Comprehensive: sayings and quotes about time

Proverbs and quotes usually contain a kernel of truth and have an inspiring effect. For this collection I have chosen sayings and quotes that highlight the pros and cons of a topic. You will find statements about

Comprehensive: sayings and quotes about time

What Is Time?

The simplest of definitions gains depth when you know that Einstein figured out how to influence time:

Time is what you read on the clock.

Albert Einstein

Sayings about "no time

You might think that there are plenty of quotes and sayings about never having time. We have found only one:

A lot of sayings and quotations have been brought to light by our research to avoid not having enough time:

I have no time to hurry

The Russian and polyglot composer Igor Stravinsky, who created a completely new and much more rhythm-oriented music, seems to have known how important time is. His quote

I don’t have time to rush

Igor Stravinsky

is one of the most famous quotes of the time. But John Steinbeck also strikes the same chord:

You lose most of your time trying to gain time

John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck is one of the most successful US authors of the 20th century. Century. E r received the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize for Literature.

You lose most of your time by trying to gain time

John Steinbeck

How does John Steinbeck’s quote fit into our times?

Many people today are running out of time – they are constantly available for work and home and trying to meet high expectations. Some people are busy all day, and fall into bed exhausted at night. Not even sleep is long enough. Long distances, many appointments and meetings, errands and the household take their toll.

Across countries and across two genres, artists agree that if you want to be fast, you waste time. Creativity is seldom on command.

Fittingly, other creative people have made it clear that you also have to take time for important things:

Taking time

You only have time if you take it

Karl Heinrich Waggerl

The Austrian writer Karl Heinrich Waggerl is one of the most widely read German-language authors of the 20th century. Century. His recipe for more time is brute, but right.

Take your time

Take your time

American saying

time we take is time that gives us something.

Ernst Ferstl

Time is valuable

Some quotes show that time is precious. However, we list only a few, because the origin of these quotes is often uncertain.

There are thieves who go unpunished yet steal the most precious thing you have: time.


The wisest advisor is time

The wisest of all Guidebook: the Time

Time is the wisest counselor of all


Time is the most valuable thing people can spend

Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend


Lost time is not recov.

Lost time is never found again

Benjamin Franklin

Time is the most valuable thing we have

Many purported sources, u.a. Jando’s star rider

The whitest of all Guidebook: the Time

Time is the wisest counselor of all


Time is not only valuable because it passes quickly.

Time is valuable because you can have more success if you make time: here is a good video by Professor Adam Grant on procrastination.

Organize and prioritize time

The key is not to spend time, but to invest it

The key is in not spending time, but in investing it

Stephen R. Covey

The key is to invest time

Stephen Covey remains one of the most influential personal coaches even after his death. He suggests to divide time in such a way that there is plenty of time for urgent and important issues.

Many people go to urgent activities above all. Even less puts important issues in the spotlight.

But few focus on issues that are urgent and important: Preparatory, preventive and planning activities, recreation and relationship work. Covey calls these the tasks of Quadrant II, and these are the activities that must not be neglected.

The wise are not busy, and the constantly busy cannot be wise

Those who are wise won’t be busy, and those who are too busy can’t be wise

Lin Yutang

It is not too little time that we have, but too much time that we do not use.

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Ordinary people only think about how they spend their time. An intelligent person tries to take advantage of it.

Arthur Schopenhauer

Too early or too late


I didn’t think that you can have two opinions about punctuality as well. But that is how it is. Many quotes reflect Prussian values:

Better three hours early than one minute late

Better 3 Hours Too Soon Than A Minute Too Late

William Shakespeare

My punctuality expresses that your time is as valuable to me as my own time.

Helga Schaferling

Time waits for no one

Time waits for no one

American proverb

But at least Oscar Wilde disagrees:

Punctuality is the time thief

Punctuality is the thief of time

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

The early bird catches the worm (English)

"The early bird catches the worm" is an English saying from the 17th century. This is a twenty-first century term that is often used today: there are "early bird" discounts, "early bird" companies, and "early bird" meetings.

For some time now, comparable sayings that used to be common in German have been used less frequently:

First come, first served

The Saxon Mirror of Eike von Repgow

What you can do today, don’t put off until tomorrow

Many sources in many languages

Everything that blows across the Atlantic in terms of time is associated with speed. For Americans, fast means immediately and first. The proverb "The early bird catches the worm" stands for it.

The second mouse gets the cheese

But being first is not always desirable. Sometimes it is better to let the storm pass by.

With innovations there are situations where patience and persistence are important. Not a strength of German managers, but rather a strength of the Swiss.

The English and Americans have also recognized this. That is why there has been an addition to the above proverb since the 1980s:

You can read this and more in my book "Deutschland im Innovationsstau"!

Germany in the innovation jam

The second mouse gets the cheese!

The late mouse gets the cheese

American proverb from the 1980s

We know this from the Bible, too:

The last will be the first

Matthew 19:30

Have patience

Let things take their course

Sometimes things take longer than expected. You have to invest more, sometimes much more time than originally thought. Then patience plays a big role.

Contrary to the common attitude today that everything has to happen quickly, people have known for a long time that good things take time:

The two most powerful warriors are patience and time

Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

We have enough proverbs about this in any case:

Good things take time

Wait and see and drink tea

All in good time

Hurry up

One thing at a time

Rome was not built in a day

In the calm lies the power

Patience is a virtue

German proverbs

But not only in our country, but also in other countries people dealt with the issue of patience:

The grass does not grow faster if you pull on it

African proverb

There’s nothing wrong with things taking their time

There’s nothing wrong with things taking time

James Dyson

The time to act

Patience may often be a virtue, but not always. Some sayings and quotes suggest the opposite:

You have to change things yourself

They say time changes things, but you have to change them yourself

They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself

Andy Warhol

When the time comes when you could, the time is past when you can.

Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

Wasting time

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.

Do not be trapped by dogmas. Don’t let the opinions of others stifle your inner voice.

The most important thing is to have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. Everything else is secondary.

Steve Jobs

If time is the most precious thing of all, wasting time is the greatest waste of all.

Benjamin Franklin

Time for regeneration

Time heals all wounds.


Time may heal wounds, but it is a miserable beautician.

Mark Twain

Time does not transform us, it only unfolds us.

Max Frisch

cridon saying

The cridon saying helps to strike the right note and to find the right path.

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