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Work Hard or Work Smart
by On January 21, 2009

You have heard your whole life that you should work really hard to get ahead in life or to achieve success. And most likely, you have also heard people talking about working smart to achieve their success.

So, the question becomes “Well, which one is it?” Because you’ve seen people put their heads down, keep their nose to the grindstone for 25 years, and work really really HARD, to end up not far from where they started. Conversely, you’ve also seen that guy in your office who continually is trying to work smart. He is always looking for a shortcut, scheming to find an easier way, looking for the magic bullet, spinning his wheels, and spending more energy on how to “work smart” than if he just went ahead and got busy.

The answer to the question, if you haven’t figured it out already, becomes simple. It is to work both hard and smart. This may sound overly simplistic, but how often do we consciously pick the times that we are going to work smart or hard? How often do we look into the mirror and think about our strategy for the day? For the week? For the month?

I could get cute and give this concept a name like “Hart Worker” or “Smard Worker” but I’m not going to because you deserve better.

This is what you need in order to start your year strong. Start with the work smart part, here’s how.

Take an evaluation of your situation, a good hard look at what you are working with, where are you in relation to your goals, and what would it take to hit those. Play with the numbers, get a plan of attack, a game plan and a schedule of when you will be working hard.

Working Smart = Making a Plan

Then, work your tail off. Work harder than you thought possible. You have way more in you than you can imagine. You are stronger than you think you are, you are more creative than you believe yourself to be, you are infinitely more powerful than you believe you are and you can reach that summit.

Working Hard = Working the Plan

But be careful, don’t forget to keep the smart part of the equation. Before your week starts or your day starts, get an assessment, get your plan in order, and then get after it again.

And just so we’re clear, this goal can be applied to any area of your life: a sales goal, a grade in a class, a better marriage, a stronger relationship with a child or parent, or a health goal.

How do you work smart?

Work smart, work hard and live strong.

Be Free!

Tom Weber
VP of Sales

  1. Ken Budka

    One of the smart habits I have developed is to look ahead and plan my schedule for the upcoming 2 weeks and then reviewing my schedule at the beginning of each day, looking for opportunities to meet with or follow up with clients in advance of upcoming meetings.

    This exercise gives me focus each day and gets my mind thinking about timing and efficiency during the week to ensure tasks get done in advance. It also activates my imagination to picture what is coming up and not waiting until the last second to start getting prepared.

  2. Loren Barrows

    This is great Tom! Thanks! Ken the 2-hour solution has become a habit for me to. I find I FEEL like I am working smarter when I am executing my plan. Feeling good and smart about what your doing is the mindshift you need to go from “hard work” to “working hard.”

  3. Adriaan

    I have to agree with you, many hard working folks pride themselves in the fact that they do, and after 40 years of work they have very little to show for it – They pat themselves on the back for putting in the hours in a dead-end job. Most of the time the only equity they built up was their home they paid off and a small pension.

    Then the opposite ones who even though they have good ideas don’t apply those ideas on a scale to compensate for the occasional bad idea. They get all disheartened when their schemes fall flat and continue from one project or business to the next, hoping the next one is going to be the big score that will set them up for life, as if working for a living was a curse.

    Our world is filled with examples of people trying to find a short cut, and once in a while someone does (or it appears that way). How many ads have you seen for the ‘Ultimate money making plan, only one hour a day required’. The more value you create for others, the higher you are valued which translates to reward, not only in monetary terms but also in job satisfaction.

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