You’ve likely encountered career books or motivational speakers who urge you to work hard and give ‘it’ everything you can. While throwing yourself into work on every project and shooting for perfection is admirable, there are several downsides. Before long, you may find yourself forfeiting time with family, friends, or on hobbies as you feel increasingly pressed for time.
In actuality, you don’t have to give 110% or even 100% to everything you do.
Successful people are very selective about when they push themselves to the max—they do so only when the stakes are big enough and when it’s entirely justified.
Not everything you produce has to be perfect. Many of the results that matter can be less imperfect than allowable, but relevant enough.
Imperfection is often a satisfactory outcome. A 110% effort might not move you any closer to your goals than an 80% or a 90% effort.
Your time, energy, and other resources are in short supply. Constantly weigh your efforts against the expected benefits. Consider output-to-input efficiency. Be aware of the point of diminishing returns and don’t contribute more effort than is necessary. Make prudent compromises between reasonable effort and perfection.