5 books about work-life balance

For too many of us, work-life balance feels like a mirage on the horizon — something we can see, but never quite achieve. Fortunately, however, a few brilliant thinkers have done much of the hard work for us, figuring out why work keeps us so trapped and how we can reclaim more of our personal time. Check out the five excellent books below to get started.

Work Won’t Love You Back: How Commitment to Our Work Keeps Us Exploited, Exhausted and Alone by Sarah Jaffe

A leading voice on labour, inequality and social movements explores the myth of ‘labour of love’ – the idea that certain work is not really work and should therefore be done out of passion rather than pay. In this way, she reveals how we have all been tricked into buying a new tyranny of work. Check out our “Book Bite” summary, read by author Sarah Jaffe, in the Next Big Idea app.

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

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

Rooted in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), the techniques shared by an influential therapist help us clearly identify and express our needs — and solve a key problem behind codependency, power struggles, anxiety, depression, burnout, and more . Listen to our “Book Bite” summary, read by author Nedra Glover Tawwab, in the Next Big Idea app.

Laziness Doesn't Exist by Devon Price

Laziness Doesn’t Exist by Devon Price

For too many of us, our self-esteem has become a function of our productivity. In other words, we only feel good about ourselves by working harder and harder. But in this book, a social psychologist argues that what we call “laziness” isn’t just natural—it’s something we should all try to embrace. Listen to our “Book Bite” summary, read by author Devon Price, on the Next Big Idea app.

No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work by Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy

No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work by Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy

A hilarious guide to expressing your emotions effectively in the office, finding satisfaction and defining work-life balance on your own terms. Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy draw on behavioral economics, psychology, and their own experiences at various organizations to explain how to bring your best self (and your whole self) to work every day. View an excerpt from our E-Course.

Doing Nothing: How to Escape Overwork, Exaggeration and Underlife by Celeste Headlee

Doing Nothing: How to Escape Overwork, Exaggeration and Underlife by Celeste Headlee

As work tries to weave its way into every waking moment, an award-winning journalist reminds us that we can and should set aside some time for ourselves. In other words, it’s really okay to sit back and do nothing. Listen to our “Book Bite” summary, read by author Celeste Headlee, in the Next Big Idea app.

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