There is a popular saying, “Effort is important but knowing where to make it makes all the difference!”

In earlier times, there would be a lot of emphasis on hard work. Those were the days of overtime when the people would stay back and wait to finish. Hard work back then paid them with returns.

Then by time, hard work stopped reaping direct dividends. The concept of overtime stopped in most white collared jobs. Then came the concept of smart work and all management talks related to work started using smart work in place of hard work.

But is it really very different and if so, how.

Hard work simply means to try relentlessly to achieve what you have aimed for. If you cannot achieve something the first time, then stay at it and repeat your trials till it shapes into various sculptures of success. Even the most talented people have been able to shine only due to consistent relentless efforts.

Then what is so different about the new term “Smart work”. The difference is very is- hard work when more planned and constructed guarantee better results.

Remember : Smart work is not a substitute of hard work

Well, taking shortcuts is not smart work. You have to work hard but in a more goal oriented way. The amount of mental and physical labour you put should be channelized to get the desired results much faster. Planning, time management, skills, attitude, etc. are taken into account while defining smart work.

Hard Work Vs. Smart Work 2

So how do we shift from hard work to smart work? Here’re some tips…

Plan and be proactive

Plan your day in advance. Make your list of priorities and adjust your activities in accordance with the plan. That was your efforts will be consistent and in the desired direction.

Create a production schedule for self to achieve your personal milestones. Do not wait for your boss to push you. Take charge, be proactive. This would further gear up your work pace.

Time management is the key

Staying back at your desk past your office hours doesn’t necessary entail that you are working hard. Rather, it’s a mark of incompetency. So how do you work smart? Deadlines, yes… they are very important. Stick to them… Follow the clock rule whenever you are assigned a task. Finish before and leave your desk on time (unless something really urgent comes up)

Read here to know how successful people maximize their time

Focus! Get things done

While doing any activity, converge all your energies towards the activity. So keep all the distractions away. This is how you can get things done!

“Work smart. Get things done.” – Susan Wojcicki – CEO of YouTube

Get more tips on: How to stay focused at work

Learn and adapt

There will be advancements in any field as a result of research and technology. Never stop learning. You can keep yourself equipped with the latest tools and abreast of the latest advancements. These will definitely help your improve your productivity.

This article should help you more: 5 tips to be a quick learner at office


Do not be repetitive and stick to your old ideas. Things are changing around you, so use your brain. Innovate different ways to get your job done effectively! Discover and rectify your mistakes to work smarter.

Your attitude makes you smart

Last but not the least, your attitude matters the most! Be agile, physically fit and composed to be able to perform better at any task. Stay positive, be solution oriented and do not give up…

Like Steve Wozniak says, “Wherever smart people work, doors are unlocked.”

Success is not a stop, but a journey. For there are milestones ahead of everyone that we have achieved for ourselves. And this journey can be made possible only with the help of channelized untiring efforts. Smart work and hard work should go hand in hand to help you progress towards better light at all times.

Liked reading this? Then you would also love reading : 9 behaviours of smart people


Sandhya Parmeshwaram

Author: SuccessYeti