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Just Enough... whoever wants to do that?

It's likely that you've never been rewarded or praised for doing 'just enough'. It's far more likely that you've been encouraged to give it everything; to do your best; to strive to go further than you've gone before #GOALCRUSHING. These are likely to be ways of tackling projects and work that have made you successful and got you to where you are in your career.

There are also bound to be areas in your life where you recognise the 'what can I get away with' approach. This typically can surface with work or tasks you don't like to get done. They may remind you of a teenager in your life, or your teenage years of tidying the bedroom, begrudingly helping out with the washing up and so on. As an adult, I know they show up for me with admin and my business accounting. The problem with this approach is that it can feel like we are being done to, rather than owning it, and being proactive and satisfied.

Back in my time as a leader, one lovely Director shared their frustration with my wavering between 120% gear and 60% gear. I was either on full whack or exhausted and getting by. He asked me to find my middle gear and to know when #JUSTENOUGH was all that was needed.

This is where the life lesson of #JUSTENOUGH kicked in. Now as a coach, it's a useful mindset shift that I often explore with clients who may be in one of these situations (and many more):

- overwhelmed with the amount of work in the day

- struggling to get started on something because they feel they can't do it to the standard they strive for

- juggling a more complex work life family experience and running out of energy

- regularly experience burn out

- wanting to find time for more strategic thinking

It's important to make two key points

1. This is not a replacement for a #GOALCRUSH mindset. That absolutely has its place. And it's not always needed. So this is about finding that middle gear and using your judgement about when to apply it and how to still feel the buzz of motivation around it.

2. It's also worth differentiating #JUSTENOUGH from the 'what can I get away with' approach. In the summary box below, I highlight some of the key differences between the two approaches.

Maturity - this might be a bit contentious, but there is something much more adult about knowing what is just enough. When you look at the differences below, I hope that you come to the same conclusion, and I'd love to hear from you if you disagree.

Judgement - the just enough mindset harnesses your leadership ability of judgement. It asks you to look at what would be enough, to consider what might be too much at this stage. This may involve asking others. It requires you to move from second guessing what others want to knowing what you believe is a good result.

Reflection Questions: If I leave my ego behind, what do I truly know about what is needed here? What would disappoint my stakeholders if it didn't get delivered?

Drive - the motivation comes from a different place. With a just enough mindset, you can see the bigger picture of where this fits in and what else sits around it. It involves seeing it as more than a single isolated job to tick off, your motivation comes from seeing it as additive towards other stuff you have on the go. You know what motivates you and choose to work in a way that will be satisfying.

Reflection Questions: What else will benefit from this being done just enough? How can you connect your motivations with a just enough mindset?

Effort - How much time, effort and energy should you put into something in a just enough mindset? This is about a maximum of focus/ energy/ effort in typically a limited time. This is not about a lacklustre half-hearted go at something, keeping everything crossed it will be passable. This approach helps satisfy the feeling of striving, but

Reflection Questions: Which elements will do well enough with my average self? What can be done when I have less energy? When, with who, or on what requires my best self?

Success - So how do you know you've got the balance right? You do. You used your judgement to set out to find out what was needed, and you exerted effort and applied your time where it was needed. You are not waiting for someone else to tell you whether it was ok, or most likely not ok! Going back to chat with my Director, the emerging coach in me had the courage to open up a conversation about where my judgement was off the mark. We both got clarity about what was needed and I could see how I could work in a way that was still motivating.

Reflection Questions: What would it take for you to trust that doing just enough is successful?

Where and when in your life can you see the #JUSTENOUGH mindset could be of value? If this strikes a chord with you and you've found the questions helpful and yet want to go a bit further, that's where coaching can come in.

What do you think.... are you a current fan of the #JUSTENOUGH mindset or could you be?

Are you a fan of using a #JUSTENOUGH mindset?

  • 0%Yes

  • 0%No

  • 0%Maybe, convince me more!

Experience coaching with me

Every year I have space to work with 10 clients on a one-to-one basis. Often my clients are at a crossroads or new junction in the lives and get great value from having someone independent to help them shake up their thinking, bring in new perspectives and have a trusted place to say everything that feels too risky to share with work colleagues, friends and family.

Just drop me an email on and we'll find some time for an intro chat.

All the best, Felicity

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