Working Hard vs Working Smart - Is It a Myth?

working hard vs working smart

GeneralWritten By: Debadrita Balial

Work smart, not hard” - a popular buzzword that everyone says. But what could really be seen as working smart? Well, for instance, working smart may mean making an outline. Prioritizing. Being more strategic and flexible. Getting more done in less time. Yes, working smart is no doubt essential.

However, it will not be very wrong to say that working smart is only half of the equation. Working hard is absolutely pivotal if you want to get to the top of your game. There are no successful businessmen or entrepreneurs who can suggest an alternative to working hard or putting in maximum effort.

So, it is really a myth? Of course, all the successful people will tell you how important it is to put consistent efforts into your pursuits. But they will also give you smart actionable tips youcan master to improve your work efficiency. 

It is quite obvious that most of the successful people you will come across have worked smart to get there, but they have also worked exceptionally hard. Therefore, simply working smart is not enough.

Busting the Myth

Honestly, there are no goals that require no hard work. Only hard work or only smart work is not sufficient for business success. So, why can’t we do both?- that is, maintain a consistent level of persistence and drive while mastering newer and smarter ways of doing things more efficiently and effectively.

Let's put it in a simpler way. Mindless hard work will most usually result in a burnout. It is just overwork if you are constantly working hard without a fine-tuned strategic process. On the contrary, when you are working hard following a fine-tuned process, you are also working smart. 

Smart work is possible when you have already mastered something by working hard at it in the initial stages. In other words, you need more knowledge and more maturity to be working smart. Most high performers who are currently at the industry leadership positions started off by working hard and then gradually learning new ways to work smart while they master the nitty-gritties of their job.

Finally, the “working hard vs working smart” theory, if not a myth, can at least be a bit misleading in certain contexts, especially if not explained properly. For example, if we consider some of the smartest people of business industries, such as Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Sundar Pichai, Warren Buffet and so on – they have all worked extremely hard at some point in their lives. They have all followed a work ethic that let them get the most of every hour.

However, there is a difference in being productive and working hard to the point of being burnt out. That's where smart work comes into the picture. Work smart – it is essential. But it’s important to know how to do it.

Prioritize the right way – especially when there is a bundle of tasks each screaming for your time and attention.

Don’t be afraid of change – The main idea behind “working smart” is to gather the courage to try different methods, learn from past experiences and be prepared for failure. Working smart involves greater challenges, which once overcome, can open new frontiers.

Don’t forget work satisfaction – Smart work is also about knowing when to stop rushing. It is about being able to slow down and shift your focus to tasks that matter the most - and at the right time.

Bottom line

In the end, working hard is something we should always be prepared for. But working smart is when we choose the right thing to work hard on. Finally, success in the long run can only be achieved when we mix these two. So, there’s no “work hard vs work smart”. Both are equally important in their own ways according to different contexts and situations.

TAGS - simplicity vs complexity

See Also - Ensure Your Vehicle's Safety with VTPL's Smart Tracking Solution