We have all grown up being told that hard work is the only key to success. This perspective tells us that unless and until we do not give our all to our goals and keep at it, the doors of success won’t open. But this theory has its own flaws. Because obviously, not everyone who works hard succeeds. So there must be something lacking in our efforts, even though we may work sincerely and diligently. Thus, it is of no surprise that the concept of working smart has been gaining popularity as of late. This term has proven to be quite interesting, as it promises success and great rewards with little effort. But that is what it looks like from the surface. When you dig deeper, you realize that there actually is a lot of logic and depth to working smart – but only when you have done your share of hard work as well.

In this article, we will understand what these two terms mean and how they can be best used for achieving success, whether you are a student, an employee, or an entrepreneur:


What constitutes hard work?


Hard work is all about putting in enormous amounts of time and energy into the task or project at hand. It demands an immense level of dedication and commitment.

Because it is so intensive, it also lets you learn the nitty-gritty of the field you are starting out in. But at the same time, hard work can easily become monotonous and uninspiring. Moreover, this type of work ethic is quite traditional in nature – and so it may not make use of new and upcoming technologies or innovations to a large extent.


What constitutes smart work?


Smart work is prioritizing what the current situation needs. This approach thus helps you save a lot of time and it increases your overall productivity. Because of this, you can actually be done with your daily tasks and duties way quicker too. Not only that, it means that you have time left for other activities that may help you in honing your skills and enhancing your work life. As you would not be stuck behind your desk for hours on end, you can take a break, check up on your emails, etc. as well.


Finding a middle ground


Now that you know what both these terms actually mean, it is time you understand how to properly implement them in your everyday life.


This is especially important in today’s day and age because no matter which field you step into today, you will find stiff competition. There are plenty of talented and qualified people looking for the same opportunities as you are. And so, using smart work to get ahead may seem like the only choice. But before you do that, ask yourself if you know enough to pull that off. Have you gathered enough experience or information to be sure you will succeed along that path? If the answer is no or even an uncertain yes, it is best you give your skills some more time to develop and excel.


Another thing to note is that be it a food item, an activity, or a concept – creating a balance for it to exist in our life is crucial. This essentially means that you cannot achieve success with just hard work, or based simply on smart work either. These two work ethics are complementary to each other and function harmoniously. What you learn while practicing the first helps you ace the second. To be more specific, prior hard work is what allows or makes it possible for you to succeed through smart work. This is so because smart work is less time consuming and involves tactics that only work if you know the ins and outs of the topic.


Main Takeaway

So the main takeaway from this article is that even taking a shortcut requires you have some knowledge and expertise. If you think smart work is about cutting corners – you are wrong. It is about elevating the progress and the foundations you have already laid over time. Without these things – that is the results of hard work – to fall back on, smart work is not going to bring you the results you desire.