Working hard vs working smart + How to work smarter!

An age-old debate where we all end up agreeing that working smart is the right way to be successful. But how do we work smart?

A lady stressed out at her workplace.

Working hard involves putting a lot of effort and time into doing a task with no certainty of achieving goals. It focuses on quantity, can get monotonous, and follows traditional ideas. On the other hand, working smart involves doing the same task in less time. It focuses on achieving goals with quality faster through time management. It also transforms old ideas to give better results. However, it is important to understand that working smart is only half the equation. Smart work is the fruit of hard work. Only when you work hard you gather the expertise and the knowledge to understand the work and efficiently improve on it to work smarter. The most successful people work smart, but they also work exceptionally hard.


If we want to be successful, we shouldn't be content to simply work smarter. Smarter work affords us more time, but that saved time doesn't mean anything unless we put it to optimal use. Here are a few ways to help you work smarter -

  • Start delegating - Spend your time doing the most important tasks that also yield a high return and delegate all the other tasks. This will help you focus your time and efforts on things that matter the most. You may also consider hiring external help through platforms like Fiverr and Upwork.

A lady working on an excel sheet on her laptop.
  • Automate tasks - There are tools and apps available that help you automate several of your tasks such as posting on social media, generating reports, sending newsletters, invoices, etc. These automated tasks result in plenty of hours saved over a month or over a year. Related - 7 productivity tools to help you be more productive!

  • Take breaks - No one is able to work for 8 hours straight. By scheduling regular breaks in your work routine, you will be refreshed, productive, and focused to tackle your next big task. A way to go about this is to divide your tasks into smaller tasks and take breaks between each of those smaller tasks.

  • Measure results - Keep a list of everything you accomplish during a day or a week. This will help you feel motivated and better anticipate how long similar tasks will take in the future. It is also a way to track yourself to ensure that you are making progress.

Remember that the path to success involves working hard as well as working smart. Related - 7 habits of successful people to get inspired from!


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