“If you want to succeed you’ve got to work hard.” You have probably heard this a hundred times. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and a whole lot if tasks to complete- so how long do you ‘work hard’ each day? Eight hours per day is the most accepted timing, but for many its nine to ten hours or perhaps more. How good is the output? How much time do you waste on social media sites and news portals?
Despite working for most part of each day, productivity rates are often dismal, or so say many global surveys. This is the grim fact. Many have been slaving over laptops and desktops even on Saturdays and other holidays, but productivity can hardly be evaluated based on these long hours. Nor can it be measured based on the time they get in or leave. That’s an amateurish assessment, and only leads to dissolution and frustration. Clocking 9 or 10 hours in the office can hardly be equated to exceptional productivity. It’s not worth bragging about. It doesn’t guarantee success. Or else, millions across the world might have tasted stupendous success way before.
According to National Sleep foundation, an average adult should sleep 7-9 hours every night. However with competition scaling up everywhere, not many of us enjoy luxury of sleeping for such long hours each day. But working for extended hours and burning the midnight oil never increases productivity. It harms our physical and mental well being. Working smart, not hard is the right mantra.
How can we define working smart? Smart working is about making smart choices. Assess tasks, create an outline, follow a strong communication method, have the right attitude, be willing to lean, learn when to say no, team up with the right people at the right time, be flexible, make wise use of your time, but take periodic breaks – you can do more in less time.
Working our tail off for 9 to 10 hours is mismanagement of time and energy. It drains creativity and induces monotony. It bludgeons innovation and weakens effectiveness. But many continue to believe that working hard is the cornerstone of success only to end up failing, at times just short by a few inches. What goes wrong? They worked hard, but failed to work smart. Does that mean our heroes and idols never work hard? No, they work much more than most of us. An artist or a business man, it takes time to hone ones skills and stay atop. But as they grew smart, their choices too became smarter, and so did their working pattern.
Here are four productivity hacks of top business leaders:
No meetings Wednesdays – Dustin Moskovitz
Two-Minute rule – Christian Sutardi
Make wise use of the “golden hours” – Jason Kanigan
“Use sticky notes to make daily to-do lists” – Chapin, co-founder and chief product officer of Casper
Working harder and working smarter are closely entwined, or, while working hard one has can choose to work smartly and avoid getting weary, frustrated, and negative-minded. Think out of the box, innovate, experiment, and improvise to get best results with comparatively less effort. It adds positivity, boosts effectiveness, and fuels growth. That said, working smart should not be mistaken for procrastination or lackadaisical attitude. Strong vision and clear prioritization are critical. Give your best shot, be strong willed, set the right goals, and adopt the best plans to achieve them. Make mistakes, but beat paranoia. Learn the lesson and move on, you have a dream to achieve.
Swimming with the tide is toiling hard, but swimming against the tide is smart working. What’s your choice?