actions activate information and bring about a change. You are now reading 11 quotes about productivity, it’s motivating and energizing. Yet nothing will change if you do not take any action. Through doing, the information can really be made useful. So go forth, and start doing.

If you have time to whine then you have time to find solution. – Dee Dee Artner

Dee Dee Artner is the author of Millionaire Focus. For any tasks that you are trying to complete, there will always be a problem to solve. However, if you waste your time just procrastinating about it, you will never find the solution. So take the time to find the solution. This sentiment is echoed by Bruce Lee as well.

If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done. – Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee believes that you should not spend too much time thinking about a problem as you will always be stuck on it. Move on to solve other aspects of the tasks then come back to the original problem. Often, you will find a new perspective to solve the original problem.


“My goal is no longer to get more done, but rather to have less to do.”
– Francine Jay

Once you find the system that works for you, you have developed a formula that will forever change how you work.

“Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year-and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!” – Tony Robbins

Time and productivity is a tricky thing, so keep improving the art of productivity! 🙂

I also created an infographic for easy access to these quotes. For more motivation, you can also check out my 15 favorite powerful quotes about teamwork.

quotes about productivity