25 Motivational Time Management Quotes From the World's Most Successful Leaders

Ask any successful leader about the one resource they need to manage most effectively and they’ll all give the same answer: time. When your schedule is jammed packed with a slew of responsibilities, there’s little room to waste a single minute of the day.

While business leaders have different approaches to time management, the one common thread is that they recognize time as the most critical asset that exists because it’s so finite.

At Timesheet Mobile, we’re always thinking about ways to improve how we spend our workdays – and how we can help our customers achieve this as well. Below is a list of quotes from some of the world’s most successful people ... may they motivate and inspire you! 

“Time waste differs from material waste in that there can be no salvage.” — Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company

“The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.” — Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

"The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves." — Barbara Corcoran, real estate mogul and investor on Shark Tank

“In your life you only get to do so many things and right now we’ve chosen to do this, so let’s make it great.” — Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple

“Time is money. Use it wisely.” — Folorunsho Alakija, fashion and oil tycoon

“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.” – Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the modern telephone

“Always focus on the front windshield and not the rearview mirror.” Colin Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State

“To do two things at once is to do neither.”  Publius Syrus, ancient Roman writer

“Disciplined use of the time everybody else wastes can give you an edge. The now rich and famous writer of legal thrillers, Scott Turow, wrote his first novel using only his morning commutes into New York City on the train. All around him, others just killed the same time. For most people, these minutes don’t matter. But they can. So when you say to yourself “it’s only 10 minutes,” you miss the entire point of time.”Dan Kennedy, management guru and author of No BS Ruthless Management of People and Profits

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” — Warren Buffett, legendary investor and second wealthiest American

“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” Dwight Eisenhower, former U.S. President

“Everything requires time. It is the one truly universal condition. All work takes place in time and uses up time. Yet most people take for granted this unique, irreplaceable and necessary resource. Nothing else, perhaps, distinguishes effective executives as much as their tender loving care of time.” — Peter Drucker, renowned management consultant

“Because a big portion of what I do doesn’t have a rhythm or predictable cadence to it, I've made it an even bigger priority to create routine where I can.” — Sara Blakely, creator of Spanx

“You can only do so much. There are five more projects you want to do, but you pick the three that are really going to matter, and you try to do those really well, and you don’t even try to do the others.” — Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO and author of Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead and Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy

“The least productive people are usually the ones who are most in favor of holding meetings.” Thomas Sowell, acclaimed economist and author

"Do one thing at once. Stop multitasking!" — Mike Cannon-Brookes, founder of technology company, Atlassian

"Take a colleague and go to a cafeteria or go to a table away from your desk in your office and have lunch. Even if you take 20 minutes to do that, it's more recharging than what so many of us do which is eating lunch while working." — Arianna Huffington, media mogul

"If you want to build great products, devote more than 50 percent of your work hours to product. Don't accept [any engagements] if you can't justify them as benefiting your users or your company." — Mark Pincus, co-founder and CEO of Zynga

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” Bruce Lee, iconic martial artist and actor

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” — Benjamin Franklin, inventor, diplomat and a Founding Father of the United States

“I think the hardest part of aging really is recognizing the time that you wasted and the things that you worried about that really didn’t matter…. That’s really the only regret that I have.” — Oprah Winfrey, talk show host, entrepreneur and wealthiest woman of African descent in the world

“The essence of self-discipline is to do the important thing rather than the urgent thing.” – Barry Werner, sportscaster

"It's very easy to get distracted by your inbox or phone. When I have a big project or when I need to get something done — and done well — I shut down my email, I turn off my phone, and I put on some of my favorite music. I just dig in and get it done." — Koel Thomae, co-founder of Noosa Yoghurt

“Time = life; therefore, waste your time and waste of your life, or master your time and master your life.” — Alan Lakein, author of How to Get Control of Your Time

“It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?” — Henry David Thoreau, American essayist, poet and philosopher

As these quotes demonstrate, not all successful people speak or think the same way about time. Some believe in making rigid plans. Others believe in thinking ahead but not necessarily committing to a certain action. Some believe that devoting time to daydreaming, resting or sleeping are key to their success.

But what all of these people clearly understand is that, no matter how you choose to use your time, you cannot afford to be careless about it. Time, like money, can be spent in very different ways, but it needs to be used thoughtfully.

Need even more inspiration? Download our Time Management eBook.

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