top of page

Which Is Better: Working Smarter Or Harder?

"Wouldn't it be preferable to do both?" Let's get this straight.

Ⓒ Image by Unsplash

It depends on the situation and the person to decide whether it's better to work smarter or harder. Here is a closer look at each method:

Working Smarter: Working smarter means making the most of your time and resources to be as productive and efficient as possible. It teaches people how to think strategically, plan, and use effective tools and techniques to get things done faster and better. Some important parts of working smarter are:

  • Prioritization is figuring out which tasks are most important, aligning them with goals, and focusing on those tasks.

  • Time management is the process of using time and resources effectively to get the most done and waste the least amount of effort.

  • Delegation is giving tasks to people who are better at them or have the right skills, so that you have more time for higher-level tasks.

  • Automation and Technology: Using tools, technology, and automation to make tasks that are done over and over easier and more efficient.

  • Continuous learning means looking for ways to improve yourself, learn new skills, and stay up-to-date on relevant knowledge and practices.

  • Collaboration and Networking: Using the skills and strengths of others by working together and meeting new people.

  • Problem-Solving: Using critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills to come up with new ideas and solve problems.

Working Harder: To achieve goals, working harder means putting in a lot of work, dedication, and persistence. It stresses the importance of having a strong work ethic, being committed, and being willing to go the extra mile. Some important parts of working harder are:

  • Diligence is showing that you have a strong work ethic and do your best to finish tasks.

  • Persistence is staying strong and determined even when things don't go as planned.

  • Commitment: Giving your work and goals your full attention and a strong sense of responsibility.

  • Discipline: Using self-discipline and staying focused and concentrated to get things done quickly and well.

  • Continuous improvement means looking for ways to improve skills, knowledge, and performance by working hard and practicing.

  • Sacrifice and Long Hours: Willingness to put in more time and work, even if it means giving up some personal time or comfort, to get what you want.

  • Perseverance means staying motivated and pushing through problems and obstacles to get what you want.

  • In the end, it can be helpful to work smarter and harder at the same time. Working smarter lets you make the most of your time and energy, get the most out of your resources, and get more done in less time. On the other hand, working harder can show the commitment, resilience, and determination that are needed for long-term success.

Working smart means putting in some hard work

Working smart does take some hard work and effort. Even though the main goal is to improve productivity and efficiency, that doesn't mean there won't be any hard work. In fact, working smart usually means putting in the time and effort needed to plan, strategize, and carry out tasks well. Here are a few examples that show the link between working smart and putting in the work:

  • Careful Planning: To work smart, you have to spend time and energy on strategic planning to figure out the best way to reach your goals. During this planning phase, you may have to do a lot of hard work to analyze, research, and make decisions.

  • Knowledge Building: One way to work smarter is to learn and improve skills that are useful for the tasks at hand. To get better at something, you have to work hard, practice, and keep learning. All of these things add up to a lot of hard work.

  • Solution Oriented: Working smart means coming up with new ways to solve problems and doing so quickly. To solve problems, you need to think critically, be creative, and be persistent. All of these things are hard to do when you're trying to figure out and solve complicated problems.

  • Changing to Change: To do a good job, you need to be able to change and deal with different situations. Getting used to new technologies, trends, and business environments often requires hard work in the form of learning and staying up to date.

  • Performance and deployment: Even the best plans and strategies need hard work and effort to be put into action. Tasks that are done well, deadlines that are met, and high-quality work are often the result of hard work and persistence.

He's referring to the fact that he looks to be sluggish at times, but would he claim he genuinely is? Was it ever necessary for Warren Buffett to actually buckle down? He obviously did! The gap between Warren Buffett and the majority of us (save for riches) is that he is not perplexed by the distinction between working more brilliantly and working harder.

Hard work is not a badge of Honor

"Hard work is not a badge of honor" can be seen in different ways depending on the situation and your point of view. Here are two ways to understand it:

Difficult work shouldn't be glamorized: This point of view says that doing hard work doesn't make you good or honorable by itself. It questions the idea that the value of work should be based only on how hard it is. Instead, it stresses how important it is to recognize and appreciate the value of all kinds of work, no matter how hard they are. This way of looking at work encourages a more inclusive and balanced view of work, where contributions from different areas are valued and the different skills and talents needed in different roles are recognized.

Difficult Work Should Be Recognized and Supported: This point of view shows that hard work should be recognized and supported in the right way. It acknowledges the challenges, work, and commitment needed to do hard things or take on big responsibilities. It says that people who take on hard work should get the right kind of recognition, help, and resources to help them succeed. This point of view stresses how important it is to value and appreciate the efforts and contributions of people who do hard or complicated work.

When judging a statement, it's important to think about the situation and the values behind it. Different people, cultures, and even individuals may see it differently. In the end, different people may have different ideas about the honor or value of hard work, and they may also have different ideas about what they think is honorable or valuable at work.

You can't guarantee your success by working harder

The top ten most wealthy people on the earth have more money than the bottom 3.5 billion people combined. Working harder isn't enough to make sure you'll be successful. Success is a multifaceted idea that involves more than just hard work and effort alone. Here are a few reasons why it may not always be true that working harder will lead to success:

  • Poor Strategic Goal: Working harder without a clear strategic focus or direction can lead to inefficiency and wasted effort. It's important to make sure that hard work goes towards meaningful and important tasks by lining it up with clear goals and a strategic plan.

  • Not enough skills or knowledge: Working hard is important, but it's not enough. You also need the right skills and knowledge. If you don't have the right skills or knowledge in a certain area, working harder may not get you the results you want. For success, you need to keep learning, improve your skills, and get more relevant knowledge.

  • Inefficient use of time: Putting in long hours and working hard doesn't mean you'll be productive or successful. Time management, setting priorities, and focusing on high-value tasks are all important for getting things done quickly.

  • Poor Flexibility and creativity: To be successful, you often need to be able to change and come up with new ideas. Working harder in the same old ways might not be enough to make new discoveries or progress. Accepting change, trying out new ideas, and being open to new ways of doing things can help a lot with success.

  • Lack of funds or support: Sometimes, no matter how hard you work, you can't be successful because of things outside of your control, like a lack of resources or support or bad luck. Success is often a mix of personal effort and outside factors, like having access to resources, getting help from others, and living in a good place.

  • Luck: Working hard is important, but luck, chance, and other outside factors can also affect how well you do. Even if you work hard, sometimes things don't work out the way you want them to or something unexpected happens that changes the outcome.

Our most basic brains are sparked by challenges.

The idea suggests that our instincts and the way our brains are wired may make us more likely to find value or satisfaction in tasks that are hard or demanding. This idea comes from the idea that people have evolved to be able to overcome problems and strive for mastery in order to survive and do well.

In their daily lives, our ancestors had to do things like hunt for food, build shelter, and protect themselves from danger. These challenges required mental and physical work, the ability to solve problems, and persistence. Over time, our brains may have developed a reward system that links the satisfaction of overcoming problems with a sense of accomplishment and fulfilment.

Doing hard work can turn on this reward system and cause neurotransmitters, like dopamine, to be released, which can make you feel happy and motivated. This answer can help explain why some people feel like they have a purpose and are happy when they do hard things or try to reach high goals.

But it's important to remember that everyone has different tastes and goals. Some people may be drawn to hard work by nature, but others may find satisfaction in different activities or pursuits. Each person's personality, upbringing, experiences, and culture shape their own set of motivations and preferences.

Also, it's important to understand that not all hard work leads to meaningful or satisfying results. Work has value and a purpose that go beyond how hard it is. Finding fulfilment at work also depends on things like personal interest, how well it fits with your values, opportunities for growth and contribution, and how it affects other people.

In conclusion, hard work may appeal to our evolutionary instincts and turn on reward systems in the brain, but each person's preferences and the bigger picture should be taken into account when judging its value and meaning. It's important to combine hard work with other key factors like strategic thinking, continuous learning, adaptability, resource management, collaboration, and taking advantage of opportunities. To get the best results, you need to use these things to work smarter, not just harder.

Think about it...

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page