Module 7: Balance Your Efforts and Work Smarter

Welcome to Module 7

We have covered a ton so far, but we still have more ground to cover. This week, we are tackling the effort you invest in your work. The goal is to balance that effort with adequate rewards so you don’t burn out.


  1. Increase self-awareness about what motivates you to work
  2. Learn 5 strategies to increase your motivation at work rather than sabotaging your career
  3. Learn 5 strategies to get the most from your efforts
  4. Overcome perfectionism and procrastination
  5. Tackle your fear of failure that leads you to strive too hard


  • Rewards can be internal or external
  • When rewards are too low, we sometimes change our perception and convince ourselves that the job is worth it or we take matters into our own hands to seek fairness (e.g., call in sick more often).
  • To balance the equation when rewards are too low: increase rewards, decrease demands, become empowered, focus on meaning, recover your energy. To balance the equation when effort is unbalanced: become aligned with inner rewards, eliminate distractions, declutter, overcome negative thinking/doubt/fear, and manifest through visualization and inspired action.

10 tips to overcome perfectionism:

  1. Strive for excellence rather than perfection
  2. Balance doing good work with getting the job done
  3. Appreciate your efforts no matter the outcome
  4. Substitute self-assurance and a growth mindset for critical self-statements 
  5. Give yourself permission not to know all the answers
  6. Admit your mistakes and let go of excuses and rationalizations
  7. Remind yourself that you are enough
  8. Focus on what you can learn from each situation
  9. Restrain yourself from focusing on other people’s perceptions of you 
  10. Create attainable goals

10 strategies to break out of perfectionism/procrastination

  1. You need to take risks even when there is no guarantee about the outcome. 
  2. You need to recognize that while procrastination is a tactic to avoid feeling negatively, after you procrastinate, you feel worst and beat up on yourself (you’re an idiot/lazy/fraud). 
  3. Procrastinators, like perfectionists, tend to have B&W thinking or unrelenting standards. To break out of this pattern, you need to change your thinking style. Get in the grey zone. Instead of saying to yourself: “If I can’t check all the boxes or do my best, I don’t want to do it at all” think about how to be more flexible. 
  4. Some people say that anxiety is motivating. But we also know that too much anxiety is too much anxiety. When stress or anxiety become too heightened, performance declines. How can you motivate otherwise? 
  5. The underlying fear related to perfectionism and procrastination is the fear of embarrassment. Consider for a moment – so what if I embarrass myself? Are you catastrophizing about what would happen? Chances are you are overexaggering the outcome.
  6. I like to tell people to optimize rather than perfect. When you learn how to think optimally and perform optimally, you can product the best version of the product. Ask yourself how you might optimize your environment, your mind, and your body. 
  7. People often focus on perfection in an attempt to attain a sense of security. But when they make a mistake, they become filled with insecurity and worry about how that will affect them. If you want security, focus on securtiy because what you focus on grows. Look for evidence that you are enough. 
  8. Identify what you get from your procrastination (do you avoid rejection, get to rest on your laurels…). Recognize there is a price you pay as well such as avoiding your mission, not helping people, selling yourself out, playing small. This is your opportunity cost. 
  9. When you catch yourself striving for perfection, mindfully refocus on the goal: get it done. Shift gears.
  10. Do you make quality a part of your identity? Does it feel like a threat if you sacrifice quality? What does it mean about you? Be practical. What do you need to believe to get it done with high enough quality in the time you have? Requires not obsessing. What would it mean if you could do it perfectly? How else can you attain that?


Find your goal: start small and build up

Action: decide on steps you need to take. Take one at a time

Coping: Decide on the skills to practice and use

Evaluate: What went well? What didn’t go so well? What could I do different next time?







  • Organizing your space
  • Reviewing your day and jotting down notes
  • Practicing gratitude
  • Eliminating energy drains
  • Focusing on what you can control
  • Prioritize the most important things (you)!
  • Cultivate self-compassion
  • Engage in self-care

This Week’s Challenge

  • Implement strategies to overcome perfectionism and procrastination.

You’ve got this!