Working Smart vs. Working Hard…and how you can work smarter in the workplace

Vivian Fong · 25 Nov 2022

Working Smart vs. Working Hard…and how you can work smarter in the workplace

So often, we think hard work and grinding 24/7, 365 days a year is the way to success. The term working hard, or hard work is thrown around and people who are labelled as hard workers are often shined and praised upon. However, hard work may not be the thing we should be rewarding…

The definition of hard work is spending long hours on a task or series of tasks. However, working 24/7 and spending long hours may not be the most productive or rewarding. There is only so much we can do without having to take a break. Factors such as distractions, outside commitments, attention spans and burnout can all play a role in how we show up.

However, there is another term, and a smarter alternative to hard work…Smart work.

Smart work involves completing the same amount of work (with the same quality) in less time. Hard work often focuses on quantity rather than quality. Working smart requires focus and dedication towards a particular task at a certain time. With smart work, you work when it’s time to work, without letting distractions come your way, in less time. It requires you to properly outline your tasks, have the focus and attention to stay with it and discipline to keep the action going.

It’s not always easy. We often overestimate what we can do in a day and underestimate what we can do in a month, year and even decade. So how do you best manage your time, focus and gain the discipline to stick to it?

Below we will outline the best ways to stick to a routine of smart work. Implement these into your workday when you plan, and see how it goes!

Improve your time management skills

Focus on a top priority task, switch off your phone, ignore your email, set a timer for a specific amount of time and get to work on that one task only. You will be surprised at how much you are able to get done!

Focus on you

Priming yourself so that you are in the best state to show up to work is essential for working smart. Are you sleeping well? Eating well? Having enough time for yourself? This is why overall wellbeing is so important! You take care of yourself so that you are able to work smarter.

Ask questions and be concise

Constantly asking questions, being detailed and concise and staying curious are all important for working smart. Are your emails long and lengthy, or do you get straight to the point? Working smart is essentially condensing the most important tasks and focusing on those, rather than letting time spill over and having your tasks spread and float around.