It’s About Time: Why Time Is of the Essence
Time is inexorable. Death is inevitable. There are 24 hours in a day.
Those are the facts. Want some more?
You get 700,000 hours in a lifetime (average U.S. life expectancy).
You’ll use 185,000 before you turn 21. You’ll spend 60,000 of them over 70. You’ll sleep through 152,000 of what’s left. You’ll eat and drink 45,000 of the remainder. You’ll poop, wash or groom away 10,000 more.
Which leaves you 248,000 hours to invest in the prime of your life.
That’s 10,000 full days. Or just 35% of the allowance you started with.
In other words… time is short.
And while “time intentionally wasted is never wasted time”…
And while “there’s more to life than increasing its speed”…
We could all use the occasional reminder of how precious and fleeting time is.
Which is why, below, you’ll find my 25 favourite inspiring time quotes.
You’ll find quotes on time management.
You’ll find quotes on wasted time.
You’ll find quotes on passing time; quotes on making time last a bit longer.
I hope they resonate. I hope they inspire. But most of all, I hope these famous quotes about time help you pause, if only for a moment, and decide how to best use it next.
So without further delay…
Here’s The Art of Living‘s collection of the 25 best quotes on time…
Time Quotes: The 25 Best Quotes About Time
1. DON’T JUST SPEND TIME – USE IT.
Arthur Schopenhauer was a German philosopher during the Romantic Era. His works greatly influenced artists, writers, scientists and other philosophers through the 19th and 20th centuries. The first of our time quotes reminds us that utilizing time is an indication of greatness. Don’t just spend time willy-nilly!
2. YOU HAVE TO MAKE TIME.
Charles Buxton was a brewer, writer, and a member of the Parliament of England during the 1800s. This time quote speaks of the reality that you don’t find time to do things randomly. You choose to make time actively. If you really want to do something, you must go the extra mile and make time for it.
3. TIME IS PRETTY MUCH LIKE MONEY.
Graham Duncan is an entrepreneur and co-founder of East Rock Capital, an investment firm that manages around $2 billion for families and foundations. The third of our time quotes reminds us to think about time the same way we think about money. You’re already a time billionaire. Now it’s up to you to invest it wisely.
4. TIME IS PRECIOUS.
Theophrastus was a Greek philosopher with a wide range of interests. He studied in Plato’s school and was a successor to Aristotle. This quote is about the foundation of most time management quotes. Time is valuable. Use it wisely to make it count!
5. CARPE DIEM.
Benjamin Franklin was one of the greatest polymaths of all time. Some of the leading roles he played include being a writer, scientist, inventor, humorist, civic activist, statesman, diplomat politician and so on. His advice is direct – don’t procrastinate, do it today!
6. IT’S OKAY TO BE STINGY WITH YOUR TIME.
Seneca was one of the most famous Stoic philosophers during the time of the ancient Roman Empire. This quote points out that we have to be frugal with our use of time in the same way that we are with our money and other resources.
7. PRIORITIZE AND OPTIMIZE.
Brian Tracy is a well-known Canadian-American motivational speaker and self-development author. #7 in our list of top time quotes speaks to prioritization as a way of ensuring that you make the most out of your time. Figure out what the most important thing is, and do it first. This applies not only to your work but to your life in general as well!
8. MAKE TIME FOR QUALITY PEOPLE.
Leo Christopher is an American author and a poet from Memphis, Tennessee. This saying about time highlights the fact that being mindful of whom you spend your time with is as important as being mindful of every single second that passes by. Quality over quantity, because time is precious!
9. TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR TIME.
Michael Altshuler is an author, speaker, and consultant on the topics of sales, business and leadership. This quote emphasizes that time flies quickly, but you are always in control of it. Pilot it to ensure that you get the most mileage out of it.
10. NOT A SINGLE MINUTE WASTED.
Charles Darwin was an English biologist most famous for his contributions to science, particularly to the theory of evolution. In the 10th of our best times quotes, he reminds us that the value of life is that there is a limited amount of time, so you should not waste a second of it.
11. DO IT NOW.
George Herbert was a Welsh priest, poet, and orator in the 1600s. He is called “one of the foremost British devotional lyricists”. This time quote is all about being active with the things you want in your life. There might not be a perfect time to do it. Act now, and everything else you need will follow because you will get better.
12. IT’S ALL ABOUT PRIORITIES.
Naval Ravikant is the co-founder of AngelList. He is widely known for his wisdom on life, money, and business. This quote states that if something is your priority, you’ll definitely have time for it. It’s a powerful thing to understand because how you spend your time shows you what your priorities in life are.
13. ACT NOW, PROFIT LATER.
Warren Buffett is one of the most successful investors in the world. He is an American philanthropist, business magnate and one of the richest person on Earth. This quote expands on the idea of investing time as your actions influence the future. Make your actions count now so you can contribute to making the future a little better.
14. FIRST AND FOREMOST, MANAGE TIME.
Peter Drucker is known as “the founder of modern management”. He was an Austrian-born American educator, management consultant, and author whose work has defined the foundations of the modern business corporation. This quote is about the scarcity of time and the importance of ensuring that it’s spent properly. Everything in life depends on how well you manage time.
15. THE LITTLE MOMENTS MATTER.
Rose Kennedy was a matriarch of the Kennedy Family and is the mother of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. This entry on our list of time quotes explains that you should not measure your life by what you define as “milestones” – those only come few and far between. Measure it in moments and make each one count.
16. LOVING LIFE MEANS NOT WASTING TIME.
Bruce Lee is one of modern history’s most influential martial artists. His philosophy has made a great impact in the realm of fighting and the way of living. These famous quotes about time point to the reality that life is a series of moments, one leading up to the next. Every second counts – so don’t waste it.
17. STOP WASTING TIME.
Seneca, who wrote the primary material for ancient Stoicism, highlights the fact that time seems scarce because most of the time, we waste a good deal of it. One of my favourite time quotes on the list!
18. BE MINDFUL OF YOUR TIME.
William Penn was an English writer and founder of the English North American colony, the Province of Pennsylvania in the 1700s. This quote talks about how most people aren’t mindful of how they spend their time. They don’t realize that the reason they lack it is that they didn’t manage it in the first place.
19. INVEST YOUR TIME AND REAP THE BENEFITS.
Stephen R. Covey was an American businessman and author, who wrote the popular self-help book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. This powerful entry in our list of top time quotes emphasizes the importance of making sure that you get returns from the time you spend. Much like money, invest your time in the things that are worth your while.
20. TIME IS A VALUABLE RESOURCE.
Steve Jobs was the co-founder of Apple and one of the most influential business magnates of the 21st century. Like most successful people, he recognized that time is the most valuable resource.
21. TIME’S PARADOX
Harvey Mackay is an accomplished businessman and the author of seven New York Times bestselling books, including three number one bestsellers. This time quote is fascinating because it illustrates the true nature of time. It constantly moves forward, and it’s up to you to make the most out of it.
22. REMEMBER TO PRIORITIZE.
Tim Ferriss is an American author and entrepreneur, who popularised the concept of Lifestyle Design with his book The 4-Hour Workweek. This quote talks about the fact that maybe the reason you find yourself out of time is that you haven’t worked out your priorities yet. Determining priorities is one of the basic tenets of time management.
23. VALUE YOUR OWN AND OTHER PEOPLE’S TIME.
William Shakespeare, the iconic English bard, is widely regarded as the greatest writer and dramatist of all time. This quote talks about preparedness and ensuring that you don’t waste time. Time is precious; don’t waste other people’s time by being late and don’t waste your time by not being prepared.
24. CONTROLLING TIME MEANS BEING IN CONTROL.
Brian P. Moran is an American Motivational Speaker and Productivity Trainer. This quote on time management talks about the relationship between time and your desired output. Take control of your time to ensure that you get the results you want.
25. BE THE MASTER OF YOUR OWN TIME.
Tony Robbins is a famous American philanthropist, motivational speaker, and life coach who continues to impact millions with his books, audios, and seminars. This final entry in our collection of best time quotes talks about the nature of time. Most people overestimate how much they can do in a year and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade. Keep this in mind as you use your grit to power through the hard times.
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