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:
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (11/22)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (11/22)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (11/22)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (11/22)
“What screams ‘I’m insecure’?"/"HTTP.” (11/22)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from May 14, 2016
“Hard work is the accumulation of easy things you didn’t do”

A popular statement about hard work is:

“Hard work is the accumulation of easy things you didn’t do when you should have.”

The saying has been cited in print since at least 1951. It probably was coined by Paul H. Gilbert’s syndicated “Daffynitions” newspaper feature, where it was phrased in 1955:

“HARD WORK: An accumulation of easy things you didn’t do when you should have.”


5 December 1951, The Daily Standard (Sikeston, M), pg. 2, col. 2:
Hard work: An accumulation of easy things you didn’t do when you should have.

13 July 1952, The Times Recorder (Zanesville, OH), “The Office Cat,” pg. 7, col. 1:
DeFUNitions.
Hard Work: An accumulation of easy things you didn’t do when you should have.

25 September 1955, Seattle (WA) Times, “Daffynitions” by Paul H. Gilbert, magazine, pg. 12, col. 4:
HARD WORK: An accumulation of easy things you didn’t do when you should have.

27 September 1955, Washington Post and Times Herald (Washington, DC), pg. 50, col. 3:
THOUGHT FOR TODAY
Taxi Topix comments: “Hard work is an accumulation of easy things you didn’t do when you should have.”

Google News Archive
2 August 1956, Beaver Valley (PA) Times, “Daily Diet of Detail,” pg. 6, col. 5:
Sometimes hard work is an accumulation of easy things you didn’t do when you should have.

27 January 1957, Boston (MA) Sunday Herald, Marjorie Mills column, sec. 4, pg. 11, col. 1:
“Hard work is an accumulation of easy things you didn’t do when you should have” should be this procrastinator’s desk motto.

Google News Archive
14 September 1959, Kentucky New Era (Hopkinsville, KY), “Office Cat,” pg. 4, col. 3:
Hard work is the accumulation of easy things you didn’t do when you should have.—(Unknown)

Google News Archive
5 August 1964, Sarasota (FL) Herald-Tribune, “It Happened Last Night” by Earl Wilson, pg. 11, col. 3:
REMEMBERED QUOTE: “Hard work is the accumulation of easy things you didn’t do when you should have.”—Johnny Martin, WRFD.

Google News Archive
28 June 1967, Milwaukee (WI) Journal, Green Sheet, pg. 1, col. 1 (header):
Hard Work: An Accumulation of Easy Things You Didn’t Do When You Should Have

Google Books
Braude’s Handbook of Stories for Toastmasters and Speakers
By Jacob M. Braude
Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall
1975
Pg. 203:
Hard work: an accumulation of easy things you didn’t do when you should have.

Google Books
Developing the Leader Within You
By John C. Maxwell
Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson
1993
Pg. ?:
Hard work is the accumulation of easy things you didn’t do when you should have.

Google Books
You Can Do It—Even If Others Say You Can’t
By John Mason
Grand Rapids, MI: Revell
2003
Pg. 45:
Hard work is usually an accumulation of easy things that should have been done last week.

Twitter
Norbert Horváth
‏@NorbertinCanada
“Hard work is the accumulation of easy things you didn’t do when you should have.”
#JohnCMaxwell
#DevelopingtheLeaderWithinYou
12:48 PM - 14 Mar 2016

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Saturday, May 14, 2016 • Permalink