8 Best Work-Life Balance Books That Everyone Should Read (2021)

Imagine what life would be like if you could work less and live more. Here are the best work-life balance books to help you make it happen...

8 Best Work-Life Balance Books That Everyone Should Read (2021)

Work-life balance. 


The blissful state of existence that we all yearn for everyday...


But how do we attain it? 


Here are the best work-life balance books that will get you started on the path to reducing your workload and increasing your daily satisfaction and thinking space


The authors mentioned below each approach the topic of work-life balance from an unique angle, allowing you to put the facts together and draw your own conclusion about the best way to plan out your life, personally and professionally. 


Regardless of your current occupation or obligations, these books about work-life balance will give you a fresh perspective on what’s possible for you, so you can start working towards a more fulfilling life, slowly but surely. 


This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.


What are the Best Books on Work-Life Balance? 

Here are the best work-life balance books to add to your reading list: 


1. It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work  


Long hours, an excessive workload, and a lack of sleep have become a badge of honor for modern professionals.


But is all that really necessary?


In this book, authors Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson reject the prevailing notion that long hours, aggressive hustle, and "whatever it takes" are required to run a successful business today.


Instead, they introduce a new path to working effectively, an ideal company culture they call "the calm company."


Designed to become the management guide for the next generation, It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work is an inspiring distillation of key lessons the authors have discovered over the last twenty years of defining their own unconventional company culture. 


Read this book: get hard copy on amazon | get the free audiobook


2. The 4-Hour Workweek


The 4-Hour Workweek is a ridiculously famous book that you've likely already heard of before. 


While it's usually viewed as a book on entrepreneurship, when you think about it, it's actually also a book about work-life balance.


Why? Because according to Tim Ferriss, "the perfect job is the one that takes the least time."


Another one of my favourite quotes from the book is: 


"How is it possible that all the people in the world need exactly 8 hours to accomplish their work? It isn't. 9-5 is arbitrary." 


How true. There is so much more to life than what is presented to us and inflicted upon us everyday...


Whether your dream is escaping the rat race to travel the world, earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, or just living more and working less, this book is the blueprint. 


Read this book: get hard copy on amazon | get the free audiobook


3. Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day


In this book, you'll find a four-step system for improving your focus, finding greater joy in your work, and getting more out of every day.


The authors, John Zeratsky and Jake Knapp, are the inventors behind the renowned "Design Sprint" developed at Google Ventures. 


They've spent years experimenting with habits and routines, looking for ways to help people optimize their energy, and training teams to solve important problems by changing how they work. 


Interestingly, this book isn't about productivity, or checking off more to-dos. It isn't about radically overhauling your lifestyle, either.


It's about making small shifts in your environment to liberate yourself from constant busyness and distraction, so you can stop living passively and start living intentionally


Read this book: get hard copy on amazon | get the free audiobook


4. Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life


Enough is a classic work-life balance book that seeks to "poison our minds with a little humanity." 


The book was written by the late John C. Bogle - founder of the Vanguard Mutual Fund Group and creator of the first index mutual fund. 


Here Bogle shares unparalleled insights on what "enough" actually means as it relates to money, business, and life, including: 


  • A brief discussion on money and what we should consider as the true treasures in our lives
  • Values we should emulate in business and professional settings
  • Thought-provoking musings on our individual roles in society

Overall, the lessons included in this book will cater to your curiosity, give you a sense of moral balance in this materialistic world, and even plump up your investment portfolio.


Read this book: get hard copy on amazon 


5. Off Balance: Getting Beyond the Work-Life Balance Myth to Personal and Professional Satisfaction


Off Balance is a book that's slightly different from all the other work-life balance books on this list.


Why? Because it makes this bold claim: People want satisfaction much more than they want balance


Rather than aiming for work-life balance, author Matthew Kelly shows us how to create a "Personal and Professional Satisfaction" system that allows us to have plenty of energy left for our passions when we are finished fulfilling our responsibilities. 


As he explains, the beautiful thing about satisfaction (as supposed to work-life balance) is that you know when you have it, and you know when you don't.


The most important thing is that we go to sleep every night knowing who we are, what our priorities are, and where our energy is going - and that all three things are generally aligned. 


Read this book: get hard copy on amazon | get the free audiobook


6. Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle 


If there's any time that we particularly crave work-life balance, it's when we feel burnt out. 


Burnout by sisters Emily Nagoski, PhD, and Amelia Nagoski, DMA, is one of the best books on work-life balance and stress management for women. 


In this groundbreaking guide, they explain why women experience burnout differently than men - and provide a simple, science-based plan to help women minimize stress, manage emotions, and live a more joyful life.


Emily and Amelia aren’t here to push expensive self-care routines or insist that we strive for the impossible goal of “having it all.” Instead, they demonstrate that we are enough, just as we are - and that wellness, true wellness, is within our reach.


Read this book: get hard copy on amazon | get the free audiobook


7. Couples That Work: How Dual-Career Couples Can Thrive in Love and Work


The majority of couples today are dual-career couples.


This comes with its own fair share of challenges, as both partners try to achieve their career goals while caring for and supporting each other. 


And when you throw kids into the mix, it's a whole 'nother story. 


In Couples That Work, INSEAD business school professor Jennifer Petriglieri rejects conventional, one-size-fits-all solutions to work-life balance for couples.


Instead, she focuses on how dual-career couples can successfully navigate each phase of their work-life journey by asking the following three questions:

  • How can we make this work? 
  • What do we really want? 
  • Who are we now? 


Based on a five-year research project, this book includes interviews with couples from over thirty countries. As you read this diverse range of experiences, you will discover how dual-career couples with even the most unique challenges can not only survive but also thrive.


Read this book: get hard copy on amazon | get the free audiobook


8. Work Less, Make More


It’s easy to think working less and making more is something available only to a blessed few. 


However, this book proves otherwise.


In 2006, whilst working in a full-time job, James Schramko wrote this in a notebook:


MY GOALS … create automated income so that I am independently wealthy and enjoy my life passionately.


Within three years, he’d built his own business and achieved those goals, and was already helping his coaching clients do the same.


In Work Less, Make More, James shares everything he's learned along the way. 


The book provides bold and practical wisdom for anyone who wants to lift the lid on their creative potential and move into unexplored territories of freedom and opportunity.


You'll learn how to effectively leverage yourself, your team and your business by:

  • Planning and goal-setting
  • Choosing the right business model
  • Creating an offer that converts
  • Increasing your personal effectiveness
  • Leveraging the Profit Formula to boost cash flow
  • Removing compromise from your life

Above all, James proves that keeping your business strategy simple produces far greater success (and happiness) than if you focus only on 'hustling', and provides you with actionable insights that will save you much time and needless frustration. 


Read this book: get hard copy on amazon | get the free audiobook


Final Thoughts


Thanks for checking out this post on the best books on work-life balance.


At the end of the day, work life balance looks different to everyone, so there's no use in following a cookie-cutter approach. 


With this in mind, the above books introduce you to a wide range of implementations of work-life balance, so you can find the approach that best fits your situation. 


At the end of the day, juggling our professional and personal lives is always a work in progress - even if you have your dream job - so never give up on finding ways to re-energize yourself and refocus your life!


=> You can get a free audiobook on work-life balance here


Happy learning!


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