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100 Work Life Balance Quotes

Jun 29, 2020

Happy young couple calculating bills at home

For me, work life balance is a little like fun: If I have to think about it too much, it probably means I'm not having it. Can you relate?

However you define work life balance, please enjoy this compilation of 100 work life balance quotes, from the famous, funny, philosophical and more. And if you like what you read, please share!

What is work life balance?

For all the talk about work life balance, we rarely stop to definite it.

At its core, work life balance is just what it says: a satisfying, sustainable equilibrium between work and the rest of your life. Not only does this balance look different to different people, it looks different to you throughout your life. 

In the memorable words of Dave Barry, "I can remember, at around age 9, having so much spare time, especially during the summer, that I could afford to spend entire days on activities such as coloring my entire stomach blue with a ballpoint pen ..." (Dave Barry Turns 40)

Work life balance is the antithesis of burnout. For more about burnout, check out Employee Burnout Signs No Manager Should Miss.]

Definition of work life balance

According to Dictionary.com, work life balance is "a situation in which one divides or balances one's time between work and activities outside of work." 

How do you define it? If you're not sure, simply note what comes to mind when you read this sentence: "If I'm too busy to (fill in the blank), I'm too busy." This points to what you need, maybe daily, to be fulfilled.

Famous quotes about work life balance

“You can have it all. You just can’t have it all at once.” – Oprah Winfrey

“You are not what you do. If you are what you do, then when you don’t … you aren’t.” – Wayne Dyer

"At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent." – Barbara Bush

"Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy." – Khalil Gibran

“Don’t confuse having a career with having a life.” – Hillary Clinton

"The quality, not the longevity, of one's life is what is important." – Martin Luther King, Jr.

“We need to do a better job at putting ourselves higher on our own ‘to do’ list.” – Michelle Obama

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." – Henry David Thoreau

"Sometimes the greatest meals on vacations are the ones you find when Plan A falls through." – Anthony Bourdain

“The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears and the sea.” – Anne Marrow Lindbergh

Funny quotes about work life balance

"For fast-acting relief, try slowing down." – Lily Tomlin

“Everything in moderation, including moderation.” – Oscar Wilde

"Do Lipton employees take coffee breaks?" – Steven Wright

“You’ll never affect the world if you don’t get out of bed in the morning.” – Martin Timkovich

“My boss told me to have a good day. So I went home." – Author Unknown

"You can only be young once. But you can always be immature." – Dave Barry

"I am so busy doing nothing... that the idea of doing anythingwhich as you know, always leads to somethingcuts into the nothing and then forces me to have to drop everything." – Jerry Seinfeld

"I'd like to dial it back 5% or 10% and try to have a vacation that's not just email with a view." – Elon Musk

"I intend to live forever. So far, so good." – Steven Wright

Motivational quotes about work life balance

“If you want more time, freedom, and energy, start saying no.” – Anonymous

“Most people chase success at work, thinking that will make them happy. The truth is that happiness at work will make you successful.” – Alexander Kjerulf

“You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.” – Charles Buxton

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” – Michael Altshuler

“You may not believe in any calling work-life balance, but your body certainly does. You need to monitor and nurture your body.” – Vivek Wadhwa

“Take care of yourself: When you don’t sleep, eat crap, don’t exercise, and are living off adrenaline for too long, your performance suffers. Your decisions suffer. Your company suffers. Love those close to you: Failure of your company is not failure in life. Failure in your relationship is.” – Ev Williams

“Work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls–family, health, friends, integrity–are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered.” – Gary Keller

“Always take some of the play, fun, freedom, and wonder of the weekend into your week and your work.” – Rasheed Ogunlaru

"If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. The more things you do, the more you can do." – Lucille Ball

“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.” ― Andy Rooney

“Get up and move at work today! Don’t spend the whole day on your butt. Take a walk. Get some exercise. Play a game. Move!” – Alexander Kjerulf

“Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing.” – Harriet Braiker

"We've always had a policy where the emphasis was on results over face time, and where people could build their work around their life versus the other way around." – Katie Burke, Chief People Officer at HubSpot

"Self-care equals success. You're going to be more successful if you take care of yourself and you're healthy." – Beth Behrs

"The more often you decline invitations to spend time with friends or family because you are too busy with either work or other activities, the more you should realize that your life is not in balance." – Byron Pulsifer

"Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace." Victor Hugo

"There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is in having lots to do and not doing it." – Mary Wilson Little

“Don’t work harder, work happier.” – Alexander Kjerulf

“The trick is to know what to sweat and what to let go.” – shampoo ad

"Life is #1 on the agenda, and #2 is work." – Michael Giacchino

"I don't live for my work. My life is my life. That's more important, and I think that helps my work." – James McBride

"You train hard all week, and in your downtime, you can relax with your friends and have fun." – Jesse Lingard

"I work very hard, and I play very hard. I'm grateful for life. And I live it - I believe life loves the liver of it. I live it." – Maya Angelou

"Keep going on hikes, keep having your friends in your life, keep that downtime sacred as well because as hard as you work in any job, it's really nice to have the relaxing de-stressors. Stress is the worst thing. That's the ultimate demise of any good thing." – Dianna Agron

"You see these people that work their whole life and when they stop working, they stop living. Not me." – Adam Vinatieri



Inspirational quotes about work life balance

“Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” – Dolly Parton

“If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” – Mother Teresa

“Balance activity with serenity, wealth and simplicity, persistence with innovation, community with solitude, familiarity with adventure, constancy with change, leading with following.” – Jonathan Lockwood Huie

“We have overstretched our personal boundaries and forgotten that true happiness comes from living an authentic life fueled with a sense of purpose and balance.” – Dr. Kathleen Hall

“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm, and harmony.” – Thomas Merton

“Reconsider your definitions. We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobiles rather than by the quality of our service and relationship to mankind.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings." – William Arthur Ward

"What I know is, is that if you do work that you love, and the work fulfills you, the rest will come." – Oprah Winfrey

“Part of keeping work and life in balance is surrounding yourself with people that have similar aspirations.” – Damon Dash

“It’s a balance - sometimes you have to focus on your home life, and sometimes you have to concentrate on your work life.” – Peggy Johnson

"Saying no frees you up to say yes when it matters most." – Adam Grant

"Half of the troubles of this life can be traced to saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough." – Josh Billings

"It is impossible for you to be angry and laugh at the same time. Anger and laughter are mutually exclusive and you have the power to choose either." – Wayne Dyer

“You don’t have to make yourself miserable to be successful.” – Andrew Wilkinson

"When you come to look back on all that you have done in life, you will get more satisfaction from the pleasure you have brought into other people's lives than you will from the times that you outdid and defeated them.”  – Harold S. Kushner

Philosophical quotes about work life balance

“You will never feel truly satisfied by work until you are satisfied by life.” – Heather Schuck

“It’s all about quality of life and finding a happy balance between work and friends and family.” – Philip Green

“We think, mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of time we put in.” – Arianna Huffington

“There is no such thing as work-life balance. It is all life. The balance has to be within you.” – Sahguru

“Burnout is about resentment. Preventing it is about knowing yourself well enough to know what it is you’re giving up that makes you resentful.” – Marissa Mayer

"Self-care is oxygen." – Gina DeLapa

“Happiness comes from living as you need to, as you want to. As your inner voice tells you to. Happiness comes from being who you actually are instead of who you think you are supposed to be.” – Shonda Rhimes

“It is not about finding a work-life balance, but, rather, it’s about work-life integration. I’ve learned to integrate my work and life so that the two exist as harmoniously as possible and priorities can be set.” – Denise Morrison

“I believe that being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles.” – Zig Ziglar

“You’re probably wondering what I mean by ‘The Pillars of Your Life,’ right? Well this is simple. It’s the things that make your life what it is. The things or people that make you, you. There’s work, family, your hobby, your art, and your traditions. Except some of us have wonky pillars. Some of us give one pillar too much to hold, and the others not enough. One’s too tall, whilst the others are too small. Therefore we become unstable, and sometimes everything comes crashing down.” – S.R. Crawford

"I wish I had not been in a hurry to get on to the next things: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less." – Anna Quindlen

"Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable." – Sydney Harris

"It's a paradox. How does one balance living in the now with preparing responsibly for the future? The key to this dilemma lies in the distinction between 'worrying about the future' and 'preparing for the future.' The two concepts are not at all the same." – Jonathan Lockwood Huie

"It is the working man who is the happy man. It is the idle man who is the miserable man." – Benjamin Franklin

"Your problem is how you are going to spend this one odd and precious life you have been issued. Whether you're going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over people and circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it and find out the truth about who you are." – Anne Lamott

"This life is a gift, and to reject that gift or abuse that gift is not human and not worthy of us." – Michael Moore

"Together with a culture of work, there must be a culture of leisure as gratification. To put it another way: people who work must take the time to relax, to be with their families, to enjoy themselves, read, listen to music, play a sport." – Pope Francis

"He hath no leisure who useth it not."– George Herbert

"'Crazy-busy' is a great armor, it's a great way for numbing. What a lot of us do is that we stay so busy, and so out in front of our life, that the truth of how we're feeling and what we really need can't catch up with us." – Brene Brown



More work life balance quotes

“Everything in life has to have balance.” – Donna Karan

“You can’t do a good job if your job is all you do.” – Artifact Uprising

“Do less, be more.” – Elizabeth Grace Saunders

“Balance is not better time management, but better boundary management. Balance means making choices and enjoying those choices.” – Betsy Jacobson

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.” – Stephen R. Covey

“A time for everything: A time to relax and a time to be busy, a time to frolic and a time to labor, a time to receive and a time to give, a time to begin and a time to finish.” – Jonathan Lockwood Huie

“I don’t like the word ‘juggling’ or ‘work-life balance’. You prioritize.” – Joanna Coles

“You can’t have everything you want, but you can have the things that really matter to you.” – Marissa Mayer

“You have to balance your passions, not your time.” – Lisa Sugar

“You don’t want work life balance. You want work life freedom. You want a time centered seamless lifestyle. You want...time flexibility. The flexibility to spend your time where, when and how you want.” –  Richie Norton

“If you have no health, then you have no business.” – George Choy

“Work-life balance is a fallacy. Work-life freedom is the goal.” – Richie Norton

“Put life first and build systems to support life instead of putting money (work) first and having your family support your career.” – Richie Norton

“It’s not the length of life, but the depth of life.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Slow down and enjoy yourself more, don’t be so serious. Life is not a race.” – Christiane Lemieux

“Taking time to live life will only inspire your work.” – Unknown

"The key is in not spending time, but in investing it." – Stephen R. Covey

"As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death." – Leonardo da Vinci

"The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind." – Albert Einstein

"I'm at my best when I'm working. I just recently learned how to find balance and deal with downtime and take advantage of it." – Natalie Zea

“I’ll take care of me for you, if you will please take care of you for me.” – Jim Rohn

"Life is not a dress rehearsal." – Rose Tremain

Work life balance tips

  • Plan on it taking more effort than anticipated
  • Don't make anyone else but yourself responsible for it
  • If you manage a team and/or run a company, create a culture where people can thrive, on the job and off. Work matters, but it's not the only thing that matters.
  • Look for joy in small, everyday moments; the more you look for, the more you find
  • Be patient with yourself (and others)—we're all making our way through uncharted waters
  • Take time regularly—especially after a major life change—to recalibrate; work life balance means different things in different seasons of life
  • During major life changes (new job, new baby, change in marital status, etc.), allow for "seasonal imbalance" (Stephen Covey's term)
  • Don't wait for the perfect moment to enjoy work life balance; start living it now
  • Take more vacations, even if it's just a staycation—sometimes those are the best kind
Most of all, aim for contentment, not perfection. 


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