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Build Your Career Work-Life Balance

Best Books for Work-Life Balance

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Rawpixel / Getty Images
  • Work-life-balance books provide insight into managing both your professional life and your family life in a meaningful way.
  • Work-life balance means something different to each person; it could mean shortening a workweek, retiring early or disconnecting.
  • These 10 books are the best reads for anyone who feels overwhelmed by a lack of downtime.

In today's always-on business world, it's difficult to balance work with the rest of your life. Relationships, health and hobbies are often overshadowed by long hours and endless stress.

But separating your work life from your personal life is crucial if you want to be both successful and content. It's important to prioritize what you find most important and to invest your loyalty there. To help, we identified the best work-life-balance books to inspire you to put yourself first.

For many workers, it'd be a dream to work four hours a week and make a sustainable salary. And according to The 4-Hour Workweek (Crown Publishers, 2009), the idea could be attainable. Timothy Ferriss, author and entrepreneur, revealed how he went from earning $40,000 a year working 80 hours a week to $40,000 a month working four hours a week. He touches on concepts such as "mini-retirements" and living like a millionaire without being one. This is a must-read for anyone who is overworked and unsatisfied.

Matthew Kelly, author of Off Balance (Penguin Random House, 2011), believes that instead of pursuing work-life balance, workers should focus on personal satisfaction. He draws from experience to identify three toxic philosophies that are hurting our work culture today and outlines a system that helps workers prioritize what's important to them.

Authors A. Roger Merrill and Rebecca Merrill offer practical tips and information on how to balance all areas of life, from money to family. Life Matters (McGraw Hill, 2004) is full of personal insight and wisdom to help you find the right balance for you.

John C. Bogle, founder of Vanguard Mutual Fund Group, learned through firsthand experience that financial success can be both addicting and destructive. In Enough (John Wiley & Sons, 2010), he discusses the danger of prioritizing work over all else, sharing his own insight into what "enough" really means – or should mean – to business professionals.

A Woman Makes a Plan (Viking, 2019), by Maye Musk, details a rags-to-riches story that will inspire both men and women. Musk provides innovative advice for succeeding in business and becoming self-made in today's economic climate. At 71, she emphasizes the importance of success at any age by achieving work-life balance. Her goal is to bust the myth that it's impossible to achieve a good work-life balance.

In a very connected society, the idea of truly "unplugging" is unheard of. However, work-life balance today requires a conscious disconnect from the online world. In 24/6: The Power of Unplugging One Day a Week (Gallery Books, 2019), author Tiffany Shlain provides strategies for getting offline and focusing at least one day a week completely on your family.

In The One Minute Manager Balances Work and Life (William Morrow, 1999), author Ken Blanchard focuses on career work-life balance. Blanchard focuses mainly on the way a busy lifestyle negatively impacts a person's health. By not taking the time to eat right and exercise, Blanchard became overweight and started to experience health issues. Prioritizing work-life balance helped him stay successful and find lasting happiness.

Work Less, Live More (Palgrave, 2008) is truly a mantra to live by. In one of the best work-life-balance books on the market, co-authors Doris Eikhof and Chris Warhurst discuss creating boundaries in the workplace, changing careers, relocating for a job and much more.

Co-authors Susan Scott and Denise Green created Work-Life Brilliance (Brilliance Publishing, 2017) for those who consider themselves super overwhelmed by career responsibilities. The idea behind the book is to learn how to shift negative thoughts and be proactive in achieving work-life balance. The authors also offer stress-reduction tips.

Creative Calling (Harper Business, 2019) takes a unique view on busting the work-life-balance myth. Author Chase Jarvis believes the problem is that not enough professionals are tapping into their creative sides. He says that, by creating again, we will find the fulfillment we are searching for at home and at work.

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