50 Time Wasting Quotes: Keep Things Simple and Consciously Choose Where You Place Your Energy

Written by Domantas Vanagas

November 9, 2021

Time management eludes so many people, even though there is so much information about it! Even the ancients offered advice in this area. Seneca advised:

“It is not that we have so little time but that we lose so much. … The life we receive is not short but we make it so; we are not ill provided but use what we have wastefully.”

― Lucius Annaeus Seneca, On the Shortness of Life

In this list of wasting time quotes, you will find a few subdivided lists that contain everything from normal wasting time quotes to the odd quote about wasting time on someone who is not worth it!

Many authors on this list point out that while we all have the same amount of time, most of us do not manage it wisely. For example, in Henry David Thoreau’s time wasting quotes below, he exhorts readers to live simply to live happily. Sort of a minimalistic philosophy of life.

Funny Time Wasting Quotes

  1. “Never waste any time you can spend sleeping.”
    ― Frank H. Knight
  2. “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they pass.” — Douglas Adams
  3. “Time and tide wait for no man. A pompous and self-satisfied proverb, and was true for a billion years; but in our day of electric wires and water- ballast we turn it around: Man waits not for time nor tide.” — Mark Twain
  4. “Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going.” — Sam Levenson
  5. “I’m going to stop putting things off, starting tomorrow!” — Sam Levenson


Serious and Compact Wasting Your Time Quotes

  1. “A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.” ― Charles Darwin
  2. “If you don’t have time for the small things, you won’t have time for the big things.” — Richard Branson
  3. “Regret is useless in life. It’s in the past. All we have is now.” — Marlon Brando
  4. “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” — Mae West
  5. “I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.” — Lucille Ball
  6. “Conditions are never perfect. ‘Someday’ is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it ‘eventually,’ just do it and correct course along the way.” — Tim Ferriss
  7. “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…don’t even try to do the others.” — Sheryl Sandberg
  8. “If you are reading this then you have wasted another day of your life day dreaming, rather than planning the life God intended you to live.” — Shannon L. Alder
  9. “Never waste a minute thinking about people you don’t like.” ― Dwight D. Eisenhower
  10. “If you don’t invest your life in what you really care for, your life will be wasted. You will not fly – you will just drag yourself through life.” — Jaggi Vasudev
  11. “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” — Pablo Picasso
  12. “Woe betide the leaders now perched on their dizzy pinnacles of triumph if they cast away at the conference table what the soldiers had won on a hundred bloodsoaked battlefields.” ― Winston S. Churchill
  13. World peace, true love, and happily-ever-afters amount to wasted wishes, failed endeavors, and most precious dreams. — Richelle E. Goodrich
  14. “Worry is the interest paid by those who borrow trouble.” — George Washington

    If you aren’t worried if you waste any time, go ahead and read our article about all the interesting ways you can waste 5 minutes!

  15. “…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….” — Oprah Winfrey
  16. “You may delay, but time will not.” — Benjamin Franklin
  17. “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” — Bruce Lee
  18. “It’s such a shame to waste time. We always think we have so much of it.” ― Mitch Albom
  19. “Waste your money and you’re only out of money, but waste your time and you’ve lost a part of your life.” ― Michael LeBoeuf
  20. “For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
  21. “It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste.” — Henry Ford
  22. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” — Steve Jobs
  23. “People who cannot find time for recreation are obliged sooner or later, to find time for illness” — John Wanamaker
  24. “Over the years, I have observed that nearly all high achievers know how to make good of those 1440 minutes in each day.” — Mary Kay Ash
  25. “Lost time is never found again.” — Benjamin Franklin
  26. “If we think long term we can accomplish things that we wouldn’t otherwise accomplish. Time horizons matter. They matter a lot.” — Jeff Bezos
  27. “Lots of companies don’t succeed over time. What do they fundamentally do wrong? They usually miss the future. I try to focus on that: What is the future really going to be?” — Larry Page
  28. “The compensation we receive from employment is not enough for the time being wasted.” — Sunday Adelaja

 To understand more about what’s stopping us from managing our time perfectly, you can read our article about time management obstacles.

Keeping It Simple About Wasting Your Time

  1. “I make myself rich by making my wants few.” — Henry David Thoreau
  2. “The question I ask myself like almost every day is, ‘Am I doing the most important thing I could be doing?’ Unless I feel like I’m working on the most important problem that I can help with, then I’m not going to feel good about how I’m spending my time.” — Mark Zuckerberg
  3. “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” ― Mother Theresa
  4. “Our life is frittered away by detail… simplify, simplify.” – Henry David Thoreau
  5. “Don’t make the same decision twice. Spend time and thought to make a solid decision the first time so that you don’t revisit the issue unnecessarily. If you’re too willing to reopen issues, it interferes not only with your execution but also with your motivation to make a decision in the first place. After all, why bother deciding an issue if it isn’t really decided?” — Bill Gates

Bill Gates is a man who likes numbers. If you also like numbers, we have collected some interesting stats for you! Read our time management statistics article.

Wasting Your Time Quotes: Love Edition

One of the worst ways to spend your life is to do so with the wrong person or search for the wrong person. Here are some wasting time on “love” quotes.

The best quote about wasting time on someone is probably the one from the master himself, Shakespeare. In his most famous romance drama, the Bard wrote:

“Don’t waste your love on somebody, who doesn’t value it.”

― William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet 

  1. “The moment you realize your eyes hurt not because of rubbing them, but because of the tears you wasted, on him.” — Athena Kamalei
  2. “You know what, the moment I see you, first thing that comes to my mind is, I have just wasted 26 years of my life without you…” — Arpit Agrawal
  3. “Every second you spend with the wrong person, is a second wasted in the search for true love.” — Leon Brown
  4. “People wasted so much time seeking out the love of their lives in the shape of a partner, when the truth was that for most the real loves of their lives were their children – and everyone else was dispensable.” — Anna McPartlin
  5. “If we had known our love would come to this we could have saved our hearts the hurt of wasted years.” — Blake Shelton


Maybe LOVE Is More Important Than Time?

  1. “Love doesn’t try to be efficient; when it is most extravagant, it is least wasted.” — Bob Goff
  2. “Love is a rare and precious thing. Squander it at your peril.” — Wayne Gerard Trotman
  3. “Love is never wasted, even if it is not reciprocated.” — Neal A. Maxwell
  4. “No knowledge is ever wasted. To quote the apostle Paul: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28). — Ben Carson
  5. “Love and learning are similar in that they can never be wasted.” — Hope Jahren
  6. “A purposeful act or extension of kindness to another is never wasted, for it always resides in the hearts of all involved in a chain of love.” — Molly Friedenfeld
  7. “Time spent with a cat is never wasted.”
    ― Colette
    Okay – this one is not necessarily about love, but…it’s awfully close, right?


The Takeaway:

Remember that in order to live life to the fullest and avoid procrastination, you must live mindfully. Keep things simple and consciously choose where you place your energy.

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