A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“Running is a mental sport and we are all insane” (4/28)
“Monday must be a man. It comes too quickly” (4/28)
“Monday is the perfect day to correct last week’s mistakes” (4/28)
“There’s no more difficult transition than Sunday to Monday” (4/28)
“What do you call a Mexican drowning in mayonnaise?"/"Sinko de Mayo.” (4/28)
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Entry from August 11, 2012
“It’s not the hours you put in your work that counts, it’s the work you put in the hours”

"It’s not the hours you put in your work that counts, it’s the work you put in the/your hours” is a popular business aphorism. “It is not the hours you put in your work, but work you put in your hours” has been cited in print since at least 1947 and is of unknown authorship.

The American author Sam Ewing is often credited for this line, but it’s unlikely that he said it by 1947 (when he was 26 and just out of the armed services). No early citations of the aphorism credits an author or a source.


Lost Pine
Sam Ewing
Sam Ewing has been a professional writer since age 14 in 1935 when he was a reporter at the Vicksburg Evening Post and Morning Herald in Vicksburg, Mississippi. He also announced for WQBC, the local radio station. During the past 50 years Sam has produced five non-fiction books, dozens of self-help film, hundreds of magazine articles and witticisms.
(...)
“It’s not the hours you put in your work that counts, it’s the work you put in the hours.”

Google Books
Telephony
Volume 82
1922 (This Google Books date may be incorrect, Another digital library records a match in this publication from 1948, not 1922—ed.)
Pg. 48:
It has been said: “It is not the hours you put in your work, but the work you put in your hours.”

Google Books
Hathi Trust
Commercial Car Journal
Volume 74
October 1947
Pg. 68, col. 2:
It is not the hours you put in your work, but work you put in your hours.

12 December 1962, The Daily Herald (Biloxi, MS), “Choice Bits,” pg. 4, col. 1:
It’s not the hours you put in your work, but the work you put in your hours.

27 February 1963, Holland (MI) Evening Sentinel, pg. 4, col. 2:
It’s not the hours you put in your work, but the work you put in your hours.

11 February 1971, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “It Happened Last Night” by Earl Wilson, pg. 23A, col. 5:
REMEMBERED QUOTE: “It isn’t the hours you put in your work that counts—it’s the work you put in your hours.”

Google Books
The Anatomy of a Great Executive
By John Wareham
New York, NY: HarperCollins
1991
Pg. 209:
It’s not the hours you put in, it’s the work you put in the hours.

Google Books
Business Wit & Wisdom
By Richard S. Zera
Washington, DC: Beard Books
2005
Pg. 278:
It’s not the hours you put in your work that counts, it’s the work you put in the hours. —Sam Ewing

Google Books
Office Wit & Wisdom
By Tracey Turner
London: Prion
2006
Pg. 157:
It’s not the hours you put in your work that counts, it’s the work you put in the hours.
Sam Ewing

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • (0) Comments • Saturday, August 11, 2012 • Permalink