Hard work as we usually visualize is a way of working ruthlessly towards completing a certain task. As soon as you are assigned some work, or you assign yourself some work, you begin to do things that contribute to the completion of that work.
Smart work is the concept that says, if you work more productively you can complete a task in 2 hours that would need 10 hours if you just “did” it.
Let me explain you with an example. If you were given a blunt axe and were asked to chop down a tree, how long it would take you to do that?
Maybe ten hours? That’s working hard.
But what if you spent the first hour sharpening your axe, and then started cutting the tree, you maybe able to finish the task in five hours, you will certainly be able to save a lot of time then and your work will be done very early, saving you almost half the time.
The quote from Abraham Lincoln says it all.
“If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening my axe”
But the problem with us is when we try to work smart, what we end up doing is we over estimate our productivity. Usually working smart would get our work done more quickly and efficiently but what happens is the opposite, we over estimate the productivity and end up doing even less than the usual.
So, what to do?
The answer is a simple one.
Plan the task, use the smart tools and work hard anyways. Who knows, maybe you can set up the world record by cutting the tree in two hours, eh.