40 Time quotes: Key Thoughts to Remind You of the Value of Time

Time is of the essence in every aspect of our business. Time is our most valuable resource, and managing it effectively is crucial to our success. Efficient use of time enables us to make better decisions, set priorities, and ultimately achieve our goals. 

On this page, you will discover famous quotes about time and explain the meaning behind each one in two paragraphs.

"Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend." - Theophrastus

Theophrastus emphasizes the importance of time as a finite resource that we should spend wisely. Time cannot be earned back once it's gone; therefore, making the most of every moment is essential. Allocating our time carefully and prioritizing tasks is the key to success in both personal and professional life.

"Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind." - Nathaniel Hawthorne

Hawthorne's quote highlights time's fleeting nature and our actions' lasting impact. Time passes quickly, and making the most of it is crucial. Those choices we make, those actions we take, whether positive or negative, leave a lasting impact on our lives and those around us.

"Lost time is never found again." - Benjamin Franklin

Franklin's quote serves as a stark reminder not to waste time. A moment cannot be recovered after it has passed and cannot be brought back. This quote emphasizes the importance of using our time effectively and making conscious decisions about spending it.

"Time is what we want most, but what we use worst." - William Penn

Penn's quote highlights the paradox of time: we crave more of it yet often squander it on unimportant tasks or distractions. We must learn to prioritize and focus on the most critical tasks to make the most of our time.

"Time is the wisest counselor of all." - Pericles

Pericles' quote suggests that time can provide valuable insight and wisdom. As time passes, we gain experience, learn from our mistakes, and develop a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us. This understanding can be a powerful tool for making better decisions and navigating challenges.

"Time is the school in which we learn, time is the fire in which we burn." - Delmore Schwartz

Schwartz's quote emphasizes the dual nature of time. On the one hand, time allows us to learn and grow, shaping our lives through experience. On the other hand, time is relentless, constantly moving forward and consuming everything in its path. We must embrace both aspects of time to make the most of our lives.

"Time is the thief of memory." - Stephen King

King's quote highlights the ephemeral nature of memory and the role time plays in erasing it. As time passes, memories fade, and details become less clear. This quote reminds us to cherish the present moment and make lasting memories while we still can.

"Time is an illusion." - Albert Einstein

Einstein's quote challenges our perception of time as a linear progression. In his theory of relativity, Einstein posited that time is relative, depending on an observer's speed and position in space. This quote reminds us that our understanding of time is limited and invites us to explore new perspectives.

"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." - Marthe Troly-Curtin

Troly-Curtin's quote suggests that the value we derive from time is subjective and depends on our personal experience. Time spent on activities we enjoy or find meaningful, even if they don't appear productive, is not wasted because it contributes to our overall well-being.

"Time is a created thing. To say 'I don't have time is like saying, 'I don't want to.'" - Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu's quote reminds us that time is a construct and that we can shape how we use it. Claiming we don't have time is often an excuse for not prioritizing something important. By controlling our time, we can create space for the things that truly matter.

"Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have; only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you." - Carl Sandburg

Sandburg's quote emphasizes the importance of controlling our own time. We need to be mindful of the use of our time and not allow others to dictate its use. By taking charge of our time, we can ensure it is used in a way that aligns with our values and priorities.

"Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations." - Faith Baldwin

Baldwin's quote uses a metaphor to describe time's ability to change and reshape our lives. We grow and evolve as time passes, adapting to new circumstances and challenges. Embracing these changes is crucial to making the most of our time and living a fulfilling life.

"The two most powerful warriors are patience and time." - Leo Tolstoy

Tolstoy's quote acknowledges the power of patience and time in overcoming challenges. Sometimes, the best course of action is to wait and allow time to work its magic. Patience and perseverance can lead to outstanding achievements and personal growth.

"Time is the longest distance between two places." - Tennessee Williams

Williams' quote highlights time's role in creating physical and emotional distance. People and places can change as time passes, making a sense of separation. This quote serves as a reminder to cherish our connections and try to maintain them, even as time progresses.

"Time moves in one direction, memory in another." - William Gibson

Gibson's quote emphasizes the contrast between the linear progression of time and the nonlinear nature of memory. While time moves forward, our memories can take us back to different life moments. This quote reminds us that our memories are a precious resource that can provide comfort, wisdom, and perspective.

"Time is a game played beautifully by children." - Heraclitus

Heraclitus' quote highlights children's carefree nature and ability to immerse themselves in the present moment fully. As adults, we often become preoccupied with the past or the future, preventing us from truly enjoying the present. This time though, by one of the important Greek philosophers, serves as a reminder to embrace the simplicity and beauty of living in the moment.

"Time is the wisest of all things that are; for it brings everything to light." - Thales

Thales' saying about time suggests that time has the power to reveal the truth. With the passage of time, hidden information comes to light, and the true nature of people and situations becomes apparent. This quote encourages us to have faith in the passage of time and its ability to provide clarity and understanding.

"Time is the most undefinable yet paradoxical of things; the past is gone, the future is not come, and the present becomes the past even while we attempt to define it." - Charles Caleb Colton

Colton's quote explores the elusive nature of time and its constant state of flux. Time constantly changes, and as soon as we try to pin it down, it slips away from us. This saying serves as a reminder to embrace the uncertainty and fleeting nature of time, making the most of each moment.

"Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire." - Jorge Luis Borges

Borges' thought on time uses vivid imagery to convey the idea that we are both influenced by and in control of time. Time can shape our lives, but we also have the power to shape our experiences within it. This saying acts as a prompt to accept our desires and actively participate in the unfolding of our lives.

"Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately, it kills all its pupils." - Hector Berlioz

Berlioz's quote is a reminder that while time provides valuable lessons and wisdom, it is also a relentless force that ultimately brings an end to life. The inevitability of death should motivate us to make the most of our time and live life to the fullest.

"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once." - Albert Einstein

Einstein's quote suggests that time serves as a framework within which events can unfold in an orderly and understandable manner. Time provides structure and context, allowing us to make sense of our experiences and the world around us.

"Time is the best author; it always finds a perfect ending." - Charles Chaplin

Chaplin's quote highlights the idea that time can resolve situations and bring closure. Even when circumstances seem uncertain or challenging, time often reveals solutions and provides a sense of completion. This quote is a reminder to trust in the passage of time and its ability to bring about positive outcomes.

"Time and tide wait for no man." - Geoffrey Chaucer

Chaucer's quote reminds us that time is relentless and continues to move forward, regardless of our actions or desires.

"Time is money." - Benjamin Franklin

This quote emphasizes the value of time and how it can be equated to money. Wasting time is like wasting money, and using time wisely can lead to financial success.

"Life, if well lived, is long enough" – Seneca.

 The Roman philosopher quote suggests that the length of life is not as important as how well we live it. It encourages us to maximize our time, embrace meaningful experiences, and live purposefully.

"The time for action is now. It's never too late to do something." — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

This quote by the French author of "The Little Prince" reminds us that there is no better time than the present to take action. It encourages us to overcome procrastination and seize opportunities, emphasizing that pursuing our goals and making a positive impact's never too late.

"Better three hours too soon than a minute too late." — William Shakespeare

The renowned English poet emphasizes the importance of punctuality and timeliness in this quote. It suggests that it is better to be early and prepared than to be late and miss out on opportunities or cause inconvenience to others.

"Yesterday's the past, tomorrow's the future, but today is a gift. That's why it's called the present." — Bil Keane

In this quote, the American cartoonist highlights the significance of living in the present moment. It reminds us that the past is behind us, the future is uncertain, but the present is a precious gift. It encourages us to appreciate and make the most of each day.

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life." – Steve Jobs

The founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, emphasizes the importance of living authentically and following our passions and dreams. This quote reminds us that our time on Earth is limited, and it is crucial to prioritize our aspirations rather than conforming to others' expectations.

"The key is in not spending time, but in investing it" – Stephen R. Covey

The author of the famous book 'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People' suggests that time should be viewed as a valuable resource that can be invested wisely. It encourages us to focus on activities and pursuits that bring long-term benefits and personal growth rather than simply passing the time without purpose.

"Time is money" – Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin's quote highlights that time has a value similar to money. It implies that time should be utilized efficiently and productively, just as we would manage our financial resources.

"Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time" – Jim Rohn

This quote by motivational speaker Jim Rohn emphasizes the irreplaceable nature of time. It suggests that while money can be earned or acquired, time is a finite resource that cannot be replenished. It encourages us to prioritize how we spend our time wisely.

"The common man is not concerned about the passage of time, the man of talent is driven by it" – Arthur Schopenhauer

German philosopher Schopenhauer highlights the difference in perception of time between individuals in this quote. It suggests that those with talent and ambition are acutely aware of the passing of time and are motivated to make the most of it, while others may not pay as much attention to its significance.

"Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its brevity" – Jean De La Bruyere

This quote by the French philosopher points out that those who waste their time or fail to utilize it effectively often complain about its shortness. It serves as a reminder to take responsibility for how we use our time and avoid regretting its swift passage.

"Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin." – Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa's quote emphasizes the importance of living in the present moment. It encourages us to let go of the past, not worry excessively about the future, and focus on taking action and making a positive impact starting today.

“Time is construct, in relativity every thing flows, no past or present, only the now.” ― Kate Atkinson, Life After Life

“Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind.” - Nathaniel Hawthorne

“Life is short. Focus on what really matters most. You have to change your priorities over time.” ― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

“You make time for what you want to make time for. People text, call and reply to people they never talk to. Never believe anyone who says they're being too busy. If they wanted to be around you, they would.” - Unknown

“Many things aren't equal, but everyone gets the same 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We make time for what we truly want.” - Unknown


As Steve Jobs would say in a famous time quote, "It's really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time." This time saying is a powerful reminder of the finite nature of time and its immense value in our lives. We should recognize that time is crucial in both personal and professional contexts. Time is a non-renewable resource, and it cannot be reclaimed once it has passed. This understanding underscores the importance of using time wisely and prioritizing tasks and activities aligning with our goals and values.

In the workplace, effective time management is essential for productivity, employee satisfaction, and overall success. Employers and employees alike must learn to allocate their time efficiently, focusing on tasks that contribute to achieving organizational objectives. Doing so can maximize their output and create a more fulfilling work environment. HR leaders must strive to promote a culture of effective time management, providing employees with the tools and resources they need to make the most of their time at work.

On a personal level, these time quotes shall serve as a reminder to cherish our time with our loved ones and engage in activities that bring us joy and fulfillment. By recognizing the value of time, we can make more conscious decisions about how we spend it, ultimately leading to a more balanced and meaningful life. Remember that these aspects of life contribute significantly to overall happiness and satisfaction.

Automate your vacation tracking with the easy to use online HR software.

Easy set-up ● No contracts required ● No credit cards