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Hard Work or Smart Work – Which is Most Important and Why?


Work is important in our day to day life.

Work is a stable method of earning income efficiently and be a vital and valuable part of the society.

Having a job makes you feel more energized and feel good about yourself. How we complete a task is also considered as work.

The approach in which how we treat work is characterized into two types usually. They are:

Hard Work or Smart Work

1. Smart work:

Smart work includes how we do a job with proper planning and care.

It requires a thoughtful preparation of the obstacles and sketching out different methods that can be used to overcome such obstacles.

2. Hard work:

On the other hand there is a lot of different between hard work and smart work, while smart work focuses on what kind of method should be used to achieve the result, hard work entirely focuses only on the end result.

The employee gives his/her maximum effort in achieving the goal, irrespective of the method used.

Hard Work:

Working hard is one of the few effective ways that we can follow to achieve our goals. For those who are slow in grasping or understanding the topics, hard work is a good way to achieve success in what you wish for.

While the path that each person took to achieve might be different, the mechanism in which how hard work works is still the same irrespective of the different conditions.

For most of the successful people, they have put in a considerate amount of hard work so as to achieve their goals.

There are several factors that contribute to hard work. Those include:

1. The drive:

The associated motivation, the entire reason, the factor and the inspiration for which you work hard. This is the engine that moves you forward towards your goal.

2. The plan:

If the drive is considered as the heart of your hard work, then the plan is considered as the skeleton of your work.

Hard work without a definite strategy is always considered as a futile attempt and is simply a wastage of time and resources.

Try to sketch out a plan while working for a goal, noting down the different methods taken and also tracking your own progress and development to achieve that goal.

3. The grind:

It is the factor that makes hard work hard as it is. This is where work becomes tedious, stressful, tiring and discouraging.

Those who are truly determined can overcome the grind associated with hard work. This is what defines winners from quitters.

4. The sacrifice:

This is the nucleus of hard work. A hard working person can be subjected to a large amount of sacrifices both at professional and personal level.

Sacrifices can really test a person’s level of trust within himself and his belief that he can achieve the job irrespective of any circumstances.

It tests an individual in every aspect – his relationships, patience and financial are put to the test.

5. The payoff:

This is the jackpot of all the hard work you have done. This is where you will feel achieved and content with yourself.

This is the reason which makes you feel all the hard work was worth it. It may result in accolades, distinctions, recognition and such perks.

This should not make you halt your work, but instead you should feel more determined and try to achieve more goals.

Finding the Right Kind of Motivation:

Motivation is the one factor that keeps a hard working person move forward.

This is what keeps us active despite of the tormenting hardships and sacrifices made and teaches us how to work hard.

Though too much motivation can also be a bad thing, motivation is also differentiated into two. These include positive motivation and negative motivation.

What is the right kind of motivation?

Positive motivation is initiated by positive factors, in which both internal and external factors are present.

Internal factors that affect positive motivation includes –

  • Passion about the job
  • Self-validation
  • Desire to do better and so on.

Motivation due to such factors result in a successful, satisfied and a happy outcome.

External factors that affect positive motivation include –

  • Financial rewards
  • Security
  • Professional recognition and distinctions.

Motivation due to such external factors would lead to partial success but will be a fulfilled outcome. The only downside is that the individual has to rely on others to obtain such incentives.

Negative motivation is a type of motivation caused by negative factors, they are also sub classified into internal and external factors.

Internal factors include –

Feeling of inadequacy, insecurity and fear of failure.

This leads to results such as having a considerable success, but having a high rate of burnout and stress, and still feeling unsatisfied about achieving the goal.

External factors include –

Pressures from peers and others, instability in life, and financial pressures.

There will be some success, but a continuous feeling of anxiety and unhappiness will pertain even after completing the task.

The best kind of motivation is the positive internal motivation. This makes the individual independent and still be happy about the success he receives.

Mapping your path:

Mapping your success in the right manner is always necessary, otherwise you will not get anywhere.

Mapping also includes the planning process, which sketches out the methods or processes that you have to undertake to get the job done.

Try to do small activities and then progressively transition into larger tasks. Doing all at once, will not help you to reach your desired goal.

The grind – doing all the hard work:

Lots of opportunities are present out there, but as time goes by we feel bored by the hard work and hesitate in taking up work.

Making the choice of standing up, working and sticking to your own plan will have its’ fair share of difficulties and hardships – it is how you overcome this ultimate hardship that makes you different from the crowd.

Do not succumb to the feelings of being disappointed and wanting to quit.

How you act at a weak moment is a huge factor in how your future would turn out to be. So think twice, when you feel discouraged and downtrodden.

The sacrifice:

If you are not making any true sacrifices, then you haven’t tried hard enough. Any type of success has its fair share of problems.

Along with problems comes along the necessity of sacrificing. During this time, personal sacrifices are more than professional sacrifices.

Personal sacrifices include relationships, peace of mind, happiness and so on. This doesn’t mean that personal sacrifices are a bad thing.

Every once in a while, sacrificing something that you cherish for a valued task makes your hard work even more valuable. Keep in mind that you cannot have everything all at once.

The payoff – the end game:

No matter how much you work hard there is still always room for better. Try to keep that in mind and move forward.

Though hard work can be disrupting and tiresome to a person’s life, such disruptions

are necessary to cherish what’s in store for next.

The point to remember is that for every hard work that you have truly done, there will be an equivalent amount of success waiting for you. This is not only terminal, but will also be a shining badge throughout your life.

Try to enjoy such successes that you get and live the moment. Also, invest your experience and skills that you get through hard work and then invest on the next task.

Smart Work:

We at a very young age are taught that working hard by giving your all will give you unlimited success and sense of achievement. This is not all true and possible in day to day life.

Working smart is also a necessity so that you can be rewarded for your work. There are loads of hard working people who go unnoticed almost every day, be it anywhere. Yet, they are a vital part of the societal structure.

On the contrary, take look at executives or CEOs, how did they get such jobs?

That’s because they worked smart. Smart work defines success to people in this common day and age.

It’s like the modern version of survival of the fittest, those who work smart gets recognized and those who don’t are left behind.

The Basic Steps on How to Work Smart:

1. Learn how to delegate your work properly:

If you’re a new entrepreneur or a businessman, try to assemble a team of capable individuals who can achieve what you are aiming for.

Consistency and effectiveness are the basic smart work tips. Employees who give a consistent output are more valuable than employees who try to give attention to every single detail of the output.

Try to surround yourself with people who know what they are doing and are good at their jobs, and try to learn the tips and tricks from them. This can enable you to plan your future endeavours more carefully and effectively.

2. Don’t confuse effort with effectiveness:

Just because you are working hard doesn’t mean that you are getting the job done.

  • Are you doing what you’ve been told?
  • Are you getting the desired output?
  • Are you moving forward towards your goal?

If not, try to change your plan of action. It’s easy to fall into the temptation of working hard and losing sight of your final destination.

Try to spend energy into tasks that are worth the sacrifice given. Try to focus on tasks that are significant and important to the job given.

3. Use time wisely:

It’s a known fact that there are only 24 hours a day, and we cannot extend the hours in a day even if we want to.

The only best method is to utilize the time properly and wisely. Do not waste time with the façade of working hard. This is where smart work is really effective. Try not to waste energy doing unproductive activities and tasks.

The intensity of your work, should be a balance between wasteful idleness and extreme hard work. Always try to keep a fine line between the two extremes.

4. Knowing when to quit:

The word “quitting” has been coined as a negative term and people always tend to mistake quitting as a form of losing.

Quitting is not always that negative, knowing when to quit prevents you from creating further loss to you, your employees and risking other factors such as social status, relationships etc.

Try to figure out the feasibility of the task.

  • Is it worth your time and energy?
  • Will I get an equivalent output in return?
  • Will I be able to improve myself as an individual?
  • Will I be able to complete the task in time?

Consider all such factors before venturing into tedious tasks. Otherwise, learn to say no and turn your attention to something more productive.

Try to keep in mind that there are always lots of good opportunities out there.

Disadvantages of Smart Work:

Smart work can have its’ slice of disadvantages too.

1. More likely to suffer depression.

2. People can hate you or love you for being smart. Especially teachers and professors.

3. Normally will get bored of schools.

4. You will be subjected to clearly amount of peer pressure. They will always have a high expectation of you getting the job done.

5. Jealousy – others might love to see you fail in a task. This is a common happening in a corporate lifestyle. Try not to think too much about others and get the job done.

6. You might develop the habit of over thinking and over analyzing and hence you try to find flaws and faults in virtually everything.

7. People expect you to be wise and smart. This hurt your feelings a bit, because you are always praised for being smart not for other qualities.


For a more effective method, try to do hard work or smart work. Just concentrate on the job you are given and try to do what you seem is the best.

Thinking about rewards and accolades ruins your behaviour towards work. Great results will come to you automatically when you do your job properly.

Strive forward with passion and constantly try to improve yourself. This will make you a worthy individual that others can look up to.