Working hard sure does have its benefits. Thereâ€™s no question about it. Itâ€™s one of the many timeless principles of self improvement.
Working smart is another one that deserves equal merit as well but what exactly does working smart mean and what does it entail?
In a nutshell, working smart involves reducing the workload you have so you donâ€™t have to necessarily work as hard without sacrificing the quality of the results in the process.
Say you need an extra copy of a certain document. The â€śwork hardâ€ť way would be to copy it by hand but obviously the â€śwork smartâ€ť way would be to simply xerox it. Thereâ€™s nothing wrong with xeroxing it. Itâ€™s not cheating. It gets the job done and reduces the workload without sacrificing the quality of the results in the process.
This example illustrates the first pillar of working smart, namely that it revolves around the notion of efficiency. You get things done quick without sacrificing quality and technology has made it easier now more than ever before to start working smart in our own lives.
Instead of doing bills the old fashioned way by writing checks and sending them through snail mail, utilize technology and sign up for online bill pay.
Save your money by setting up an automatic deduction every month from your checking account into your savings account.
Utilize the Internet to search for jobs and for tips and tricks on how to land one.
Work smart by utilizing technology for all its worth in order to gain maximum efficiency in your life.
The second pillar of working smart involves simply knowing what to work on. If you work hard, you tend to think you have to do just about everything and wear yourself out in the process. You can also fall victim to working on the wrong things, namely the things that arenâ€™t as urgent or important.
Working smart involves identifying the things you need to do that will give you the best results. The Pareto principle is a perfect example of doing just that. It states that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. The percentages here are not meant to be absolute (although they are strikingly accurate in most cases), but are there to give you a rough estimate in terms of the lopsided differential between the two concepts.
For example, 80% of the wealth in a country will come from 20% of the population in that country. 20% of the students in a class will account for 80% of the Aâ€™s in that class. 80% of the total amount of your bills will come from 20% of your bills.
We can apply the Pareto principle in our own lives by looking at our to-do list for work or for our personal projects and deciding which of the things on our to-do list will account for 80% of the results. So if you have a list of 10 things to do, roughly 2 on that list will account for 80% of your results had you done everything on that list. If you focus on getting those specific two items done, obviously you wonâ€™t get everything done, but youâ€™ll account for the majority of the results, getting the best bang for your buck in the process.
Thereâ€™s not enough time to work on everything, but thereâ€™s always enough time to work on the right things.
The third pillar of working smart is knowing where you function best and making it a point to work from there. If your talents lie in numbers, working smart would entail getting a job that involves bookkeeping, accounting, financial analysis, etc., instead of working hard by choosing a job that doesnâ€™t take that skill set into account.
If you work from where you function best at, you donâ€™t have to necessarily work as hard because itâ€™s where youâ€™re naturally suited at and you will yield better results because of that. You can take it to the next level by then working hard at what youâ€™re naturally best suited doing.
If you havenâ€™t found what youâ€™re best suited for or donâ€™t have a clue as to how to find the work youâ€™ll love and be good at doing, check out the 2nd book on BrianKim.net that has come as a result of huge reader demand.
The usual creed and battle cry in self improvement or in any endeavor worth doing is to â€śWork hard hard hard!â€ť and while itâ€™s great advice, it should be placed in the big picture.
Hard work is great, but it should be applied to the work thatâ€™s been â€śfilteredâ€ť by working smart FIRST. You work hard after you learn how to work smart and as a result, reap the best benefits of both worlds.