Work-life balance: a four-stages framework

Work-life balance is a continuous process that goes beyond the organization of time at the individual level and is linked to family relationships and quality of life. It refers to achieving a balance between the roles we perform daily, the variety of obligations, requirements and commitments and our personal life.

I do not believe that there is a perfect harmonious balance as a magic formula that applies to everyone. But there is a common framework that helps us explore our needs, our goals and our priorities.

Here I analyze the four stages of this work-life balance framework.

Stage 1: Pause

Pause is the stage of thinking and evaluating what you do every day almost automatically. What things are you doing that you want to continue doing? If work is your passion and you want to continue at this pace, how do you feel? Is everything OK? Describe what a wonderful day at work would look like. Can you share your desires with your partner/spouse?

Stage 2: Let go

When something does not work, then we either stop it or fix it. The same thing happens in our lives. Sometimes we have to correct or stop what is not working. In practice, this can mean that we are honest about our addictions’ cost. Are you addicted to long hours of work, unhealthy diet? What addiction contributes to imbalance? Are you more interested in caring for others than your own well being? What expectations do others have of you or of yourself that exhaust you? If you feel stuck in your current situation, it may be time to create an exit plan. You may want to make small changes to your work role, for example, start working different hours or have a predetermined break when you work. What small positive change will you make?

Stage 3: Take action

I am a fan of lifelong learning. I love learning things that will help me become a better person, create, connect with other people and contribute positively to my family and business. The way we live satisfies us when we feel that what we do is important. What things are important to you? Are there any new skills you want to learn? Is it time to transfer the business? Do you want to make that trip that you keep postponing? What if you start spending some time on a new activity? Life is a great adventure, and it looks more like a “spring” than a straight line. Hard work does NOT guarantee success. What is the definition of your success?

Stage 4: Move on

You may still want to continue your life exactly as it is. But life passes quickly and your dreams are lost at the same rate, if you do not give time and space to think about who you want to be and what it takes to become who you want to be.

Personally, I want to live a life where I take care of myself, my family and the wider community in which I live and work.

The balance between family and work and the planned change may sound impossible, but it is worth thinking seriously about how you want to rewrite the scenario of your life.

The bottom line is that each of us has the power to change and breathe new life into our lives. You can choose to continue living as you always have, or you can look at your situation with courage and say “Some things need to change.”

The change includes four stages:

* Keep what is good and right for you.

* Give up habits, activities and roles that no longer work for you.

* Learn new things that will give you energy

* Create a schedule for what you want to change

If you are looking for a way to start taking care of yourself and your family then the detailed guide “Balancing work and family” is for you.

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