Site Map
Work Quotations
Section › 6 Set Search Previous Next

Reservations Contents  


Work consists of activities of many kinds. It involves mental and/or physical effort done in order to get some results. There is hard work, toil and drudgery. There is also easy work, pleasant work, intelligent work and time-saving work.

Some forms of work are marked by forethought, planning, or amassed experiences. Some kinds of work you like, other kinds you tolerate, and some you dislike. What you like depends on some cases on what suits you, in other cases on how well prepared you might be, or how well equipped. If "Good tools make 90 percent of the work", it matters to get good tools, good equipment.

Among the forms of work, some are self-willed, self-initiated, some are ordered, some less so. Some forms of work progress smoothly, many forms get tedious in time, and so further.

There are fair jobs and there is also selling oneself short. There are harsh acts, deeds, hated performances.

Then there is handiwork - pleasant or all right home work that may or may not grow into a home industry, for example - and so on and on. 'Work' means many things. It may help to get into a positive, uplifting line of experience or work - which may feel exhilarating, rewarding, enriching - and not stupefying.

Below are 103 quotations on work. Those without no author names to them should be credited T. Kinnes.


A man with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds. [Mark Twain]

A person who can live with himself can enjoy the gift of leisure. [With Henry Greber]

Action should culminate in wisdom. [Bhagavad Gita]

After you've worked hard to get what you want, take the time to enjoy it. [H. Jackson Brown, Jr.]

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy - and Jill a wealthy widow. [Evan Esar]

Being lazy - having plenty of time to think - may actually be a precondition for achieving a great deal. [Richard Koch]

Being out of work is among the heavy burdens.

Beware of the man who praises women's liberation; he is about to quit his job. [Erica Jong]

By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be a boss and work twelve hours a day. [Robert Frost]

Clever leisure makes a life worth living. [Cf. Cicero]

Computers can solve all kinds of problems except the unemployment problem they create. [Laurence J. Peter]

Do not mistake a crowd of big wage earners for the leisure class. [Clive Bell]

"Entrepreneur" is what you can call yourself if you don't have a job.

Even the most useless person can be used as a bad example. [Unknown]

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. [Albert Einstein]

Experience is one thing you can't get for nothing. [Oscar Wilde]

Few have enough character to be idle. [Cf. Ed Lucas]

Few people do business well who do nothing else. [Lord Chesterfield]

Find a calling you love and you will never work a day in your life. [Confucius]

Great success is to be able to spend your life in your own way. [Cf. Christopher Morley]

Hire disrespectful people who work out of love, mainly, and see how things work out.

Housework can kill, and statistics prove it well.

I am the laziest man in the world. I invented all those things to save myself from toil. [Benjamin Franklin]

I don't deny it. I'd rather read, tell stories, crack jokes, talk, laugh - anything but work. [Abraham Lincoln]

I learn from my mistakes. I can make the same mistake with greater ease the second time around. [Unknown]

I like work; it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours. [Jerome K. Jerome]

If men have the talent to invent new machines that put men out of work, they should also have the talent to put those men back to work. [With John F. Kennedy]

If the outcome is good, what's the difference between motives that sound good and good, sound motives? [Laurence J. Peter]

If the soul has food for study and learning, an old age of leisure may be delightful. [Cf. Cicero]

If you want a faster or easier way to do something, give it to a lazy person. [Unknown]

Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. [Albert Einstein]

In an industrial society which confuses work and productivity, the necessity of producing has always been an enemy . . . [Raoul Vaneigem]

Individuality of expression is the beginning and end of all art. [Johannes Wolfgang von Goethe]

Intellectual improvement arises from leisure. [Samuel Johnson, mod.]

It is better to begin in the evening than not at all. [English proverb]

It is not enough to be busy . . . . the question is: what are we busy about? [Henry David Thoreau]

It pays fairly well to be well-arranged.

It's not what you say but the way you say it. [French proverb]

Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream? [Homer Simpson]

Knowledge without wisdom is a load of books on the back of an ass. [Japanese proverb]

Learn from the mistakes of others - you won't live long enough to make them all yourself. [Cf. Martin Vanbee]

Make sure your work helps security, or you get in trouble for it later on, as time passes by.

More men are killed by overwork than the importance of the world justifies. [Rudyard Kipling]

Most people work the greater part of their time for a mere living; and the little freedom which remains to them so troubles them that they use every means of getting rid of it. [von Goethe]

My uncle is in trouble with his union. They caught him working on the job. [Joey Adams]

Nasty work is for people who have found nothing better to do.

Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it. [Mark Twain]

No man is a failure who is enjoying life. [William Feather]

No man who is in a hurry is quite civilized. [Will Durant]

Nothing in the affairs of men is worthy of great anxiety. [Plato]

One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man. [Elbert Hubbard]

One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words. [Johann Wolfgang von Goethe]

People love chopping wood. In this activity one immediately sees results. [Albert Einstein]

Ranged against every great and noble enterprise are people who do what they should not even think of doing.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. [Werner von Braun]

Résumé: A written exaggeration of only the good things a person has done in the past, as well as a wish list of the qualities a person would like to have. [Bo Bennett]

Retirement at sixty-five is ridiculous. [George Burns]

Seek for a game worth playing. Having found such a game, play it eagerly and then tire of it. [TK]

Seeming to do is not doing. [Thomas Edison]

Slaves would be tyrants were the chance theirs. [Victor Hugo]

Sometimes I worry about being a success in a mediocre world. [Lily Tomlin]

Sound leisure means good time to improve his soul's estate. [With Alan Bennett and Henry David Thoreau]

The best intelligence test is what we do with our leisure. [Laurence J. Peter]

The best way to appreciate your job could be to imagine yourself without one. [With Oscar Wilde]

The bigger the bore, the greater the knowledge of computers. [Unknown]

The end of labour is to gain leisure. [Aristotle]

The longer the title, the less important the job. [George McGovern]

The one who knows "why" might be welcome to one who knows "how".

The quality of your work, in the long run, is the deciding factor on how much your services are valued by the world." [Orison Swett Marden]

The time to relax is when you don't have time for it. [Sydney J. Harris]

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent full of doubt. [Bertrand Russell]

The world is full of willing people. Some willing to work, the rest willing to let them. [Robert Frost]

The world of jobs is far and wide characterised by stifling boredom, grinding tedium, poverty, petty jealousies, sexual harassment, loneliness, deranged co-workers, bullying bosses, seething resentment, illness, exploitation, stress, helplessness, hellish commutes, humiliation, depression, appalling ethics, physical fatigue and mental exhaustion. [With Idler magazine]

There are different kinds of work; all are not on an animal-looking level.

There is something that is much more scarce, something rarer than ability. It is the ability to recognize ability. [Robert Half]

Things often take several times more time than you expected to begin with.

Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least. [Johann Wolfgang von Goethe]

Those who are different change the world. Those who are ordinary keep it that way. [Unknown]

To retire means one's death may be more imminent.

To see the hours pass is better than trying to fill them. [With E. M. Cloran]

Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them to become what they are capable of being. [ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe]

Unfunny jobs will degrade the mind. [With Aristotle]

Very pleasant idleness is a source of many good things to come.

We may work on tall levels too, and the subtlest can be best.

What I want to do is to make people laugh so that they'll see things seriously. [William K. Zinsser]

What orators lack in depth they make up to you in length. [Baron de Montesquieu]

When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind may seem to be the right wind. [Cf. Seneca]

When action grows unprofitable, gather information; when information grows unprofitable, sleep. [Ursula K. Le Guin]

When guys retire, the truth is borne upon them: their work in life was the ultimate seduction and more or less foul play from one end to another.

When more and more people are thrown out of work, unemployment results. [Calvin Coolidge]

When policy fails, try thinking. [Unknown]

When you begin to yearn for your work, your vacation has done its work on you.

When your work speaks for itself, don't interrupt. [Henry J. Kaiser]

Women marry because they don't want to work -- When you see what some girls marry you realize how they must hate to work for a living. [Marry Garden and Helen Rowland]

Work is a lifelong process unless we rise higher.

Work is a necessary evil of the drinking class.

Work is what you do so that some time you won't have to do it anymore. [Alfred Polgar]

Work may expand so as to fill the time available for its completion. [With C. Northcote Parkinson]

Work to earn enough money so that you won't have to work. [Ogden Nash]

Working from home meant we could vary snack and coffee breaks, change our desks or view, goof off, drink on the job, even spend the day in pajamas, [Diane Ackerman]

Working in the theater has a lot in common with unemployment. [Arthur Gingold]

You have to be original. If you're like everyone else, what do they need you for? [B. Peters]

You're no good unless you are a good assistant; and if you are, you're too good to be an assistant. [Martin H. Fischer]

You've achieved success in your field when you don't know whether what you're doing is work or play. [Warren Beatty]


Work quotations, work citations, work and travail quotes, Literature  

Bird, Polly. Improve Your Time Management. Abingdon, Oxon: Hodder Education, 2010.

Crandall, Beth, Gary Klein, Robert R. Hoffman. Working Minds: A Practitioner's Guide to Cognitive Task Analysis. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2006.

de Guimps, Roger. Pestalozzi, His Life and Works. London: Swan Sonnenschein, 1890.

Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed. Working for Work: A Handbook Exploring Options for Unemployed People. 17th ed. Dublin: Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed, 2010.

Rae, Andy. The Complete, Illustrated Guide to Working with Wood. Newtown, CT: The Taunton Press, 2005.

Schumacher, Ernst Friedrich. A Guide for the Perplexed. London: Abacus/Sphere, 1978.

Schumacher, Ernst Friedrich. Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered. New York: Perennial Library / Harper and Row, 1975.

Ventegodt, Søren, and Joav Merrick, eds. Health and Happiness from Meaningful Work: Research in Quality of Working Life. New York: Nova Science Publishers, 2009.

Watson, Tony. Organizing and Managing Work. 2nd ed. Harlow, Essex: Pearson Longman, 2006.

Zeigler, Kenneth. Getting Organized at Work: 24 Lessons to Set Goals, Establish Priorities, and Manage Your Time. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2008.

Harvesting the hay

Symbols, brackets, signs and text icons explained: (1) Text markers(2) Digesting.

Work quotations, work citations, work and travail quotes, To top    Section     Set    Next

Work quotations, work citations, work and travail quotes. User's Guide   ᴥ    Disclaimer 
© 2016–2019, Tormod Kinnes, MPhil [Email]