Work smarter not harder

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 17 Apr 2018 11:59:30




By dr s b kishor 

& swapnil bhagat

These days, working smart is the talk of town. If you only work hard, you may not land where you want to be always. If you want to achieve success, you need to work ‘Smart’. So, isn’t it important to work hard?
A story of two woodcutters arguing which of them will cut more woods during a day is pertinent to explain the above point. First they worked at one speed. But in an hour one of them has heard, that the other one stopped cutting trees. They were working almost synchronously, when the first woodcutter heard that his opponent has stopped again. The first woodcutter continued working, feeling the smell of victory. This lasted all day long. Each hour one of the woodcutters stopped for ten minutes and the other one continued to work. When time expired, the first woodcutter, who worked without any stopping, was absolutely sure that he won the prize. He was very surprised to know that was mistaken. How did that happen? He asked his partner. Each hour I heard that you have stopped the work for ten minutes. How could you cut more trees than I? It’s impossible! It is very simple, in fact, answered the second woodcutter. Each hour I stopped the work for ten minutes. And when you were cutting the trees, I sharpened the axe.

The gist of above story is simple, smart workers always take small pauses, but they use these pauses to sharpen their axes. Working hard and working smart are two different things. Smart work teaches you to be more productive with your time. If you are happy with your current level of success, then smart work will surely allow you the luxury of not having to work as hard as you otherwise would. But if you want to reach the pinnacle of success in your chosen field, then smart work alone won’t really help. Many people think that hard work goes largely unnoticed. They believe that unless you are ‘smart’ about letting others know that you are working hard, you remain a drudge. They call hard work a kind of drudgery. They are more interested in letting the ‘boss’ know that they are working hard. The most important trait of the smart worker is his ability to do work differently. And working differently means working smart. Rightly said by Shiv Khera:

“Winners don’t do different things, but they do the things differently.”Smart workers believe in specific, measurable, attainable, result oriented and time bound work and therefore they are called smart as they believe in doing the things differently as compared to normal approach followed by most. In short, smart workers use new techniques and tools in order to improve productivity. Many people work hard, but only a few become really successful. This clearly tells that smart work really makes the difference.Smart workers do create the opportunities not only for themselves, but also for the others. Smart workers are innovative, bold and know how to handle even the worst situations. They believe in accepting new challenges and accomplishing the tasks skillfully. Smart workers have control over themselves and so they can control the external world. If you fail to control yourself then you will be controlled by others. One has to be mentally strong enough to control oneself to do this diligently. Hard workers get mentally strong by doing their work regularly and earnestly. Smart workers never wait for the right time to come rather they make the best use of everything at every time. To succeed in life, one has to always keep moving forward. How apt it is to quote Martin Luther King Jr’s thought provoking words:

“If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
Smart workers do follow this mantra of moving forward in spite of all the hurdles they face on their way. This positive attitude of moving forward makes smart workers in real sense smart. If you really want to succeed in life then do not forget that there is no shortcut to success. No doubt you will have to be work harder but smart worker is the one who will be able to achieve more within the limited time and resources at his disposal.

Remember, we can’t do smart work without doing hard work at same time. Of course, you have to be ‘smart’ about working hard especially in corporate life and in all strategic decision making processes, but at the same time one should not also forget the importance of hard work in our life. Just being smart or working smart is only half of the real story. Smart work is about making the right strategy, about following a disciplined work culture. Hard work translates your vision and ideas into results. The fact remains that hard work and smart work must go hand in hand to be successful.(The authors can be contacted at [email protected] and [email protected]) n