An Easy Way to Remember the 4 Pillars of Improving Your Work Life Balance

Elissa Teal Watson
3 min readJan 5, 2022

If improving your work life balance is one of your goals for 2022, you’ll want to read this post.

In my workshops on Work Life Balance, I teach that the highest impact to your work life balance will be to improve the following 4 skill sets:

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Self-management
  3. Social awareness
  4. Relationship management

The first two are about you and the last two are about others.

In order to make my message “stickier”, I came up with an easy way to remember these 4 skill sets using your own two hands.

You are most likely aware of the hand gesture for “peace”. To be clear, it’s when you hold up your pointer and middle fingers with the back of your hand facing you.

Hold up two peace signs to help you remember the 4 skill sets

If you use both hands to hold up 2 “peace” signs, these four fingers can represent the 4 skill sets that I mentioned earlier.

If we split the 4 skill sets in half, we can use one hand to represent “self” and the other hand to represent “others”.

Self-awareness and self-management on one hand.

Others (social) awareness and others (relationship) management on the other hand.

Check in with yourself in each segment of your day with the 2 “peace” signs by asking yourself these 4 questions.

  1. Self-Awareness: How am I feeling in this situation?
  2. Self-management: What can I do right now or very soon to center myself?
  3. Social Awareness: How are others around me acting?
  4. Relationship Management: What can I do right now or very soon to bring the relationship(s) with those in front of me right now into more harmony?

To help you establish this habit of incorporating these 4 skill sets into each segment of your day, I recommend some or all of the following options:

  1. Set recurring alarms on your phone for each segment of your day.
  2. Put recurring reminders on your electronic calendar for each segment of the day.
  3. Use a Self-Awareness app such as CheckingIn and turn on notifications at specific times during the day. The CheckingIn app is free to use but there is a paid upgrade option for greater analytics.

I really like the CheckingIn app because it asks me to type in just one word about how I am feeling and I also enter my energy level (1–10).

I can choose to type in more about why I chose that one word and my energy level number. Over time, I can look back at any patterns or cycles that may be present. There are other awesome features of the app but I’ll let you check those out on your own.

Here’s the link for the iOS app store.

Disclosure: If you decide to upgrade to a paid account, I may receive a benefit from the developer.

Thanks for reading to the end. Leave a comment or give me up to 50 claps (press and hold the clap button) if you found my message “sticky” and useful.

If you enjoyed this post, I encourage you to subscribe and to take a look at my previous posts about work life balance and emotional intelligence (scroll back to my September series starting with this one). All my best to you in this new year!



Elissa Teal Watson

I write about mindset, emotional intelligence, self-care, productivity, habits, career, and relationship management.