9 Thought-Provoking Quotes About Work-Life Balance

By Heike Young


No matter how good you are at your job, you probably often think: I could be doing more.

Call it work-life balance, work-life coexistence, or simply life, but balancing responsibilities can be stressful in an always-on world. Phones and connected devices make it easier than ever to stay entangled in work duties after-hours. And even when we’re off work, it’s easy to feel like we’re still right there.

People have vastly different views on what it takes to maintain a healthy work-life balance, and many don’t even agree that the “balance” term itself is useful. Here’s a collection of quotes to help you consider what daily responsibility management looks like for you (emphasis added)

  1. You don’t have to make yourself miserable to be successful. It’s natural to look back and mythologize the long nights and manic moments of genius, but success isn’t about working hard, it’s about working smart.” ―Andrew Wilkinson, founder of MetaLab
  2. You will never feel truly satisfied by work until you are satisfied by life.”
    Heather Schuck, The Working Mom Manifesto
  3. 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, co-founder of Medium and Twitter
  4. “Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them — work, family, health, friends and spirit and you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls — family, health, friends, and spirit — are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged, or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.” ―Brian Dyson, former vice chairman and COO of Coca-Cola
  5. “So find your rhythm, understand what makes you resentful, and protect it. You can’t have everything you want, but you can have the things that really matter to you. And thinking that way empowers you to work really hard for a really long period of time.” ―Marissa Mayer, president and CEO of Yahoo
  6. “Women in particular need to keep an eye on their physical and mental health, because if we’re scurrying to and from appointments and errands, we don’t have a lot of time to take care of ourselves. We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own ‘to do’ list.” ―First Lady Michelle Obama
  7. Don’t confuse having a career with having a life.” ―Hillary Clinton
  8. “I spend most of my time thinking about how to connect the world and serve our community better, but a lot of that time isn’t in our office or meeting with people or doing what you’d call real work. I take a lot of time just to read and think about things by myself.” ―Mark Zuckerberg
  9. “I believe a balanced life is essential, and I try to make sure that all of our employees know that and live that way. It’s crucial to me as a manager that I help ensure that our employees are as successful as our customers and partners. I also think that employees these days expect less of a separation of work and personal life. That doesn’t mean that work tasks should encroach upon our personal time, but it does mean that employees today expect more from the companies for whom they work. Why shouldn’t your workplace reflect your values? Why is ‘giving back’ not a part of our jobs? The answer for us is to integrate philanthropy with work.” ―Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce

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