Being Productive, habit-building, Household Projects, Managing Anxiety & Overwhelm, worksheets


MAX-MIN-MOD … this concept comes from Julie Morgenstern who I first “met” this week while listening to Dr. Robyn Silverman’s podcast, How to Talk to Kids About Anything

MAX-MIN-MOD is a simple framework for perfectionists (like me) to use when considering a task or activity they want to complete or engage in.

Using the MAX-MIN-MOD approach, I first determine the goal of the task or activity I am considering (i.e. what am I trying to achieve?). Then, I determine my approach considering these three levels of performance:

  • Maximum (MAX) – “What is the maximum I can do? What does truly perfect look like? Write down, very specifically, all the actions you envision that would add up to the most stellar job” (Morgenstern). 
  • Minimum (MIN) – “Next, ask what is the minimum I could do? Imagine you have run out of time, you can’t skip out on the task, but you need to do the most basic version that will still get the job done” (Morgenstern). 
  • Moderate (MOD) – “What is something above the bare minimum, if you have a little more time to make it special, without going crazy?” (Morgenstern). 

Based on what you discover / describe here, you can choose the path that’s right for you based on your current reality … your circumstances, your time, and anything else you have going on …

Think about how you could apply this method to hosting friends, your workout regime, preparing meals for your family, decluttering, your work … the list goes on and on. This has the potential to be such an effective tool …

Here’s a personal example for my basement “makeover” …


  • hire an interior designer to make plans
  • paint the entire basement
  • purchase new office furniture
  • install cabinets for art / office supplies
  • install an electric fireplace with TV mount above 
  • toy organization / solutions
  • a couple of “feature” walls for special displays
  • get an electrician to install more plugins / better lighting 


  • use bookshelves and dresser we already have for storage
  • use furniture we already have
  • no painting 


  • purchase a ready-made electric fireplace / TV stand
  • paint what really needs to be painted (walls with “dings,” holes, or other damage)
  • use bookshelves and dresser we already have for storage; make them “pretty” with some plants / greenery 
  • use furniture we already have; repair what we have so it’s more usable

I whipped up this little worksheet for you (the teacher in me can’t help it) in case you think this MAX-MIN-MOD framework might serve you:

As always, I truly hope this method serves you next time you find yourself paralyzed by perfection or indecision. I really think this will help me going forward😀

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