Hard Work vs Smart Work: Finding the best way to succeed

hard work vs smart work

That smart work is better than hard work has been something that has been the new age mantra of success for quite some time now. Ever since work expanded to mean not just labour and toil but also effort and exertion, the notion of working itself has undergone considerable revamp. Specially in the times of today when work is less physical and more mental, it is smart work that has been gaining precedence vs hard work. But the prevailing notion that smart work does not involve effort and is not as fulfilling as hard work even when the rewards reaped are the same seeks to rob smart work of much of its work esteem. To that extent, smart work might not always be accorded the same dignity as hard work even when it obviously is appreciated for yielding quick results. As far as success is concerned, any means that is fair enough to jet set you on the path your goal leads to is effective. In such context therefore, the debate of smart work vs hard work should not gain much ground.

But irrespective of how both smart work and hard work tend to be approaches towards success, it indeed is true that both forms of working are rooted in their own characteristics. Specifically for smart work, the attributes remain somewhat subdued as people tend to translate smart work as also the absence of hard work over and above other defining factors. This however is not entirely true. Just because you are working smart does not mean that you are not working hard at all. They both are concepts that are interdependent and coexistent and not mutually exclusive like we make out of them. Smart work basically is also work, hard or otherwise, but with an approach more rooted in attaining results in a manner that draws also from other skill sets than just the quality of diligence. As such, smart work can be an even greater exertion of your self. But what distinguished it from hard work is that the effort tends to be evenly distributed across different strata of your abilities and talent.

hard work vs smart work
Source: Aryatra

What qualifies work as hard and/ or smart is very vague. It essentially is a definition of your skills that classify the same nature of work as hard for some and smart for others. But beyond that however, there are some rather defining traits we can attribute to one over the other. Hard work, as the traditional notion goes, is a long and winding path that surely and steadily leads to success. For those who have always believed that hard work has no alternative when it comes to achieving your goals, this vs debate against smart work tends to hold greater ground. Many of us rooted in the exertion of hard work would find it somewhat difficult to believe that all those hours and effort that we put into our work can so easily compare against something that seemingly comes easy in its smart attribute. But it is necessary to not look down upon smart work as something that is the recourse of such people who are looking for a short cut to success. Smart work might indeed be a short route to success but is still as much daunting and uphill a road to embark upon as the more impressive trajectory that hard work leads us on to.

In meriting hard work as the true definer of a successful individual who braved all odds and overcoming obstacles to chart his own path, we demerit smart work so bad and so often that it has come to be almost associated with such connotations that while might not be negatively are not wholly positive either. Smart work purportedly is the effort of such folks who are ‘cunning’ enough to direct energies to their effect. That not only ridicules the effectiveness of smart work as a mechanism that is only an option for unindustrious people but also does not seem to attach the same credibility to the success brought about by it. In being however as much a manifestant of success as hard work, smart work is as credible a route to realise your life goals.

It also is wrong to view smart work as ‘the lesser effort’ route because it is something that stems from hard work itself. Smart work is rather a trait acquired from working hard because it tends to be an effort that is acquired from experience. Unless you have embarked upon the long way you would not discover that there can be an alternative shorter way as well to the same effect. In its readiness therefore, smart work is very much a drawing from hard work despite the obvious demarcations. Smart work extracts the diligences of working hard and weaves it into its own mode of technique yo achieve results quicker than its corresponding approaches. Smart work also is more rooted in method than hard work. It involves a keen eye of being able to decipher the exact way in which something could work over other considerations. In its intuitive mechanism, smart work also is more innate to us and therefore requires not as much goading as propelling ourselves on the road of hard work does. While hard work might seem like the only viable means to get to where we want when we first start of, the concept of smart work that only sets in as we get on with our ventures projects itself therefore as a less intimidating and more natural way to achievement, and seemingly minus the toil. In being viewed therefore as something that is ‘easy’ to us, it indeed has become true that smart work most often presents itself as easy, and therefore more preferable, to us. The nature therefore of the ‘debate’ should not even be slightly concerned with hard work vs smart work, it rather should be an exploration of one vis-a-vis the other.

Hard work and smart work clearly work together in tandem. There indeed is no concrete distinction about them as we set to make out to seldom speak about both of these work approaches in the same breath. It is more about the approach than the way we set about working that determines whether we tend to be more of a hard worker or a smart worker. Smart work generally implies such efforts that can fetch results similar to hard work by not exerting oneself as much in at least one of the key factors that gets work done. Whether that be saving on time or excusing yourself from the immense stress of going through extensive procedures, smart work is essentially such concise work that yield precise results. Hard work also is of course such work that yield precise results but wherein you go to depths to do and know exactly what and why you are doing. Hard work invariably therefore takes more of your time and perhaps also lend you greater clarity about your work process. But it is by doing your hard work smartly that you stand to gain, whether it be in results or in experience.

Where smart work scores over and above hard work or vice versa in the vs game is a case shrouded in ambiguity. But when you learn to work the smart way, you stand to gain on a range of skill sets as well. Be it boosting your confidence because you have figured out the most convenient and comfortable way to make things work or be it giving your self esteem a fillip with a shot at success, smart work has its dividends. Of course it is necessary to however keep retaking the path of hard work at times to ensure that too much of the confidence does not cross over into over confidence. As such, smart work and hard work are complementary facets of success at best or even synchronised efforts at it. Smart work is more concerned with skills that have been compounded in their ability through continuing efforts of hard work. But even in being a derivant of it, smart work is also as exclusive an approach to work. Methodical and systematic in the way that would make for a thorough look into the requisites even while sorting work agenda as per priorities, smart work indeed is the modern, ‘minimalist’ work dictum we all live by. The minimalist leaning however does not mean that we are conforming to identify smart work as less ideal than its counterpart. Smart work is minimal only in that it cuts our such aspects of work that are necessary but not so essential. Even in siphoning part of the effort however, smart work actually provides a different way of perceiving how things might work beyond the conventional ways of going about it. In the build up to success, while both hard work and smart work can be crucial to come across, it rests also part on your definition of success. For folks who view the end result to be all that it matters, smart work can be a more adaptable way of going about it. Hard work however would be the approach to hinge for such people who value also the knowledge that comes with the doing process, specially when doing it the hard way. The experience gained from either of the approaches however is as advantageous. To this effect, hard work vs smart work shouldn’t really be a matter of much speculation. Ultimately it’s all about how you do your task- how well and how efficiently that is, that can be the sole criterion of deciding whether it’s hard work or smart work that guarantees success. In any case, it is the effort that matters the most. Whether you do it the hard way or the smart way is something that is very innate to you and your success, the mantra for which is never any more universal than the perception of it.