Ishan and Suresh are colleagues. Their manager asks them to share ideas for a new project in a week. Suresh spends the next few days toiling to perfect his presentation. The day before the meeting, he asks Ishan whether he has completed his presentation. To his surprise, Ishan replies saying that he hasn’t even started making the presentation. However, Ishan manages to put his deck together just before the meeting. The manager is impressed with Ishan's ideas and decides to implement his suggestions.
While Suresh worked hard, for longer hours and with greater effort, Ishan worked smartly. Want to learn more about the difference between hard work and smart work? Read on!
The Differences Between Smart Work And Hard Work
The primary difference between hard work and smart work is the amount of time dedicated to it. Hard work is more time-consuming, as you work without any shortcuts. Although it ensures the necessary outcomes, the process can be quite long. On the other hand, working smartly ensures that you complete the same work within a shorter time-frame. With thoughtful planning and prioritization, you’re able to deliver quality work with greater efficiency.
Many of us have been conditioned to think that only hard work lies at the core of success. This approach makes us set unreasonable standards while balancing overwhelming to-do lists. Working hard at every task given is not efficient. It lowers our productivity in the long-run. This is why you need to learn how to work smarter, not harder.
The Advantages Of Working Smartly
Let’s explore some benefits of working smartly:
You’re able to streamline your work and combine tasks to save up on time and other resources
You’re challenged and encouraged to pursue your objectives with greater enthusiasm when you have to think outside the box
Better Utilization Of Resources:
Knowing how to work smart enables you to allocate your time and effort in a more effective manner, which increases your efficiency
With greater efficiency and productivity comes greater confidence
Makes You More Valuable:
Your chances of getting a promotion improve when others see how well you can utilize your organization’s resources
How To Be More Effective At Work
If you want to learn how to work smarter and improve your performance, here are some simple tips to get you started.
Use Your Time Wisely
Time management isn’t easy! Distractions are inevitable, and it can get difficult to juggle multiple responsibilities at the same time. You may think that multitasking is an effective remedy to poor time management but it’s actually counterproductive and slows you down.
Harappa’s Practicing Excellence course has concepts that will teach you how to improve your time management skills and become more productive. The Pomodoro Technique in particular will help you avoid procrastination and focus on the task at hand.
Create A Simple Routine
When we develop routines, we carry out tasks with greater efficiency because we don’t have to think about the methods of execution. For example, setting aside an hour in a day to respond to pending emails and messages helps you plan your day. You can adjust other activities around your schedule. Calendar apps are a great way to develop routines and block your calendars as needed.
Focus On The Outcomes
We often measure productivity by the amount of time we spent on a task as opposed to what we’ve accomplished. Instead, try to keep a list of things that you’ve accomplished. To-do lists can help you get started and you can cross the tasks off the list as you complete them. Not only will this motivate you to be more productive, but celebrating your accomplishments will also act as positive reinforcement.
There will be moments when you have too many deadlines and too little time. You will need to learn how to organize your work and set targets. These milestones will act as a check for measuring progress. Moreover, if you’re a manager, learn how to delegate tasks and divide responsibilities. Try not to bite off more than you can chew—organize and prioritize! Keep your expectations and objectives realistic and measurable.
Don’t Hesitate To Ask
The best way to gauge whether you’re meeting the organization’s expectations is by asking for feedback. While feedback loops are a part of your performance review process, don’t hesitate to take inputs from your managers or coworkers more regularly. You’re better equipped to identify your strengths and weaknesses through constructive criticism. So don’t hesitate to communicate and work towards self-improvement.
Harappa Education’s Practicing Excellence course will teach you everything you need to know about improving your performance and exceeding expectations. Become a master of time management and learn to prioritize your work through the concepts and frameworks in the course. Go beyond your call of duty and deliver excellence every time!
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