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People often say:

“Don’t do hard work, do smart work”.

Although what exactly does smart work mean and does that mean hard work is bad? In simple words as said by Mr. Harrish Sairaman,

“Hard work is tremendously important in your life however smart work is to know when to stop that hard work so that you get the right result. It is also to realize that there is a better way to do that work.” 

Therefore, smart work is all about knowing, how do I bring in that time where my hard work produces amazing results? So, if you do not know when would your hard work create great results then you are not working smartly. For example, all students work really hard and prepare very well for their exams. They put in their day and night into their studies, which is crucial and super important.

However, when they are putting in so much hard work, there should also be a time when they are chilling and giving themselves rest. These are the moments when the actual work happens, as their brain cells are absorbing all the information collected and giving the student time to recuperate. 

Human civilization has been built on work. Working is not only good for our health but it benefits in structuring our personal and social identity. Whether paid or not, work helps us build confidence and self-esteem within ourselves. Both hard work and smart work go hand in hand, they cannot do without the other. The foundation of any work should be hard work and with time it should amalgamate smart work. Now if we look at the daily study routine of students, they have a lot on their plates.

From study schedules, homework, school, college to coaching classes for various competitive examinations. They have to give equal attention to each of these parts. Although, with hard work, it is nearly impossible to give equal attention to all. In such a situation students should create a time table and dedicate certain hours to each study session along with a focus of only certain chapters in their subjects. This would be a smart way to deal with their studies and work hard as well in a more focused manner.

Keeping this in mind, in this blog, we would be talking about the importance of Hard work and Smart Work. We would look at both of them in detail and which would be adopted in our daily lives.

Hard Work and Smart Work — An Ongoing Debate

Hard Work

The most common piece of advice all of us have received is, “Work hard and you will succeed”. However, it can be noticed that most people work hard their entire life but have not received the benefits from it. Here we can clearly see that the meaning of hard work and manual labor has been mixed up. Hard work basically means to put in efforts with constant determination in order to achieve your goals. A student who works an extra shift at places to pay for his/her college fees is an example of a hard-working person. While manual labor is when there is an absence of growth, learning, and motivation to move ahead.

Importance of Hard Work

artist working late at night

Now let’s look at why hard work is important and how it can lead to happiness and success.

1. Achievement

You might have heard a lot of people say after their exam results are out “At last my hard work has paid off”. This feeling is what you achieve when you channel and focus your hard work in the right direction. Initially, you will face setbacks and there would be times when you will feel low, although the key here is to keep trying even if you fail each time. You need to keep transforming and changing your technique without giving up on hard work. 

2. Motivated and Positive

Through speeches, books, movies, and role models, people get motivated. The catch here is that it is the words and story of a hard-working individual that has moved you. Imagine doing the same hard work yourself. You will feel motivated, happy, and positive in the truest sense of the word. Hard work teaches you to live life with a positive attitude and improve.

3. Self-Satisfaction

Hard work also makes you self-sufficient and gives you a sense of self-satisfaction. Hard work is the major key to the recipe of success. When a student puts in all his dedication into his assignment and the teacher praises them, the satisfaction that comes out of it is the best feeling in the world.

4. Confidence

By working hard, one can achieve all goals and also fulfill their dreams. It pushes you one step ahead in your life and helps you surpass your own limitations. The person you were 3 years back would be different from who you are today. This is because you have learned a lot over the years and developed confidence along the way. Hard work put in by you, in school, colleges, and even at work has contributed to this.

5. Respect

The reason we have the utmost respect for our elders, teachers, professors, and colleagues is due to their behavior, their life experiences, and the amount of dedication they have towards their profession and skills. The knowledge they have gained is all due to the hard work they put in to learn those skills we admire. Therefore, if you put in the same dedication and hard work. You will gain the same respect even if you are not as successful. 

It doesn’t matter if we are successful or are going to be successful, people always appreciate hard work. As mentioned earlier, the road of hard work is not easy, thus helping people to develop self-discipline should always be a goal for us all. Hard work offers more than just success. It teaches us to live life with a positive attitude and improve our personalities

Smart Work

Grinding ourselves without proper direction or guidance is never a good idea. In a similar manner, smart work is all about planning and focusing all your hard work into a channel. Therefore, a smart worker would create a mind map and work accordingly. Having said that, in order to do smart work, you need to do your groundwork and make appropriate work plans to execute your smart work. The aim of doing smart work is to produce quality results using minimum labor. The classic example of smart work would be exam preparations. Students map out their syllabus and solve previous year question papers. This gives them the idea of which topic is covered the most and which is covered the least. Based on this, the student can give the maximum amount of time to an important topic. This is called smart work. As you are saving time on fewer import topics. Another example for a workplace would be that in yesteryears people would write entire books by hand and their copies were also limited in number. Nowadays, we have print machines and computers for that work. This shows how the typing is still hard work, but creating copies via machines is a smart work metaphorically.

Importance of Smart Work

clock beside a notebook, pen and phone

We know hard work is important to achieve success but it also does not mean that working round the clock will ensure guaranteed success. For example, a worker who works for 2 shifts a day can’t be compared to a businessman working just 4-5 hours a day.

Let’s see why smart work is important to achieve success

1. Time Management

There is also a famous saying “Time is money”. It is the most important reserve of a smart worker. Smart workers manage their time wisely and properly to achieve success. It includes eliminating distractions, proper attention to the work without wasting time, and so on. You will notice that a smart worker always has a plan in hand. They would create their work schedule a day in advance and have targeted goals set for each day. This enables them to rest and reserve their energy. 

2. Control

Control is another important key to smart work. You cannot do everything in one go. You need to sectionalize everything and prioritize everything. If you have control over your work tasks, you can do work, plan it, and innovate it in your own way. Therefore, to achieve success, you need to have as much control as possible.

3. Limits

Smart work allows individuals to set limits. One knows how to set limits with their clients, bosses, or even with their family. This again depends on your prioritization and focus.

4. Building Strength

By working smarty, one can develop or build their strengths and eradicate weaknesses. This means you need to work towards developing your skills and become a pro in your work in order to know everything about your topic, this would enable you to hone your skills and build up your strength.

5. Networking

We know that in order to keep developing we need to transform and make connections with people in our field. For example, a student should befriend their seniors, this would enable you to know where can you find notes, which teacher would help, what are the tricks and tips for you’re an exam. So for this, you need to develop a good network in order to achieve success. Another example is asking your seniors at work for help. They might have faced a similar issue as you at work, therefore, before trying every possible option, you should discuss them with your seniors as they will surely have a solution.

We can also say that Smart work is really the need of an hour. As it includes planning, then executing, and then improving your time management skills. Smart work is all about using our brainpower to the best of our capacity, i.e. being mentally focused on the work. This increases concentration power and enhances our productivity.

Difference Between Hard Work and Smart Work

Hard work and smart work are two wholly different techniques to complete a task. The physical abilities of a person play an important role in hard work. A person has to work effortlessly with full dedication, without being concerned about getting tired. Whereas smart work is getting maximum work done with little effort, thus the brain plays a vital role in it. Hard work means spending hours to complete a task, without skipping any details. On the other hand, working smartly means taking a shortcut to complete the task in less time.

What Should a Student Do to Achieve Success?

student transfering information from her smartphone to her notebook

Students need to focus on a number of factors in order to be successful.

  • Firstly, they should be motivated and ready to work sharply. Study shows that a negative attitude and laid back attitude can ruin a student’s abilities. Thus, students should prioritize preparation as well as laying a groundwork.
  • Hard work is crucial but a student should know how to compartmentalize those hard work and utilize the knowledge grabbed to the best of their capabilities.
  • A student can’t be successful if their seniors and teachers people are not aware of what you are doing and cannot help. Thus, keeping track and socializing with peers should be a crucial point for students.

Considering all these factors and conditions, it would not be wrong to say that in order to be successful, students need to work harder and then transition to becoming smarter. If one wants to be successful in the long run, they will have to put in more effort. Smartness is definitely a plus point, but not even smart people can achieve success if they don’t work hard for it. To be specific, there are no clear-cut guidelines to achieve success.

Smart people try to figure out the easiest way to reach their goals, but the reality is that there are no shortcuts to success. There should be a perfect blend. This would help achieve great heights and better results from your business. When a company works hard and smart at the same time, it achieves unbelievable heights in a short amount of time.

Franklin D. Roosevelt once said:

“Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.” 

When your mix hard work with your smart work, that is the feeling you will achieve, whether you are a student or a working profession for that matter. Therefore, you can not only apply this ideology of hard work and smart work at workspaces but also for your studies and life

We hope that this blog was informative and helpful is the way that it gave you a perspective towards your plan of action and duties, be it in any field of your choice. 

Written By
Pragya Chakraborty is a MA in European Studies. She has worked as an intern with Times of India in the past. An avid book collector and reader. She spends time researching and reading about the latest trends in language learning around India.

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