Working smart and working hard are often seen as mutually exclusive. Even though putting in the effort and hours needed to achieve a good outcome is in no way incompatible with planning your time wisely, people continue to ask questions like, “Is it better to be smart or hard working?”
What Is The Difference Between Working Hard And Working Smart?
Whilst working hard involves putting in a maximum amount of effort, working smart is about finding innovative strategies to complete the same amount of work without expending as much effort. Working smart involves employing efficient ways of working – pre-planning, using creative thinking, analysing and foreseeing obstacles.
For example, if you’re tasked to move a set of bricks, working hard would mean breaking your back moving bricks by lifting them with your hands. Working smart, however, could involve using a wheelbarrow to transport these bricks, allowing you to move them faster and with a lot less effort.
It’s a good idea to combine both working hard and working smart to achieve the best results.
Successful People Who Believed in Working Hard And Smart
Many successful and famous people have worked hard and smart to get to where they are today.
Teo Swee Ee, for example, may not be famous but the business empire that he built very much is. Most malls in Singapore have a Bee Cheng Hiang outlet inside peddling grilled pork slices, or bak kwa. Teo built the business from scratch from 1933, but also worked hard to leverage whatever he could to promote his business. He turned an obstacle, namely large trucks parked outside his shop on Rochor Road, into an advantage by paying the truck owners to advertise his brand for him.
Another example of working hard and smart is Michael Jordan, world-famous National Basketball Association (NBA) legend and one of the world’s highest-paid athletes back in his day. Jordan’s mantra has always been about working hard and learning how to get better, which is not unlike working smart. According to his trainer, he also processed information extremely quickly and always made sure he got enough sleep.
How Can Students Work Hard and Smart?
A good education is about getting adequate preparation for life at work. Thus, it’s important to ensure that the skills you develop to excel at your studies can translate easily over to the working world. Some tips for include:
- Know your strengths and weaknesses – If you have an excellent memory but poor planning skills, learn from friends and family who are better at planning than you. If you can’t rely on your memory as much as you’d like to, leave yourself a note when your schedule gets swamped. That way, you’ll still remember what you need to do even when you’re extremely busy.
- Develop good time management skills – Although completing to-do lists makes us feel good, timing ourselves should be seen as equally important. After all, if we gain better self-awareness of how much time we need to complete a particular task, we can structure our time more effectively.
- Have a growth mindset – By constantly seeking to improve and grow, you are geared towards learning new skills – understanding how to do things better and adapting based on feedback. With a growth mindset, you’re also more likely to embrace challenges and persevere when the going gets tough.
Acquire Industry-relevant Skills and Knowledge with PSB Academy
Learn the skills and acquire the knowledge you need to know how to work both hard and smart in order to thrive in the working world. Why not take a look at the disciplines we have to offer here at PSB Academy?