This page lists my all-time favorite busy quotes to inspire you to slow down and live a full life (not a busy life).
You can find links to more intentional living quotes at the bottom of this page.
When you’re ready to dive deeper, here’s some recommended reading on busyness:
45+ Busy Quotes to Inspire you to Slow Down Life
“Stop the world. I want to get off.” — Anthony Newley
“S.T.O.P. = Start To Open Possibilities” — Richie Norton
“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” — Mahatma Gandhi
“Those who are wise won’t be busy, and those who are too busy can’t be wise.” — Lin Yutang
“There is nothing the busy man is less busied with than living: there is nothing that is harder to learn.” — Seneca
“What would it be like to only have activities in your life that ‘sparked joy?’ … it’s a goal to keep in mind as you evaluate your schedule.” — Laura Vanderkam
“Why am I so busy? When everything around me is moving so fast, I stop and ask, ‘Is it the world that’s busy, or is it my mind?'” — Haemin Sunim
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” — Lao Tzu
“The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.” — Lily Tomlin
“We stay so busy that the truth of our lives can’t catch up.” — Brené Brown
“Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away.” — Hakuin Ekaku
“The pace of life feels morally dangerous to me.” — Richard Ford
“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” — Socrates
“Busyness becomes our existential comfort pill, the refuge from existential angst.” — Nicos Hadjicostis
“People are realizing that we are not rats and life is not a race.” — Geir Berthelsen
“Busyness is an illness of the spirit.” — Eugene Peterson
“Being busy is a disease of our time.” — Pedram Shojai
“He who hurries has one foot in the grave.” — Moroccan saying
“The problem in the West is people want enlightenment to be fast, to be easy, and if possible, cheap.” — Matthieu Ricard quoting Dalai Lama
“Of all ridiculous things the most ridiculous seems to me, to be busy—to be a man who is brisk about his food and his work … What, I wonder, do these busy folks get done?” — Søren Kierkegaard
“Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it.” — Søren Kierkegaard
“Most people spend the greatest part of their time working in order to live, and what little freedom remains so fills them with fear that they seek out any and every means to be rid of it.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“It is not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?” — Henry David Thoreau
“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things.” — Morrie Schwartz
“Busy remaking the world, man forgot to remake himself.” ― Andrei Platonov
“The only thing for certain is that everything changes. The rate of change increases. If you want to hang on you better speed up. That is the message of today. It could however be useful to remind everyone that our basic needs never change.” — Guttorm Fløistad
“The difficulty of describing things for Western ears is that people in a hurry cannot feel.” — Alan Watts
“The world has never complained about how busy it is.” — Haemin Sunim
“The high value put upon every minute of time, the idea of hurry-hurry as the most important objective of living, is unquestionably the most dangerous enemy of joy.” — Hermann Hesse
“Every man is worth just so much as the things about which he busies himself.” — Marcus Aurelius
“We get such a kick out of looking forward to pleasures and rushing ahead to meet them that we can’t slow down enough to enjoy them when they come.” — Alan Watts
“Busyness is, at its core, about misplaced priorities.” — Joshua Becker
“People who live far below their means enjoy a freedom that people busy upgrading their lifestyles can’t fathom.” — Naval
“When everything feels urgent and important, everything seems equal. We become active and busy, but this doesn’t actually move us any closer to success. Activity is often unrelated to productivity, and busyness rarely takes care of business.” — Gary Keller
“Busy is a choice.” — Debbie Millman / Ann Voskamp
“Doing is never enough if you neglect Being.” — Eckhart Tolle
“Our gadgets have become weapons of mass distraction.” — Carl Honoré
“I frequently worry that being productive is the surest way to lull ourselves into a trance of passivity and busyness the greatest distraction from living, as we coast through our lives day after day, showing up for our obligations but being absent from our selves, mistaking the doing for the being.” — Maria Popova
“I worry that I’ll face my death and realize that my life got lost in this frantic flotsam of daily stuff.” — Brigid Schulte
“That’s why they call it the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it.” — George Carlin
“The old Chris worked to earn and earned to consume. And my new approach was to work to earn, earn to save, and save to invest, so I could stop working. That’s freedom.” — Chris Reining
“Life is what happens to us while we are (busy) making other plans.” — Allen Saunders
“Just because you’re doing a lot more doesn’t mean you’re getting a lot more done. Don’t confuse movement with progress.” — Denzel Washington
“It is inevitable that life will be not just very short but very miserable for those who acquire by great toil what they must keep by greater toil. They achieve what they want laboriously; they possess what they have achieved anxiously; and meanwhile they take no account of time that will never more return. New preoccupations take the place of the old, hope excites more hope and ambition more ambition. They do not look for an end to their misery, but simply change the reason for it.” — Seneca
“I lied and said I was busy.
I was busy; but not in a way most people understand.
I was busy taking deeper breaths.
I was busy silencing irrational thoughts.
I was busy calming a racing heart.
I was busy telling myself I am okay.
Sometimes, this is my busy – and I will not apologize for it.” — Brittin Oakman
More Intentional Living Quotes: