Why You Should Work Smart, Not Hard
June 12, 2007
How much harder would you have to work to earn an extra $50 a day? How about $100 or $500 more? Why is this an important question to ask? Because there are only 24 hours in a day and we don’t want to spend them all working!
Your Precious Time
Your time is valuable. Once it’s used up, you’ll never get it back. In today’s world, we spend a lot of time working to provide for ourselves and our families. If we can find ways to earn more money in smaller amounts of time then we can have more time to live. We can often accomplish the same end result with much less work if we work smart instead of working hard.
Working smart is often the result of asking yourself the appropriate questions.
Should I be working on this in the first place?
What value do you get from the task you’re working on? If you’re working your fingers to the bone for a measly outcome, should you even be spending your time on it? What are your other options? If you decide you’re not working smart then make some changes.
Is there a better way to do it?
Could you change the process you use for the things you’re working on? What takes the longest or is the most frustrating about your task? What is one thing you could change to make it go more quickly, easily, or profitably?
How are other people doing the same thing?
Find people that are doing the same type of thing faster and better. Do they use a whole different strategy? What about their approach is “smart”? What allows them to get the same thing done with higher quality in less time?
Hard Work is Good For You
Hard work is not a bad thing. Most successful people work very hard for their achievements. Hard work is the driving force behind most success and helps you appreciate that success when it comes. However, if you have the option of working hard or smart, which would you rather do?
Hard Work as a Substitute
I am a hard worker. I often fall asleep at the keyboard in the middle of the night because there is always one more thing I want to do. This work ethic has gotten me far in life but I wonder if it has also held me back.
Often times I find myself working hard because I don’t know exactly what I’m doing, the best way to do it, or what I’m trying to accomplish. I throw myself into something head first and after enough work, success comes out the other end. Although I get positive results, I find myself working most of the time with this approach. So I ask myself, am working hard because I’m not working smart? If I was smart about my decisions, could I accomplish the same result with less work?
Here are some books that can help us examine why and how we work. These books look at ways to become more strategic about how we select work and more efficient in getting things done:
– 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss [Audio]
All posts by Ben Edwards