4 Steps to Developing a Work Moderation Plan That Works For You

The key is to set boundaries that help you avoid burnout, and feel fulfilled in the work you're doing.

Pra Chid/ Shutterstock
Pra Chid/ Shutterstock

Work moderation is a broad framework that provides maximum flexibility and balance in the four areas of life: work, play, relationships, and self. Giving time and thought to your work in proportion to other activities in your life becomes the primary goal. There’s a general consensus that the best predictor of a positive approach to work is a full life outside work. A full personal life that acts as a psychological buffer can dissipate your work’s negative effects and augment the positive ones. 

Steps to Developing a Work Moderation Plan 

As a beginning to a work moderation — or self-care — plan, imagine your life as four spokes in a wheel: self, relationships, play, and work. 

1.Self: attending to the personal needs of rest and physical exercise, relaxation, self-esteem, spiritual practices, nutrition, and stress-reduction exercises such as deep breathing or meditation.

2. Relationships: spending time and nurturing relationships with significant loved ones and friends whom you consider your family. Your family can be a spouse; it can include both a spouse and children; it can include unmarried same-sex or opposite-sex partners with or without children; or it can comprise other adults such as your parents or siblings. Your family, whether related or unrelated to you, and your friends comprise your major support system. 

3. Play: spending time in fun activities and social pastimes such as hobbies, recreation, and leisure. 

4. Work: being effective and productive on the job, enjoying what you do for a living, working harmoniously with coworkers, and working moderately while giving equal time to other areas of your life. 

Excerpt from Chained to the Desk: A Guidebook for Workaholics, Their Partners and Children, and the Clinicians Who Treat Them with permission from the author and publisher.

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