Hard work vs smart work : Improve your productivity


I am sure most of you all think of smart work as a shortcut of doing things. Well it isn’t.

I have heard people say that “I am not a hard worker. I believe in smart work”Well then let me just add to this, Smart work is much more difficult than Hard Work. Do you know how much evaluation is needed to do smart work?

“Without hard work, nothing grows but weeds.” said Gordon B. Hinckley which clearly states the importance of consistency and hard work if you want to achieve good in your life. But working hard doesn’t always offer success on a plate for you, if not applied with brains.

For getting success both are necessary. Hard work is the first step for smart work. Hard work gives us the experiences and the experience enables us to think smartly to solve a problem in an easier way.

here i’m Going to discuss top ten differences about hard work and smart work (my personal observation)

1. depending on the situation.

I believe, hard work and smart work are two different tools to complete a single task. Or you can say that they are two faces of the same coin! It depends on the duration of the task or the level of difficulty, on the basis of which a measurable amount of hard work and smart work should be put in – together!

I have learnt to adapt myself accordingly to situations and accordingly apply myself. If the deadline is 2 days away, I am a smart worker. I focus on various aspects of the task, which clients need and which will have long term impacts. If we have 2 months to complete a task, we spend time on the details and work hard to gain results. Hard work always guarantees amazing results but requires more effort and time. I work hard or work smart depending on the situation.

2. do not work hard blindly

The difference between hard work and smart work is innovation. I am a creative thinker and love to come up with ideas that streamline the work process. Every time I am given a task and I already know how to do it, I take a step back and consider better possibilities. Instead of starting out on it immediately, I tried to find out if there was a faster way to do the same work.

Brainstorming with my friends/family introduced me to new tools which eventually reduced our collective hours. It took me a day to learn the tools but ensured that in the future, the work would be delivered in even lesser time. I do not work hard blindly and instead, keep finding new and improved ways to work smart.

3. combination of both has guaranteed best result

hard work and smart work is based on how I approach my task. Hard work would mean spending long hours to complete my work without any shortcuts. It definitely ensures results but the process is long and stressful. Smart work would be aiming for the same results but with planning and prioritization of tasks.

In College (mine RTU), the trend of examination questions was repetitive. The questions asked in the last few years would be asked again. I realised this after my second semester. Since then, for the examinations, I would only study the previous 5 years’ questions. For the rest of the year, I would focus on studying everything else. Therefore I worked hard to study the entire syllabus for my own knowledge and worked smart to score well in my examinations. A combination of both has guaranteed me the best possible results always!

4. observe first then sets the goal

A smart worker is one who sets goals according to your knowledge and ability and is constantly working towards his/her goals. So, observation comes first then setting a goal. S/he also understand the importance of unwinding and keeping a healthy mind. A hard worker also works towards his/her goals just like a smart worker but s/he might lack the traits of analytical thinking, problem solving or delegation.

I am a worker focused on results, and I do not hesitate to ask for help to get my work done. I have been described as a “smart worker” by these all management as I have been successful in leading my team to finish projects before time. In addition to this, physical health is a personal goal. Therefore I spend an hour in the gym daily trying to work hard enough, to stay fit and sharp.

5. Excellence is A to Z

In today’s world, one has to redefine the terms ‘smart work’ and ‘hard work’. Most of us think of hard work to be a ‘physical activity’ and smart work to be a kind of ‘mental ability’. Although this was true before the age of the Internet, it no longer holds true. Excellence is all about doing smart work day in and day out. This in itself can be considered as hard work.

In this industry, there is a lot of competition. The entire idea is to deliver fast and deliver the best to the clients. To keep delivering great work every day is hard work, but my agency has been winning the ‘Best Agency Award’ for the past few years and this is a commitment to excellence I carry with me too. Hence, I am sure I fall into the category of hard workers.

6. strategies to help us work faster

I think the idea of hard work is outdated. In the olden days when there was lack of technology and information, most people worked hard to achieve results. In my opinion, hard work can be defined as ‘physical work or long hours of labour’. But today, we have technology, tools and strategies to help us work faster and achieve similar or even better results.

Since college, I have been involved in many activities and now for the past few months in my work environment with my college time, I have learnt to prioritize tasks and multi-task. My friends know that I spend time on planning ahead. Although this is smart work, I consider it extremely hard. Planning requires an immense understanding of the resources in hand – therefore there is hard work involved. I work smart and I do so for long hours. Consistency is the sign of a hard worker and I aim to work smart consistently.

7. smart work and hard work together make a genius

I think that smart work and hard work together make a genius. I am deeply inspired by three famous personalities – elon Musk (CEO of Tesla, SpaceX, BadCompany etc), Jeff Bezos (Founder of Amazon) and Warren Buffet (Stock Investor with net worth $82 B). In their stories, it is clear that they spent years working hard in their respective fields and were able to produce results, that the world had never known before!

Today, Warren Buffet can make smart judgments in the field of investments because he has worked hard to gain those skills. I do not shy away from hard work as I see that the end result will be my ability to work smartly and be the best in a particular field. Once I pick up a new skill, I am quick to apply it to get quicker results, which kind of makes me a smart worker too!

8. smart work and hard work go hand in hand

Hard work is like trying to push a big rock downhill with bare hands and smart work would be using a lever to push down the same rock! I think smart work and hard work go hand in hand. At the beginning of my career (Influencer) , I was a hard worker. I took instructions, understood my job and would immediately start working towards completing the task.

Over the last 1 years, I have observed seniors and equipped myself with crucial skills. Today I can do a mundane job in lesser time, than I used to take back then. For instance, I use popular browser plugins allowed by my office, to detect plagiarism, eliminate grammar errors and improve any text in emails and documents. I also use online spell checker tools to double check my drafts. I feel I have developed as a smart worker. But I firmly believe no one can be a smart worker without working hard first.

9. Avoid being non-productive be positive always

I feel hard work is synonymous with bull work, while smart work is logical effort! Hard work scares me and hence, I have always strived to be a smart worker. Since childhood, I have discovered that I cannot concentrate on one task for long periods of time. Rather than considering this as a weakness, I worked on achieving more in short time spans. I have developed my own process to work – as soon as I am assigned a task I spend 15 minutes researching about the same. Then I take 5-10 minutes to note down any questions that I might have. Over the next 20 minutes, I try to break down my task into 1) actionable steps to be taken 2) goal to be achieved.

I try to get clarity on my questions. If not, I focus on steps which I have the most clarity on and start there. It allows me to start a project feeling focused and positive. To avoid being non-productive, I plan short breaks in between my work schedules to stay engaged. Hence, I am a smart worker.

10. hard worker vs smart worker

Hard Worker:

A hard worker is a person who consistently works towards what he perceives to be worth working, regardless of how dynamic the situation might be. Success for the Hard Worker doesn’t come overnight but only after putting in long hours at work and depriving himself of the comforts of life.

Smart Worker:

Allen F. Morgenstern said way back in the 1930s “work smarter… not harder”. The reason behind it is that a smart worker is a person who works towards what he perceives to be worth working for and applies his brain and efforts in the most efficient manner with the help of integration of both. It guarantees successful results with minimal human energy wasted.

We need to work hard as well as smart to achieve success in our lives. Only one of both will not be sufficient in this modern world. And hence both hard work and smart work are essential to succeed in life.




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