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8 Reasons Why You Need To Work Smarter But Not Harder

8 Reasons Why You Need To Work Smarter But Not Harder

“Work harder! Work FASTER!!!”

Remember that commercial?

It featured an old man and an old woman, demanding that their employees produce more in less time. Sadly, this has to a large degree become the societal norm in many countries. People are expected to do more in less time with less resources‒and produce a better product on top of it all! Madness, you may think‒and you’d be absolutely right.

The key to greater productivity is to work smarter, not harder. Working smarter boosts productivity, creativity, and saves precious energy for the things that really matter, like your family. You should be working to live, not living to work. (In some areas of endeavor, as for professional writers, the work IS the passion, so this doesn’t really come into play. However, if you have a “real job,” I’m looking at you.) Here are 8 reasons you need to work smarter but not harder.

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1) Hard work is draining.

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    Hard work is mentally and physically exhausting. It draws off energy that you need to maintain things that really matter in your life, like your family relations and friendship. Instead of working yourself to exhaustion, figure out ways to delegate or save labor while achieving the same desired outcome. You’ll be happier and less stressed, which means you’ll be more productive overall.

    2) Working smart saves energy.

    Working smart means conserving energy. It doesn’t mean you can always NOT work hard, because some tasks demand a certain amount of physical toughness or endurance, such as changing out a transmission or pulling an all-nighter to get a project done. However, when possible, do your work in short bursts rather than in long, sustained pushes. Fifteen to twenty-minute intervals with a five-minute “pause” to plan where you’re going next with the project will give you more energy and produce a better end product than if you have to “slop it together” at the last minute.

    3) Working smarter increases productivity.

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      I know, I’ve already said this, but it’s really important to understand this point. Working smarter saves labor and costs by streamlining the process. Instead of following an “A-B-C” format, see where you can combine tasks together. Note: Sometimes multitasking is a bad idea. More on this in a few minutes. However, when and where possible, combining tasks that follow a similar format can save you time and energy, making you more productive without working yourself to exhaustion.

      4) Working hard saps motivation, confidence, and desire to continue.

      How many times have you worked at an intensely physical job and come home at night demoralized, exhausted, and too strung out to care about little Johnny setting the cat on fire? It’s not a good feeling, and this feeling begets feelings of inadequacy or of being just another cog in the machine. Finding ways to work smarter can counter this, fostering more positive feelings about your job, your coworkers, and yourself.

      5) Working smarter makes you more valuable.

      Every field of human effort is always looking for ways to get more done with less effort. Saving effort can also save money. Whether you’re a private entrepreneur or working for a huge multinational conglomerate, finding ways to save labor and effort by working smarter makes you a more valuable resources to your employer. This, in turn, makes you feel more confident, more inspired, and more willing to do whatever it takes whenever necessary.

      6) Working smarter requires creativity.

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      creativity_habit

        Many jobs do not value creativity. They want to see results, preferably arrived at by rote methods that are “tried and true.” Because of this, the “Evil Day Job” can be very frustrating, especially for people who thrive in a more creative environment. However, if you can apply creativity to achieve the same goal, you’re more likely to enjoy your job and wish to continue doing it. There are right ways and wrong ways to do everything, but in very few cases is there one absolute RIGHT way. Think about how you can use creativity to increase your performance!

        7) Working hard produces a lower-quality product.

        When you work hard, you end up with a product.

        The end. Period. Move along, folks, nothing more to see here.

        But how do you know the product you’re achieving is the absolute best it can be? The answer is, you don’t. Working smarter gives you more focus and a better ability to focus on the nuances and minutiae of the product. You get more time to sweat the small stuff that, when taken care of, creates a superior product. This, in turn, makes you more valuable and will make you enjoy your job more, because you know you’re producing to the absolute limit of your abilities.

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        8) Working smarter increases self-esteem.

        This should be obvious by now, but it bears spelling out. If you are working smarter than you are hard, creating a better product or end result with less effort, and applying all your faculties to solving the problems of a given task, you’re going to feel better and like you’ve accomplished more. There’s a very simple reason for this: YOU HAVE. This, in turn, will make you a more positive and productive individual who not only has more time and energy, but you will become someone your friends, family, and coworkers want to be around more, so they can learn from you. This leads to even more inspiration. Instead of a vicious cycle, you’ve created a positive one!

        How does working smarter help you? Please leave your answer in the comments!

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        Last Updated on June 13, 2019

        10 Best Success Books You Need to Read to Be Great at Business

        10 Best Success Books You Need to Read to Be Great at Business

        Take a minute and think about some of the most successful people you know.

        I’d bet they’re great with people, are super-productive, and think differently than most. After all, that’s how they got to be where they are today.

        Jealous of them? You don’t have to be.

        You can learn these same skills by studying some of the best business and success books that can help you take your game to the next level. Here’re 10 of my favorites:

        1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

          Dale Carnegie’s best-selling book that helped to launch a personal growth empire should be required reading for everyone who wants to learn how to build and nurture relationships for a lifetime.

          Read this book and you’ll learn some simple advice than can help you build popularity points within your current network and just as important, expand it to others.

          Get the book here!

          2. Focal Point by Brian Tracy

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            Got a lot on your to-do list? Of course you do. But what separates productive people from others is their ability to focus on a singular task at a time, and getting it done before moving on to the next one.

            Sounds simple in theory, but this can be extremely difficult in practice. In Focal Point Brian Tracy offers tips to help build discipline and organization into your day so you can get more stuff done.

            Get the book here!

            3. Purple Cow by Seth Godin

              Creating a “me-too” product can be easy at the start but can doom you to business failure. That’s why marketing maverick Seth Godin recommends creating a product that is truly different from anything already available in the marketplace.

              In essence by making the product different you’ll be building the marketing into the actual product development…which just makes your actual marketing a helluva lot easier.

              Get the book here!

              4. The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz

                If you’ve struggled with procrastination or small thinking, this is the book for you. In it Schwartz offers practical advice that can help you get inspired and motivated to create a bigger life for yourself. And with it can be a more lucrative and rewarding career.

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                Get the book here!

                5. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankel

                  It can be difficult for lots of people to keep things in perspective, especially when working on high priority and urgent projects at work.

                  Man’s Search for Meaning can be a life-changing book in the sense that it can open your eyes to a first-hand experience of one of the greatest atrocities in the history of mankind, while also teaching a valuable lesson about having purpose.

                  Get the book here!

                  6. The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

                    Solo-entrepreneurs can learn a ton from the guy who made lifestyle design popular. But guess what? The 4HWW isn’t just for guys and girls who want to start a small online business.

                    Smart moves like outsourcing, following the 80/20 rule, and automating processes should be made by entry-level workers and established executives alike.

                    Get the book here!

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                    7. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

                      I remember sitting on a couch and opening this book on a Saturday morning, thinking I’d get through a chapter and then get on with my day. Instead, about 12 hours later, I was finished with the book. The concepts in it were mind-blowing to me.

                      To think that thoughts can create your reality sounded a little far-fetched at first. But after going through the book and understanding that your thoughts create your beliefs, which lead to actions, which then lead to habits….well you can get where I’m going with this.

                      If you focus your thoughts on success, achieving it will be much more likely than thinking about obstacles, failures and everything else that can get in your way.

                      Get the book here!

                      8. The One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard

                        If you’re going to read one management book in your life, this should be it. It’s simple. You can read it in an afternoon. And the advice works.

                        Get the book here!

                        9. The Lean Start-Up by Eric Ries

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                          Before you create any sort of business you’ll want to give Lean Start-Up a read through. Doing so can save you money, time and other resources you could have potentially wasted otherwise.

                          Get the book here!

                          10. The Monk and the Riddle by Randy Komisar

                            The story Randy Komisar shares in the Monk and the Riddle offers advice about not just about how you need to think when starting a new business, but also about how to build a life you’re passionate about.

                            Understanding the technical aspects of launching a start-up is great, but if you don’t have the staying power to stick with it when the going gets tough then it’s not likely to work.

                            This book can help you understand this lesson before you spend blood, sweat and tears on a project that you’re heart isn’t into.

                            Get the book here!

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