Hard work is a virtue, right? Well, not always. I have done my share of hard work and in the process I observed that hard work is the thing of the past, this is the moment to be smart and get more done with your precious time. I would understand if you are a bit reluctant to buy my point of view, but this article will show you why it is so.
I always compare the efforts I put into a task and the value I acquire in the end, that’s how I measure hard work. That may not be correct but it’s surely a good start for me.
I know we work hard every day in life, but are the end products worth the efforts? Are the outcomes compensating the time we invest?
Hard work is long hours. Smart work is Productivity
For most of us, hard work means nothing other than putting so much time into a task regardless of whether we are actively and efficiently working towards solving the task at hand or not.
I am not saying time is out of the equation. Not at all, time is still a very crucial factor. However, being smart requires more than the time you put to a task, it demands measuring the productivity relative to the time spent on the task.
Productivity is the amount of work done with respect to time. If you can do the same amount of work in a shorter time, then it’s much better than wasting a lot more hours on trivialities while you could have accomplished a lot more tasks with the wasted time.
Hard work is physical. Smart Work is Mindset
Ever saw how ants work? They are hard workers. Everyone agrees that ants are hardworkers because they are always busy and seem to move around doing something.
Well, this is another stereotype for the idea of hard work, most of us imagine the manual and physical labor when talking of hard work. It’s the mental picture that is built amongst most people who still carry that old idea of hard work. This concept is based on the manual labour that was performed in the past, some of us still carry it to the modern world.
On the other hand, smart work involves thinking a lot while synchronizing the thoughts with your actions aiming at acquiring the best and quality outcomes. In fact, this is being smart.
Bear in mind that, it’s not so much the physical efforts that produce quality results. It’s everything to do with how we think when we perform the tasks that lead to quality outcomes. This is true because skills and knowledge aren’t physical but intangible thoughts we harbor in our minds. The moment our actions and thoughts correlate, we are sure to produce the best with our efforts.
How To Be Smart
- Measure Quality Not Quantity
I, like most people I presume, quantified the number of hours I had been working in the office and considered it to signify that I’m a hard worker. This is the wrong way to go about it.
Be smart and quantify the quality of the work you achieve within the alloted time. Working for the quality of the outcome is smart, the contrary is the highest form of indolence.
- Cut down the hours to as minimum as possible – this increases efficiency by doing more in a shorter time
- Choose your peak times and perform the most brain involving tasks
- The rest of the time engage into other manual activities, that don’t require a lot of brain work – refresh your mind
- Think Before You Act
In my opinion, being smart means thinking ahead before taking the necessary action. Thinking is a virtue and you’ll realize it when you practice as you work towards your goals.
Thinking delays taking action but when you commence, you are more accurate and faster than had you done otherwise. Unify your thoughts and actions. Work with your mind and don’t use force alone, because that’s an old way of getting things done. Whatever you do, think first then act.
To add up, you can:
1. Take ten to 15 minutes thinking before you start doing, build a mental picture of how to do it. Rehearse in your mind first.
2. Before you finish the day, write down what you have done for the day. Again, build a mental picture and see if you could have done anything different. This will give you the feedback on what could be improved. Changes must be incorporated in the successive days.
3. If you are stuck into something difficult, then take some time and think about it for a while and let it go. Your mind is powerful enough to work on finding the solution while you dwell on other important stuff.
This is my favorite way of cracking hard and seemingly complicated problems and ideas. More often than not, I end up with the best possible way to solve the problem. After all, it doesn’t take a lot of hard work, just beig smart.
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