In this six week series, each Monday, we'll be exploring what it takes to succeed.
Working hard, to me anyway, means working in a way that is focused and direct. It doesn't necessarily mean putting in 60+ hours a week (although it might). However, working hard means that you are working. You are focused on the job at hand and not over-socializing, engaging in hours of busy work or spending time on the things you enjoy working on while ignoring the things you don't like but still need to be done.
When I think of working smart, I think of all of those late night infomercials that try to sell you on some Internet business where you can "Work smart and even earn money while you sleep!" I have yet to see that work. Being 'smart' about your work means you are as concerned about how you do you work as you are about what you are doing.
Working smart means making the most of your time and efforts. It means spending the majority of your time on activities that will yield results. It means planning. It means setting realistic goals and deadlines. For example, if I'm working on a project that has a firm deadline, I set my personal deadline to be at least several days earlier. This way I have time in case the inevitable crisis arises.
It also means using technology to your advantage.For example, I use Outlook for my personal email. Let’s say I’ve just gotten off the phone with someone and I want to send them a reminder of our conversation tomorrow. I don’t wait until tomorrow to send the email, I go into Outlook, create the email and use the delayed send feature so it doesn’t leave my outbox until the designated time.
With the advent of smart phones and I-Pads and laptops, you can create your own system for reminders and to-dos. You can also keep important information right at your fingertips. Now that’s working smart.
So what techniques do you use to work smarter?