As the holiday season approaches, it can be difficult to stay focused. Projects pile up, sorely testing your ability to preserve a healthy work-life balance. But before you throw your hands up in frustration, let these five famous quotes boost your productivity mojo.

medium_6782190294 1) “There is no substitute for hard work.” – Thomas Edison

When you’re feeling like all your hard work isn’t paying off and things seem to come so easily for others, keep Mr. Edison’s quote in mind. Hard work is just that: hard. But, hard work does pay off. No matter how frustrated or tired you may feel, keep one thing in mind – there are no shortcuts. As long as you continue to work hard, success will find you.

2) “If you don’t pay appropriate attention to what has your attention, it will take more of your attention than it deserves.” – David Allen

Working hard and often is not necessarily equal to being productive. In fact, multi-tasking can easily destroy an otherwise productive day. Rather than attempt to get the most work done, focus on those projects that are your highest priority. If you have an enormous list of high-priority to-do’s, tackle the ones that inspire you the most. Putting all your attention into what you are doing will generate better results in a shorter period of time. Work your way through your list, and before you know it you’ll have everything checked off, done!

3) “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” – Stephen King

Being inspired always makes a project easier to take on. However, inspiration doesn’t always find us. When this happens, it doesn’t mean you get to skip work or ask for an extension. On those days when you feel uninspired, you must work harder to get the job done. Try to create your own inspiration to jump-start your productive juices. Here are a few suggestions for creating your own inspiration:

• Read some of your favorite inspirational quotes.
• Remind yourself of how great it will feel to complete the task.
• Create a reward for when you meet your goals.

4) “While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior” – Henry C. Link

Waiting for the perfect moment to strike can be a huge mistake. Taking initiative, trying new approaches and working through setbacks will only increase your skills, knowledge and capabilities.

5) “Never mistake motion for action.” – Ernest Hemingway

Simply “doing things” does not mean you’re being productive. Productivity requires a focused approach. Taking time to think, consider options and let ideas marinate might not look like a lot but can often yield the best results.

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Featured photo courtesy of lennox_mcdough via photopin cc.