Hard work vs smart work
Hard work beats talent and there’s no doubt about it. Think about it… now that technology has developed so much, with the growth of social media and everyone having access to the internet were all on the same playing field, so there’s no advantages. Remember if you want to be number one you’ve got to work like number two. I believe in the hustle, you’ve got to have that grit inside of you. Let’s take Kobe Bryant for example who’s known for his unbelievable work ethic, he credits his success to the hours he put into training. “Christmas morning, I’m going to open presents with my kids. I’m going to take pictures of them opening the presents. Then I’m going to come to the staples centre and get ready to work.” Even on Christmas he was putting in the effort, he’s a bordering workaholic, there’s no days of if you want to be a winner, you can’t be lazy. Kobe Bryant said “I can’t relate to lazy people, we don’t speak the same language, I don’t understand you, I don’t want to understand you.” There’s no excuses no matter how hard you try… YOU CAN! When will smith was asked about what made him different to everyone else and why he was becoming a huge success he said this “The only thing that I see that is distinctly different about me is I'm not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be out-worked, period. You might have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me, you might be sexier than me, you might be all of those things you got it on me in nine categories. But if we get on the treadmill together, there's two things: You're getting off first, or I'm going to die. It's really that simple, right?
You're not going to out-work me. It's such a simple, basic concept. The guy who is willing to hustle the most is going to be the guy that just gets that loose ball. The majority of people who aren't getting the places they want or aren't achieving the things that they want in this business is strictly based on hustle. It's strictly based on being out-worked; it's strictly based on missing crucial opportunities. I say all the time if you stay ready, you ain't gotta get ready.” So, how do i improve my work ethic?
So to start, lets break down the words “work ethic” work: activity involving physical or mental effort to achieve a goal. And the word ethic in Greek means “the science of morals” so this leads to the question of what are morals? Morals are a persons (yours) standards of behavior’s or believes, concerning what is and is not acceptable. So work ethic is what you find acceptable, some people think its okay to work less hours and have more free time and others rather work longer.
- Consistency is key: if you want to build a legacy, not a pop up brand where your name becomes a one hit wonder, a real legacy where you go down in history, you need to be consistent! You’ll get nowhere without it, its what keeps us going when times get tough, we need that discipline to get through things, whether you’ve just broke up with your partner, been sacked or just lost momentum. You’ve got to get back on the horse and take it to the old town road! Keep momentum by staying consistency.
- Prepare: Proper planning prevents poor performance. No talent is needed when you plan ahead, not only does it help you keep your momentum but it also frees up time for you as you’re not constantly having to think on your feet for what the next step is.
- Do more: As you can see from the quotes above you can see what sets them apart from the rest, it’s that they DO MORE! They’re doing more than anyone else, putting in more hours and more effort. This is where your why comes into play, you could go out to party but is that going to help you with your why.
- No time like the present: The best thing you can do to have a stronger work ethic is to start NOW! We always say “oh ill do it tomorrow” and then tomorrow comes and you’re still sat there on the couch. Stop pushing things to another day because they’ll never get done. Procrastination is one of the worst traits to have and really can make the difference in whether you become a success or not.
- Commitment device: These are devices that punish us if we don’t keep on track, there’s apps that can help with this such as Beeminder which you can read about here. You could also have an accountability partner which is basically a gym buddy. It’s great to have someone to motivate you when times get tough.
- Super focus: There’s so many distractions in life today. Phone calls, email notifications and just everything else that is going on around us. We need to learn how to focus our mind on our task and what we desire.
Unfortunately if you work hard you run the risk of burning out which is worse than not working hard because you come to a sudden halt. Hard work also takes a lot of time and effort when you don’t always need to, so what can you do about this? Work smart! Working smart is a way of getting maximum output for the least amount of imput, it’s all about efficiency. You may of seen books like the four hour work week written by Tim Ferris who is a huge advocate for working smarter. So how can I work smarter? you might be asking, well below are 6 tips on how to work smarter.
- Set boundaries: This links to the focus tip from earlier as the idea is to eliminate distractions and things that are going to set us back, we can prevent this by setting boundaries. If you know that you’re about to enter a state of flow turn your phone on to airplane mode and let everyone around you know so you don’t get distracted. No matter who it is, that time is set aside for your task.
- Tools to the top: As I said at the start of the blog everybody is on social media… but so are you! You’ve got so many opportunities around you as technology is advancing, not only is it become easier to show yourself of online but the opportunity to start your own business, if you ask your younger brother and all of his mates what they want to be when they’re older, I’m sure one of them will say they want to be a youtuber, this was never a thing until a few years ago so use the tools you have around you.
- Work in chunks: One of the biggest problems with working hard is burning out and why does that happen? Because you don’t take bloody breaks! What else do you expect. You can’t work continuously with the same energy levels you started with. One of the ways that you can avoid these problems is by chunking your work and adding breaks when necessary to ensure more efficiency, which you can learn about in our Pomodoro blog.
- 80/20 principle: when you have a to do list use the 80/20 principle to get the most important things done. So say you have 10 things to do on your to do list, choose the top 2 most important tasks on the list and leave the other 8 because you will find that 80% of your success comes from the 20% of what you put in.
- Outsource: If you want to be be successful, you need to learn how to delegate. This is something that I struggle with myself as I don’t like to let go of the reins because I’m a bit of a perfectionist. You have to understand that some people are going to be better at some things than you, you need to delegate these jobs to people that are adequate in fulfilling these tasks so you can focus on the bigger picture. You could say the 20%. You can find people to outsource work to on places like fiverr and upwork.
- Plan ahead: Every night before you go to sleep, just set aside 5-15 minutes to plan out your day for tomorrow. If you have appointment’s schedule them in on roughly how long they will take, then start to work on your tasks and then finally any social events you need to do.
So is it better to work harder or smarter?
I believe that we need a combination of both working hard and working smart. You need to work hard at working smart. When you think of the most successful people like Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos they’ve mastered the art of balancing working hard and working smart.
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