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  1. Blog
  2. Women to Know
  3. September 26, 2019 (Updated September 16, 2022)

20 Quotes on Achieving Work-Life Balance from Successful Women

“You can't do a good job if your job is all you do.”

Woman balancing on a rock at sunset
Photo courtesy of Aziz Acharki

Is it ever possible to achieve that mythical work-life balance?

In reality, there’s no secret formula. No hidden tricks, no “life hack” to achieve the perfect work-life balance. There will be times when everything is in balance and others when it simply can’t be. It’s all about finding what’s best for you, which might look different than what’s best for someone else.

Need some inspiration while you navigate your balance? Consider these words of advice from a few wise women.

Work-life balance quotes from famous leaders

1. “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.”

―Michelle Obama, lawyer, author, and former First Lady of the United States

2. “Don’t confuse having a career with having a life.”

—Hillary Clinton, lawyer, author, senator, former Secretary of State, and former First Lady of the United States

Read more: 25 Tips for Dealing with Burnout

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

—Mother Teresa, teacher, missionary

4. “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, businesswoman, author, and founder of HuffPost and Thrive Global

Read more: 13 Busy Women on How to Stay Organized

Quotes about work-life balance and setting boundaries

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

—Betsy Jacobson, businesswoman

6. “Self-care is, fundamentally, about bringing balance back to a life that has grown imbalanced from too many commitments or responsibilities.”

—Robyn L. Gobin, licensed clinical psychologist and author

7. “I've learned that you can't have everything and do everything at the same time.”

—Oprah Winfrey, media executive, talk show host, TV producer, and businesswoman

8. “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, cofounder of Lumi Labs and former CEO of Yahoo!

Read more: 38 Powerful Quotes from Women Who Don’t Mess Around

Quotes about work-life balance and prioritizing yourself

9. “You can't do a good job if your job is all you do.”

—Katie Thurmes, cofounder of Artifact Uprising

10. “I think taking vacations and turning off the phone and only doing emails or social media for a specific short amount of time helps with work-life balance. If I'm checking it all day I start to feel cuckoo-bird. So I just do it once or twice a day instead of a thousand. And then remembering that it doesn't matter. It just doesn't matter.”

—Maria Bamford, comedian and actress

11. “Striving for excellence motivates you. Striving for perfection is demoralizing.”

—Harriet Braiker, social and clinical Ph.D. psychologist, author

12. “When I think about work life balance, I don’t imagine it as a perfect day where I got 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, professional golfer

13. “Framing the issue of work-life balance—as if the two were dramatically opposed—practically ensures work will lose out. Who would ever choose work over life?”

—Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO and founder of Leanin.org

Quotes about work-life balance and slowing down

14. “For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.”

—Lily Tomlin, comedian, actress, writer, producer, and singer

15. “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, TV screenwriter, producer, and author

16. “I believe in a world where work feels like play, and while it's not always as easy as I'd like, I try to spend as much time there as possible.”     

—Marney K. Makridakis, author

17. “The gift of balance in your life – May you find the balance of life, time for work but also time for play. Too much of one thing ends up creating stress that no one needs in their life.”

—Catherine Pulsifer, author

18. “Life will always get busy, make time to do the things you love.”

—Lailah Gifty Akita, founder of Smart Youth Volunteers Foundation

19. “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.”

—Celine Dion, singer

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

—Dolly Parton, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, music producer, businesswoman, and actress

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