Work Smart Not Hard
Basically, hard work describes someone who gets his/her job done on time irrespective to the external conditions. A highly desired quality, yes. But here’s something to ponder about, what are you working hard on? Are you just working really hard or are you working hard at the right thing.
Working hard on the wrong things does not make someone successful. Too many people work hard at making sure that they’re doing things right, but fail to consider first whether they’re doing the right things. For instance, your efficiency at bottling caps might be unparalleled at your office and you’re diligent in screwing those babies on. But if someone comes along with a mechanical contraption that screws 60 bottle caps per minute, you’re screwed. You may be better at screwing caps than the other person, and essentially you are doing things right, but the other person is doing the right thing by finding a way to do it better.
IF YOU WANT TO MAKE IT BIG IN LIFE, YOU HAVE TO WORK HARD… OR SO YOU’VE BEEN TOLD.
Some signs that you may be working hard at the wrong things:
- You work hard throughout the day, but at the end of the day you wonder if what you’ve done really made much of a difference.
- You work hard but don’t feel like you get the recognition that you deserve.
- You work tirelessly but it rarely feels like you accomplish much of anything.
Personally I am very lazy. When it comes to getting things done, I don’t regularly finish my work before the deadline (I rush things at the 11th hour and manage to get it done within the deadline).
It’s not something to be proud of. I am sure a lot of you have read this quote on social media by Bill Gates (Not sure if he really said this or not).
“I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.” – Bill Gates
What he probably meant was he prefers people who work smart to people who work hard. Work smart is the term I learnt from my first boss Mr. Rajan Maskey (MD, Espace Studios). He used this term to tell us when we were working without an end goal or working too hard to get something done which was not important.
- Be Organized: Being organized helps you get your work faster. You can start with changing your “To-Do List” to “Today List”. Momentum fuels motivation so focus more on quick wins rather than making long lists.
- Prioritize: Prioritize your work with the help of the never failing priority quadrant. If you follow this chart, you will get all the important work done. Remember delegating to the right person at the right time is what needs to be focused.
- Stick to 9 – 5: People think if you work overtime, you are a hardworking person. I think people who work overtime are the ones who are slow and are really bad at time management. Stick to 9 – 5 (or 10 – 6) and be productive & efficient at that time.
- Invest your time to learn: Education/ learning starts at school but it never ends. You can learn so much from different sources. You can learn from your co-workers, your boss and even from your juniors. It not only enhances your knowledge but also helps you develop a healthy relationship with your organization.
- Attitude: Attitude definitely is the invisible attire you wear everyday. Your attitude defines you and influences how people judge you. If you have a cooperative attitude, it makes it a lot easier for you to get your work done easily and effectively. It’s called reciprocity. If you are a helpful person, its more likely that people will help you when you seek help. Respect others, that is your first step to earn respect.
- Awareness: Keep yourself aware about your organization and your working environment. Know what is required of you and work towards using your environmental resources to the most effective and efficient in order to reach the desired goals. Be aware of what your capabilities are, the available resources you have and how you can use technology to your benefit.
Keep yourself aware about your organization and your working environment.
What I have realized personally is that working hard on something not important will add stress, anxiety, strained relationship, lack of mental balance, dissatisfaction and decreased productivity. Be smart, work smart for better health, satisfaction, better self-esteem and productivity.
Of course, it is important to strike a balance between working hard and working smart. If you’re looking for shortcuts to produce subpar quality of work you might be confusing “working smart” with “working just for the sake of it”. Remember, before you can work smart, you need to learn to work hard.