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Work harder vs. work smarter

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Three years ago, we did a video on working hard vs. working smart, which you can watch here (yep, that’s me from 2019):

And perhaps, you strive to do more at work by working harder because you think it’s the best way to show how you’re performing your best. But does doing more mean working smart?

If your work requires creativity and innovation, you might need to see how to deliver your work from a new perspective.

The book Great at Work: How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better, and Achieve More presented a crystal clear difference between two paradigms: the work harder and work smarter.

From the book:

The “Work Harder” Convention

The more hours people work, the better they perform. Great performance is about delivering on existing goals, tasks, and metrics as defined in one’s job description.

The New “Work Smarter” Perspective

If you already work at least fifty hours a week, piling on still more hours won’t improve your performance much. It can even make it worse. To achieve great results, redesign work. Upend the status quo and craft new tasks, goals, and metrics that maximize the value of your work.

So, for us who require deep thinking at work, it pays to use the right tools to progress in our careers. Putting in more hours isn’t always the best way. Often, we have to work smarter.