Robbie Neilson demanded more from his Hearts side, despite them comfortably beating Livingston at Tynecastle to stretch their lead in third place in the Scottish Premiership to 14 points.
Beni Baningime knocked in an early goal, and Barrie McKay scored his first for Hearts with a stunning volley.
And the capital men could clinch third place and European football for next season before the league splits.
“I wasn’t that happy with the performance,” said Neilson.
“The first half I thought we could do better. The second half we dominated the game but we can create more chances, we can take more chances.”
Livingston dropped to sixth in the table, one point clear of three teams in the battle for a top-six spot.
One blow for Hearts was the loss of Baningime to injury, with the midfielder landing awkwardly in the first half.
Livingston arrived in the capital hoping to cement a place in the top half and stay in the hunt to earn a place in Europe for the first time in 19 years.
However, within three minutes they were behind. Liam Boyce picked out Ellis Simms, whose ball across goal was not dealt with and Baningime slid in to knock a hashed clearance into the net.
A big save from Max Stryjek denied Hearts a second with Boyce and Simms again combining, but this time the Polish goalkeeper got his hand to it.
There was little let-up in tempo, though, as the flowing attacking football from Hearts continued at a ferocious pace.
Craig Halkett chested the ball down and smacked it at goal, with a deflection taking it into the side netting. Stephen Kingsley headed wide from the corner, and Halkett and Nathan Atkinson would have further chances before the break.
Livingston, though, began to look more dangerous at the start of the second half.
Joel Nouble made a fine run down the right, dribbled past two Hearts players, but lost control just as he was about to add the finish. Shortly afterwards, Alan Forrest shot from distance forced a save from Craig Gordon.
But Hearts doubled their lead in spectacular style. Simms did well to keep the ball in play under pressure, knocked it back to Atkinson, whose pinpoint cross to McKay was volleyed high into the net.
Gordon denied Andrew Shinnie with a great block as Livingston looked for a way back into the game.
And the Scotland goalkeeper was to earn a third clean sheet in five games as the season continues to go smoothly for the Scottish Cup semi-finalists.
Man of the match – Liam Boyce
What did we learn?
Neilson has pressed the important of a winning mindset at Hearts, and that they should be expected to win every game.
In league terms they have little to play for with European football likely to be sewn up soon, but they played with a hunger and energy that at times Livingston could not match.
Manager Martindale spoke beforehand about exploiting the home side down the flanks, but they rarely had any joy as Hearts repeatedly pushed them inside, and perhaps the Livingston boss will regret leaking his game plan pre-match.
But with two games until the split, although the league has tightened up, they remain in with a good chance of clinching a top-half finish.
What did they say?
Hearts manager Robbie Neilson: “We’ve been on Barry about when he was going to get his first goal, but he’s been absolutely outstanding for us, creating chances, and it was only a matter of time before it came, and what a finish.
“It’s a great result, it puts us 14 clear, but we need to keep demanding more.”
Livingston manager David Martindale: “I thought for 45 minutes we were very lucky to only be 1-0 down. We were a wee bit toothless, passive, lethargic. Barrie McKay’s goal is a wonder strike, but it’s probably against the run of play.
“We’ve got two cup finals before the split, two more winnable games than this one. It’s 31 games and we’re sitting sixth so I’ll take the positives.”
After the international break Hearts are away to Ross County in the Scottish Premiership on Saturday 2 April (15:00 GMT), while Livingston are away to St Johnstone at the same time.
Heart of Midlothian
- 12AtkinsonSubstituted forMooreat 83′minutes
- 16HallidaySubstituted forSibbickat 83′minutes
- 6BaningimeSubstituted forCochraneat 36′minutes
- 8McEneffSubstituted forGinnellyat 70′minutes
- 18McKaySubstituted forWoodburnat 82′minutes
- 2DevlinBooked at 90mins
- 29PenriceSubstituted forLewisat 74′minutes
- 18HoltBooked at 90mins
- 8PittmanSubstituted forShinnieat 74′minutes
- 17ForrestSubstituted forChukwuemekaat 63′minutes
- 33OmeongaBooked at 37minsSubstituted forKellyat 63′minutes
- 14BaileySubstituted forSotoat 63′minutes
- 19NoubleBooked at 84mins
- Euan Anderson
Match ends, Heart of Midlothian 2, Livingston 0.
Second Half ends, Heart of Midlothian 2, Livingston 0.
Nicky Devlin (Livingston) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Peter Haring (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Nicky Devlin (Livingston).
Jason Holt (Livingston) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Josh Ginnelly (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Jason Holt (Livingston).
Attempt saved. Craig Halkett (Heart of Midlothian) header from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Ben Woodburn with a cross.
Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Jack Fitzwater.
Offside, Livingston. Max Stryjek tries a through ball, but Andrew Shinnie is caught offside.
Attempt blocked. Josh Ginnelly (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Attempt missed. Josh Ginnelly (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.
Offside, Heart of Midlothian. Ben Woodburn tries a through ball, but Craig Halkett is caught offside.
Joel Nouble (Livingston) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Ellis Simms (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Joel Nouble (Livingston).
Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Toby Sibbick replaces Andrew Halliday because of an injury.
Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Taylor Moore replaces Nathaniel Atkinson.
Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Ben Woodburn replaces Barrie McKay.