Updated: March 30, 2023

17 Best Work-Life Balance Books to Read in 2023

You found our list of the best work-life balance books.

Work-life balance books are resources that provide strategies for readers to achieve optimal stability between their personal lives and careers. Examples include Overwhelmed by Brigid Schulte and Set Boundaries, Find Peace by Nedra Glover Tawwab. The purpose of these books is to help readers boost their productivity and increase work satisfaction while also maintaining a thriving personal life.

Work-life balance books are similar to time management books. These books provide work-life balance tips and remote work-life balance ideas. To help improve your work-life balance, consider adopting a four-day work week, and check out some productivity tips.

This list includes:

  • books about work-life balance
  • work-life balance readings
  • best-selling books on work-life balance
  • books about balance in life

Here we go!

List of work-life balance books

A good work-life balance book can be as effective as a mentor or a management tool. From Pause by Rachael O’Meara to Getting Things Done by David Allen, here is a list of books that guide individuals on work-life balance.

1. Off Balance: Getting Beyond the Work-Life Balance Myth to Personal and Professional Satisfaction by Matthew Kelly

Off Balance is a great pick of books about balance in life. Matthew Kelly addresses work-life balance issues using realistic guidelines. The author bases his teachings on the belief that workers do not want a work-life balance. Rather, employees want satisfaction. Off Balance includes handy tips Kelly uses for his team, clients, and himself to find long-term professional and personal satisfaction. Readers will learn about the philosophies dragging humankind down and how to navigate these challenges. The author also outlines how readers can use his professional and personal satisfaction system to establish and heed their biggest priorities.

Notable quote: “Work-life balance, work-life effectiveness, personal and professional satisfaction—or whatever you choose to call it—is not an entitlement or benefit. Your company cannot give it to you. You have to create it for yourself. You are personally responsible for living the best life you can.”

Read Off Balance.

2. Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte

Overwhelmed is a fantastic choice of work-life balance books. The book follows a hilarious and honest journey to discuss the effect of work stress on the quality of life. In the resource, Brigid Schulte begins her work-life balance journey by keeping a time diary. The journal includes interviews with professionals from diverse fields and varying approaches to work, play, and love in different cities. Along the way, the author seeks to understand how life can improve. Schulte also outlines the structural and policy changes to support a healthy work-life balance, especially for working parents.

Notable quote: “As work weeks get longer and leisure time shrinks, people are becoming sicker, more distracted, absent, unproductive, and less innovative.”

Read Overwhelmed.

3. Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life by John C. Bogle

Enough tops the list of work-life balance readings for investors and employees. As the founder of the Vanguard Mutual Fund Group, John C. Bogle writes his thoughts on what “enough” means in business, money, and life. The resource provides insights into money and what humanity should consider the true treasures of life. The author uses the book to put individuals’ obsession with financial success into perspective. Readers will get valuable tips on running a company, working, and achieving a fulfilling life.

Notable quote: “The great game of life is not about money; it is about doing your best to join the battle to build a new ourselves, our communities, our nation, and our world.”

Read Enough.

4. Work-from-Home Hacks: 500+ Easy Ways to Get Organized, Stay Productive, and Maintain a Work-Life Balance While Working from Home! By Aja Frost

One of the major cons of a remote working arrangement is the difficulties in maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Employees get extra time to spend time with family and avoid the commute to the office. However, most employees struggle with unproductivity, often resulting in working past hours. Work-from-Home Hacks is a handy guide for remote workers. The book provides over 500 sustainable and effective work-life balance tips to help remote workers stay productive and happier. Some handy tips Frost offers include designing a home workspace, unplugging from work, and the importance of routines.

Notable quote: “Before you clock out each night, spend five minutes putting things away, organizing your papers, and removing dirty glasses. You’ll appreciate your efforts when you sit down to your desk the next morning.”

Read Work From Home Hacks.

6. Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself by Nedra Glover Tawwab

If you are looking for work-life balance readings, then Set Boundaries, Find Peace is an excellent pick. Nedra leads readers through the art of setting healthy boundaries by being assertive. The author uses cognitive behavioral therapy to help readers identify and express their needs clearly without apology. Nedra uses detailed examples to show how poor boundaries present themselves in work and personal lives. The book also uncovers problems rooted in power struggles, codependency, anxiety, and burnout. With these tips, workers will learn how to cope with toxic peers, cultivate relationships with loved ones, and have a thriving work-life balance.

Notable quote: “The hardest thing about implementing boundaries is accepting that some people won’t like, understand, or agree with yours. Once you grow beyond pleasing others, setting your standards becomes easier. Not being liked by everyone is a small consequence when you consider the overall reward of healthier relationships.”

Read Set Boundaries.

7. I Didn’t Do the Thing Today: Letting Go of Productivity Guilt to Embrace the Hidden Value in Daily Life by Madeleine Dore

I Didn’t Do the Thing Today tops the list of resources that can help workers achieve sustainable work-life balance. Madeleine Dore takes readers through the pressure to be productive. However, the mounting pressure results in daily unproductivity. The author results in eliminating the doing and perfection obsession and finding ways to deal with the productivity guilt. I Didn’t Do the Thing Today can help readers find more connection and creativity by valuing each day instead of what they manage to do.

Notable quote: “Perhaps it’s not about squeezing more into our days, but removing what breaks our attention. Whether it’s meetings, to-do lists, or social media, we can scatter seemingly harmless interruptions in our day that take longer to recuperate from than we might anticipate.”

Read I Didn’t Do the Thing Today.

8. Do Nothing: How to Break Away from Overworking, Overdoing, and Underliving by Celeste Headlee

As one of the best books about work-life balance, Do Nothing provides valuable insights. Celeste Headlee recognizes that human beings strive for the best in life while ignoring what they can do well naturally. The book addresses individuals’ need to work more and live harder versus working less and living smarter. The result of working more and living harder leads to an anxious and lonely population. Headlee encourages readers to measure their time in terms of efficiency and take regular breaks. Do Nothing also advises readers to embrace what makes them human, including social connections, creativity, and the capacity for joy.

Notable quote: “We work best when we allow for flexibility in our habits. Instead of gritting your teeth and forcing your body and mind to work punishing hours and ‘lean in’ until you reach your goals, the counterintuitive solution might be to walk away. Pushing harder isn’t helping us anymore.”

Read Do Nothing.

9. The Power of Fun: How to Feel Alive Again by Catherine Price

As a screen-life balance expert and journalist, Catherine Prince provides top tips for achieving work-life balance. The author recognizes the detrimental effects of tech obsessions and how humans have the wrong perceptions of happiness. Catherine talks about some false ideologies of fun, like bingeing on television and posting on social media, leading to the emptiness inside. The author argues that true fun, connection, and playfulness will lead to happier and healthier lives. The Power of Fun also has a personalized plan for achieving a better life balance. These tips will also boost productivity, reduce stress, and provide a sense of purpose.

Notable quote: “We can’t control the fact that we will die. But we can control whether we actually live. We can control whether we merely endure our days or experience and enjoy them. We can control whether we arrive on our deathbeds feeling like we’ve wasted our time or end up satisfied with how we’ve spent our brief moment in the sun.”

Read The Power of Fun.

10. Pause: Harnessing the Life-Changing Power of Giving Yourself a Break by Rachael O’Meara

Pause is a great read for workers experiencing burnout. Rachael O’Meara discusses actions that workers can take when feeling overwhelmed, stuck, or burned out. The author guides readers through the steps to pause, including recognizing the need and planning for breaks. Pause is an insightful book incorporating scientific findings and stories of successful pauses. While pauses could be long holidays, O’Meara discusses other techniques like taking a short walk and unplugging from digital devices.

Notable quote: “How often do we have the courage to change or seek a situation that’s 100 percent aligned with what we want or need? If we’re not in alignment, chances are we’ve compromised part of ourselves to please someone else or do the right thing.”

Read Pause.

11. The Algebra of Happiness: Finding the Equation for a Life Well Lived by Scott Galloway

The Algebra of Happiness is a fantastic selection of books about balance in life. Scott Galloway discusses the formula of a fulfilling life, including meaningful careers versus lucrative ones and how to achieve long-term relationships. The author uses his life’s lessons to provide teachings on the definition of riches and the key to relationships. The Algebra of Happiness can help readers define their priories and improve their well-being.

Notable quote: “Pay special attention to things that bring you joy that don’t involve mind-altering substances or a lot of money. Whether it’s cooking, capoeira, the guitar, or mountain biking, interests and hobbies add texture to your personality.”

Read The Algebra of Happiness.

12. How Will You Measure Your Life? By Clayton M. Christensen, James Allworth, and Karen Dillon

With lessons from some of the world’s most successful businesses, How Will You Measure Your Life? provides a blueprint for measuring success. The authors also offer guidelines for happiness and success using their own lives. Readers will get tips on areas such as career satisfaction, building personal relationships, and maintaining integrity. The authors argue that folks often spend a lot of time on seemingly important parts of their lives, like work, that take away fulfilling parts, such as family and friends. Readers will learn how to navigate factors that affect work-life balance, like compensation, status, and job security. The book features stories and examples from family and business events.

Notable quote: “In your life, there are going to be constant demands for your time and attention. How are you going to decide which of those demands gets resources? The trap many people fall into is to allocate their time to whoever screams loudest, and their talent to whatever offers them the fastest reward. That’s a dangerous way to build a strategy.”

Read How Will You Measure Your Life?

13. Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Hector Garcia Puigcerver and Francesc Miralles

Ikigai tops the list of best-selling books on work-life balance. The authors base the text on the Japanese belief that all individuals have an ikigai, or a reason for living. Thus, readers can derive ways to live a purposeful life by following the intersection of what they love and what the world needs. The book teaches readers how to leave urgency behind, nurture friendships, and do what they love. The authors also explore the concept of ikigai based on the lives of Japan’s longest-living community. This concept encourages participation in the communities and a focus on their passions. The resource also provides practical guides that will help readers discover their ikigai.

Notable quote: “Life is not a problem to be solved. Just remember to have something that keeps you busy doing what you love while being surrounded by the people who love you.”

Read Ikigai.

14. Die with Zero: Getting All You Can from Your Money and Your Life by Bill Perkins

Die with Zero is an engaging work-life balance guide. Bill Perkins takes on an approach to living rich versus dying rich. The book presents provocative philosophy and practical guides that provide insights into how readers can get the most out of their money and lives. Die with Zero is an excellent resource for individuals interested in prioritizing over-living instead of over-saving. Some notable insights the author provides include making meaningful connections, the importance of travel, and spending a quality life with family and loved ones. Perkins uses his life experiences, cautionary tales, and inspiring stories to provide eye-opening insights on money, time, and happiness.

Notable quote: “We all have at least the potential to make more money in the future, we can never go back and recapture time that is now gone. So, it makes no sense to let opportunities pass us by for fear of squandering our money. Squandering our lives should be a much greater worry.”

Read Die with Zero.

15. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

With some of the best hacks, Getting Things Done is a clever choice for individuals looking for best-selling books on work-life balance. In the publication, David Allen argues that folks achieve higher productivity only when their minds and thoughts are clear. The author also elaborates on why traditional working methods may not be effective and why organizations should embrace modern methods. One of the best lessons in Getting Things Done is the “do it, delegate it, defer it, and drop it” rule. The author also focuses on overcoming the urgent and crisis demands of workdays.

Notable quote: “Most people feel best about their work the week before their vacation, but it’s not because of the vacation itself. What do you do the last week before you leave on a big trip? You clean up, close up, clarify, and renegotiate all your agreements with yourself and others. I just suggest that you do this weekly instead of yearly.”

Read Getting Things Done.

16. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

If you often feel overwhelmed with work, then Essentialism is a great read. Rather than focusing on doing more in the least time possible, Greg McKeown’s focal point is doing only the right tasks. The book helps readers discern what is essential and eliminate time-wasting tasks. Thus, readers gain more discipline in reclaiming control of where to spend their energy and time instead of letting others choose for them. Essentialism provides simple techniques for readers to apply boundaries in their work and personal lives.

Notable quote: “Remember that if you don’t prioritize your life someone else will.”

Read Essentialism.

17. Couples That Work: How Dual-Career Couples Can Thrive in Love and Work by Jennifer Petriglieri

Jennifer Petriglieri guides couples on navigating romantic relationships and thriving in the workplace. The author discusses the distractions that come with romantic relationships and also how focusing on promotions can negatively affect love. Petriglieri draws the lessons from her research on over a hundred couples in diverse relationship types and roles. Couples That Work highlights couples’ distinct and diverse developmental stages. Readers will benefit from the practical guidance through exercises, questions, and activities that couples can use to establish an effective work-love balance. The resource is a great read for couples of all ages, regions, and orientations.

Notable quote: “Most advice for couples focuses on their personal relationship, not the way it intersects with professional dreams. Even then, couples are bombarded with blanket prescriptions on what they should do: ‘Divide the housework equally,’ ‘Strike a balance between life and career,’ ‘Make time for one another’—none of which have helped couples become clearer about, let alone learn how to satisfy, their deepest needs in work and in love.”

Read Couples That Work.


The working population constantly seeks flexible careers or jobs that perfectly balance work and personal life. However, striking this balance is a major challenge, and workers often have to sacrifice in one area. Some of the best ways readers can grasp tips for maintaining an optimal work-life balance is through publications. A healthy work-life balance enables individuals to thrive at work and care for their well-being. We hope that our list of books on work-life balance will help you find the best balance between your personal life and work.

Next, check out our list of work-life balance quotes and ways to optimize time management.

FAQ: Work-life balance books

Here are answers to common questions about work-life balance books.

What are work-life balance books?

Work-life balance books address the imbalance between work and personal life. These resources tackle issues such as workaholism, toxic workplaces, boundaries, and personal challenges. The lack of work-life balance can lead to burnout, relationship issues with loved ones, and poor physical and mental health.

What are some good books about work-life balance?

With demanding schedules and strict targets to achieve, it can be difficult to leave work at the office, leading to a separation between home and office. While attaining a work-life balance can be difficult, readers can get handy tips from renowned coaches. Some good books about work-life balance include Essentialism by Greg McKeown and The Algebra of Happiness by Scott Galloway.

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People & Culture Director at teambuilding.com.
Grace is the Director of People & Culture at TeamBuilding. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.

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