10 Inspirational Quotes for a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Reviewed by Chris Leitch

Illustration of a businessman thinking about family in a thought bubble and work in another thought bubble

It’s easy to find yourself in a tug of war between work and your personal life. Juggling the demands of your career and life at home can be so tough that it can jeopardise your wellbeing.

Achieving a healthy work-life balance is, therefore, crucial in improving our physical, mental and emotional health. In fact, it also contributes to increased productivity, motivation and success at work.

If you feel hostage by your job and stuck trying to pick between your work and your personal joys, we’ve got a few words of wisdom that might help remind you the importance of maintaining a work-life balance.

Read on for 10 inpirational work-life balance quotes!

1. ‘Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.’ – Dolly Parton

Some of us are just too busy with our professional lives, striving to score the next best goal and make the next big buck. We’re ‘too busy’ for a coffee, ‘too busy’ for the kids and ‘too busy’ for a holiday. Before we know it though, our busyness has left us with a broken marriage, health issue, or a non-existent relationship with the children.

Country singer Dolly Parton reminds us that we need to prevent our busyness from robbing us of our personal lives – take a step back from work as much as you can, and dedicate some hours to personal pleasures instead.

2. ‘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

This thought-provoking quote reminds us about the most important things in life: family, health, friends and integrity. When these aspects of your life start falling apart, you risk never getting them back. Perhaps your focus on work never let you pay attention to your health until you were faced with a sickness, or maybe you lost contact with friends for years and years.

Work, on the other hand, can be fixed when things go wrong. Failed a task? Try again tomorrow. Got fired? Get a new job.

As real estate entrepreneur Gary Keller says, remember that work will always bounce back, but the precious things in life you neglect might not.

3. ‘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

We’re all pressured to be the next Richard Branson, Steve Jobs or Elon Musk. We chase success so much that it leaves us feeling burned out, overworked and unhappy with less control over our personal lives. This can result in a miserable battle for a work-life balance.

However, as speaker and author Alexander Kjerulf observes, being satisfied with your job and feeling less pressured will, ultimately, help you reach that success you yearn for at work. From flexible working hours to taking a break, there are ways to improve productivity and happiness in the workplace.

When you achieve this, you’re more likely to have an improved work-life balance, and that is critical to career success in the long run.

4. ‘You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles.’ – Zig Ziglar

Some of us are simply stuck in the mindset of making money and being successful. We work longer hours, take on big responsibilities and obsess over success so much that it harnesses all our focus and energy. Simply put: our jobs take precedence over everything – including our families.

The dilemma of work versus family is one that most professionals struggle with, but this great quote from the late Zig Ziglar affirms that it is family, or your ‘home life’. that must come first. There’s no success at work when you have a crumbling relationship with your partner or children at home.

You may be an overachiever but try not to sacrifice your personal relationships because of work – take an honest look at your priorities and build those bridges. When you meet personal commitments, you’re more likely to achieve success at work.

5. ‘We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own to-do list’ – Michelle Obama

An unhealthy work-life balance can have a detrimental effect on your health. The stress of managing between personal and professional duties can become so tiresome and demanding that it leaves you irritable or even depressed. Your schedule is so crammed with meetings, emails and phone calls that you forget to slot in time for your massage, girls’ trip or night out with the family.

In the words of former First Lady Michelle Obama, it’s time that you put yourself higher on your own to-do list. Swap reading work emails with reading a book in the evening. Forget about finishing that report on the weekend, and go for that massage, instead. Make time for your mental and physical health, instead of prioritising work all the time and increasing your chances of burnout.


6. ‘When in doubt, choose the kids. There will be plenty of time later to choose work.’ – Anna Quindlen

Wondering whether to attend that conference or your child’s soccer game? Need to go for parent-meetings but promised to meet your boss?

It’s easy to feel torn between the kids and your career as a working parent. According to CIPHR, 75% of working parents experience stress and anxiety when trying to maintain a work-life balance.

If American author and journalist Anna Quindlen’s quote is anything to go by, the children should always come first. This doesn’t mean you have to quit your job and become a stay-at-home-parent; just know when to prioritise the kids first and put work last. Joining them at the dinner table after work and helping them with their homework are just a few ways to make sure you’re properly balancing work and home life.

7. ‘It is not work that kills men; it is worry. Worry is rust upon the blade.’ – Henry Ward Beecher

When work life becomes too much to handle, it results in stress and worry. The anxiety can be even worse when you’re juggling between heavy workloads and personal interests.

Killing yourself over a career isn’t worth it – in fact, it not only damages your health, but your progress too.

If you’re finding yourself crippled with anxiety due to a demanding work life, turn to this quote by 19th Century clergyman and social reformer Henry Ward Beecher for inspiration. Prioritise your health, and take the time to unplug from your job.

8. ‘No one on his deathbed ever said, “I wish I had spent more time at the office”.’ – Paul Tsongas or Harold Kushner

This quote may seem rather bleak but it rings true for those who are struggling for a work-life balance.

Whether it’s your boss who’s nagging you for extra hours or a project that’s making you work overtime, it’s easy to feel immense pressure to spend extra time at work.

You may feel guilty and have conflicting emotions about being at the workplace or spending time on the things that are important to you. This remarkable quote, however, states that at the end of this life, you won’t be worrying about how much time was spent at the office but rather how much time you spent doing the things you love.

9. ‘A career is wonderful, but you can’t curl up with it on a cold night.’ – Marilyn Monroe

This is yet another quote that highlights the importance of family.

While work can be enjoyable and give you a sense of fulfilment, it’s not something you can turn to for comfort – and we all need a bit of that sometimes, right?

Just because work is demanding, it doesn’t mean you should neglect your personal relationships. Avoid that work-life conflict by spending quality time with your loved words.

A successful career is certainly rewarding, like Marilyn Monroe observed, but it’s essential that you do not forget your family, who are probably your biggest achievement yet.

10. ‘Work, love and play are the great balance wheels of man’s being.’ – Orison Swett Marden

This quote communicates to us that humans need to feel a sense of balance, happiness and gratitude in life.

When you manage to successfully juggle your job, hobbies and passions, you’ll achieve the ideal work-life balance.

Focus on building a plan that helps you find the right balance between your professional and personal lives. Avoid letting one have a negative effect on the other, and do your job but make sure to include some downtime four yourself, your relationships and your hobbies, too. This way, you won’t find conflict between your work and life commitments.

Achieving a healthy work-life balance is easier said than done – it does take a lot of practice and patience. But, hopefully, our list of inspirational quotes has given you that extra push in recognising its importance.

Which work-life balance quotes inspired you the most? Do you have a favourite quote not listed here? Join the conversation down below and let us know!