Lately, there have been a lot of controversies between hard work and smart work, and there are still a lot of unresolved issues between these two words.
Well, despite the seeming discrepancies that exist between these two words, I still very much believe that they both go hand-in-hand. However, this doesn’t debunk the fact that both are really quite different and should be used differently.
As it is, we all wanna be hardworking in order to become successful. Because that’s what we’ve been told over the years; work hard and you’ll become successful. Yeah, that’s right, no one is debunking the fact, that hard work does lead to success.
However, is it all forms of hard work that lead to success? Well, I don’t think so! Not every hard work leads to success because some people may be working hard but working hard on the wrong thing can be devastating and painstaking.
You don’t have to work hard on every single thing about your life. Doing this will eventually make you burn out. Hard work is good, but knowing when and how to apply it is better.
This is where smart work comes to play. To become successful, you’ve to work your way through by working hard and also working smart as well. None can exist without the other, else, it won’t end well.
As we all know, the path to success is a unique and specialized one. However, there seem to be some common traits that exist among those seemingly successful people, and working hard and smart is obviously one of them.
Working hard alone cannot get you to your “dreamland“, smart work still needs to be involved in your walk to success.
Now, most of us are acquainted with hard work and how necessary it is for success. But the talk of smart work is not so much emphasized as that of hard work. And smart work happens to be the one that yields positive results and it’s also strategic as well.
While hard work is putting in so much effort and energy in order to get some desired results, smart work involves you looking for possible ways to reduce the workload on you while still getting desired results. Don’t you see the difference?
That’s why I said earlier that one can’t stand without the other. If you check closely, not everyone that worked hard became successful. However, those who worked hard and smart climbed the ladder of success.
Smart work is many things including working hard. You still have to work hard even in your smart work. And this leads to the question, What is smart work by the way?
We’ll, smart work involves;
- You being able to control yourself and everything that’s within you.
- You taking responsibility for your every action and behaviour.
- Managing time appropriately.
- Learning how to say “no” wherever necessary.
- Learning to delegate and outsource tasks that can be done by others.
- You letting your money work for you.
- Leveraging the time of other people.
- Focusing on yourself and your goals more than you do on others.
- Doing away with every form of distractions.
- Always doing the most important things first, every other none important thing can be neglected and ignored.
- These listed it’s are the basic factors involved in working smart. In order to make these points clearer, I’ll be shedding more light on them afterwards so you can be sure that you’re misunderstanding any one of them.
Factors Involved in Smart Work
Working smart involves you being able to gain total control of yourself. This includes your emotions, feelings, thinking, attitude, behaviour, character and every other thing within you. Your emotions most especially should be under your control, because this is one thing that can easily go out of control if not properly managed. That is why self-control is a key factor in getting to success. If you can’t control yourself, then you can’t control anything else. First, learn how to control yourself, then every other thing won’t be so difficult to control.
TAKING FULL RESPONSIBILITY
Another thing about smart work is taking full responsibility for your actions and behaviour. Shifting blame is not a SMART thing when you know you’re the cause of your problems. Don’t put blame on anyone for your present predicament. You alone are the cause of your problems, so learn to accept this truth and take full responsibility for whatever happens to you.
As it’s often said, “gaining control of time is gaining control of your life“. This statement has been proved to be true. A smart worker knows how to manage time properly without allowing any external factor to waste any part of it, unnecessarily. Time management skill is one of the many key tools of a smart worker. You knowing how to use time judiciously is smart work.
LEARNING TO SAY ” NO”
Most people find it utterly difficult to say “no” to things they don’t really want. They feel they might hurt the feelings of the other person if they say no. But you choose to hurt your own feelings anyways. This is one thing that differentiates smart work from hard work. You don’t have to say yes to everything that would be said to you. If it’s not okay with you, then decline subtly and nicely. Don’t inconvenience yourself in order to convenience others. Doing this will often make people take advantage of you because they already know that you would never decline anything offered to you.
DELEGATING & OUTSOURCING TASKS
Let’s face the fact, that you can’t possibly do everything by yourself. Even if you try to do all things yourself, you’ll end up losing yourself and burning out. That’s why delegating and outsourcing are important. Those tasks you know that can be done very well by others without your supervisor should be delegated. Don’t try to do all the tough tasks yourself. As a matter of fact, you should be doing only those tasks that take you closer and closer to your goals daily. Don’t waste your time tryna do everything, that may be hard work but it’s definitely not smart work.
LET YOUR MONEY WORK FOR YOU
Another factor in working smart is allowing money to work for you. This is a time-saving strategy. Don’t do things you know you can use your money to do. This way, you save up time to do other important things that are necessary and quite of the essence. Let out some of your money and let it do some work for you while you go ahead and focus on other things. Smart workers know this, and that’s why they don’t fail to do it when the need arises.
LEVERAGING OTHER PEOPLE’S TIME
Leveraging other people’s time doesn’t necessarily mean being manipulative. You can do this very well without manipulating or tricking anyone to do what you want them to do. This simply means using the time of others in ways that benefit both you and them. This is what hard work fails to do. However, a smart worker knows that his time alone cannot get him to the place of success, that’s why he uses the time of others to make things easier and faster.
FOCUSING ON YOURSELF
Focusing on yourself is not selfish, but self-realization. Working smart means you would have to focus on yourself and your goals. It’s only when you focus on yourself that you can truly go ahead to help others. Don’t be caught in the web of just wanting to always help others and not yourself. People will come and go, but you’ll always be with yourself. So why not be your own best friend and do what’s best for yourself? Hard work will teach you to be there for others, but smart work will teach you to be there for yourself because if you lose yourself, you really cannot help others. So make yourself and your goals your focal point.
Distractions are one thing that can prevent you from achieving your goals. These distractions often come as something you love to do or something that had become a habit to you over the years. That notwithstanding, you still have to do away with such things because they may be detrimental to your journey to success. This is the more reason you’ve to do away with every form of distraction. Falling prey to distractions will make you seem like you’re taking a break or something when the truth is you’re actually wasting time on irrelevant things when you should be focused on getting to your dreams and achieving your goals.
DOING THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS
Doing the most important things first is one of the key elements of smart work. These most important tasks are those tasks that will take you closer to your goals and visions. Some tasks may appear important, but then if they don’t add to your improvement and get you closer to achieving your goals, then they are not important after all. Don’t fall for the trick of doing tasks that are supposed to be left for the most important ones.