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50 Work-Life Balance Quotes to Celebrate Healthy Boundaries

These work-life balance quotes will motivate you to live your life the way you want—both at work and at home

Quote about work-life balance by Dolly Parton on solid blue background

Striking a balance between your work and your life

If you’re a people pleaser who just doesn’t know how to say no, join the club. Far too many of us will take on that extra project or stay late at the office to finish a last-minute assignment even when it cuts into our free time. It can be hard to put ourselves first, but self-care is important. Remember, you can’t do good work unless you feel rested and at ease—who can focus at the office after a rough night of little sleep? We’ve put together a list of some of the best work-life balance quotes to remind you how important it is to put yourself before your work.

And let’s face it: Regardless of whether you live in the best U.S. state for work-life balance or the American city best known for its work-around-the-clock attitude, you probably struggle with setting boundaries. But drawing a line between your work life and personal life is essential to building healthier relationships with friends, family, romantic partners and co-workers. It’s also a key to a happier life.

So read on for some work-life balance quotes that’ll inspire you to clock off at a reasonable time and craft a life outside your job.

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Quote about work-life balance by Oprah Winfrey on solid purple background

The best work-life balance quotes

1. “Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” —Dolly Parton

2. “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities.” —Stephen Covey

3. “We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own to-do list.” —Michelle Obama

4. “I’ve learned that you can’t have everything and do everything at the same time.” —Oprah Winfrey

5. “True commitment to work-life balance is giving people permission to take other priorities as seriously as their jobs.” —Adam Grant

6. “Balance is not better time management, but better boundary management.” —Betsy Jacobson

7. “You can’t do a good job if your job is all you do.” —Katie Thurmes

8. “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.” —Martin Luther King Jr.

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

10. “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” —Steve Jobs

11. “We should work to live, not live to work.” —John McDonnell

12. “You know, the finest line a man will walk is between success at work and success at home.” —John Candy as Del Griffith in Planes, Trains & Automobiles

If you have trouble standing up for yourself when it comes to setting boundaries with work, these confidence quotes will make you believe you can do anything. Just be sure to brush up on business etiquette so you do it with respect.

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Funny work-life balance quotes

13. “A career is wonderful, but you can’t curl up with it on a cold night.” —Marilyn Monroe

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

15. “For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.” —Lily Tomlin

16. “It’s true that hard work never killed anybody, but I figure why take the chance?” —Ronald Reagan

17. “No one on his deathbed ever said, ‘I wish I had spent more time at the office.'” —Paul Tsongas

18. “Who could justify trading a lifetime of stress and backbreaking labor for better blinds? Is a nicer-looking window treatment really worth so much of your life?” —Cal Newport

19. “Either you run the day or the day runs you.” —Jim Rohn

20. “I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is: Try to please everybody.” —Herbert Bayard Swope

21. “Work is the greatest thing in the world, so we should always save some of it for tomorrow.” —Don Herold

For more words of wisdom that will encourage you to make the most of your time at work and home, check out these life-is-short quotes. Like inspiring work-life balance quotes, they will help you savor every moment.

Quote about work-life balance by Jana Kingsford on solid blue background

Motivational work-life balance quotes

22. “Be steady and well-ordered in your life so that you can be fierce and original in your work.” —Gustave Flaubert

23. “Work-life balance is not an entitlement or benefit. Your company cannot give it to you. You have to create it for yourself.” —Matthew Kelly

24. “Balance is not something you find; it’s something you create.” —Jana Kingsford

25. “The hardest thing to find in life is balance—especially the more success you have, the more you look to the other side of the gate. What do I need to stay grounded, in touch, in love, connected, emotionally balanced? Look within yourself.” —Celine Dion

26. “When I think about work-life balance, I don’t imagine it as a perfect day where I get to spend the exact right amount of time having an impact at work and snuggling with my kids at home. I never achieve that. But over the course of a month, or a quarter, or a year, I try to make time for the people and experiences I value.” —Jane Park

27. “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

28. “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 are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged and even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.” —Brian Dyson

29. “You do have choices about how you spend your time. Balancing what you need to do with what you want to do can lead to happiness and success.” —Stephen Hall

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

31. “Manage the remarkable balance between acting from your heart … and completing the obligations that your labor and tasks require of you. Leverage opportunity and seize joy.” —Mary Anne Radmacher

Ready to take action in balancing your work and life the way you want? Use these time-management tips to stay in charge of your day.

Quote about work-life balance by Lisa Sugar on solid peach background

Inspiring work-life balance quotes

32. “When you have balance in your life, work becomes an entirely different experience. There is a passion that moves you to a whole new level of fulfillment and gratitude, and that’s when you can do your best … for yourself and for others.” —Cara Delevingne

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

34. “The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man.” —The Bacchae by Euripides, translated by Kenneth Cavander

35. “In art and dream may you proceed with abandon. In life may you proceed with balance and stealth.” —Patti Smith

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

37. “Your job is just what you do. It’s not who you are.” —Elizabeth Gonzalez James

38. “Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something we love is called passion.” —Simon Sinek

39. “Failure of your company is not a failure in life—failure in your relationships is.” —Evan Williams

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

41. “You don’t build the life you want by saving time. You build the life you want, and then time saves itself. Recognizing that is what makes success possible.” —Laura Vanderkam

42. “Keep your priorities straight. Taking care of your family, your health, your relationships and your spirit is not a selfish act. It’s a sustaining one.” —John C. Maxwell

If it feels like you’ll never achieve that elusive work-life balance, take heart. These uplifting quotes will raise your spirits and motivate you to create more time for the things that matter.

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Work-life balance quotes from pop culture

43. “Better learn balance; balance is key.” —Pat Morita as Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid

44. “We don’t have a lot of time on this earth! We weren’t meant to spend it this way. Human beings were not meant to sit in little cubicles staring at computer screens all day, filling out useless forms and listening to eight different bosses drone on about mission statements.” —Ron Livingston as Peter Gibbons in Office Space

45. “How can I possibly be expected to handle school on a day like this?” —Matthew Broderick as Ferris Bueller in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

46. “My old man worked hard. All they did was give him more work.” —Jonathan Silverman as Richard Parker in Weekend at Bernie’s

47. “A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.” —Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

48. “We need to remember what’s important in life: friends, waffles, work. Or waffles, friends, work. Doesn’t matter. But work is third.” —Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope in Parks and Recreation

49. “Make friends first, make sales second, make love third. In no particular order.” —Steve Carell as Michael Scott in The Office

50. “Your so-called boss may own the clock that taunts you from the wall. But, my friends, the hour is yours.” —Adam Scott as Mark Scout in Severance

If success is what you’re after, check out a roundup of success quotes that, like these work-life balance quotes, will motivate you to cross off everything on your to-do list so you can finally get some well-deserved free time.

Bellamy Richardson
Bellamy Richardson is currently a senior at Williams College and interned for People magazine last summer. She has also covered arts and culture for various publications based in the Berkshires and served as managing editor of her college newspaper.