Should You Work Hard or Work Smart?

Should You Work Hard or Work Smart?
Should You Work Hard or Work Smart?

By Anubhav Srivastava ( Register for his Workshop – Build Super Confidence For Super Success!)

This article will answer the dilemma that we all seem to be having these days with regards to success in our professional lives –  To succeed, should you work harder or smarter?

Let’s analyze both philosophies first.

Working Hard was instilled into most people for hundreds of years in history to be the secret to success of anything. If you put in the required effort you would succeed. Whether it was rising up from Poverty and becoming wealthy or whether it was achieving success at school or in business, the only secret to succeeding was considered to be working very very hard.

There have been so many quotations on the importance of hard work from innumerable famous people in history that we probably have lost count of them.  However there are also countless instances where people worked super hard and got hardly anything in proportion to the efforts they put in.

The hardest working people are in fact laborers in third world countries who work extremely hard for wages so low that even a minimum wage earning person in America would probably be living a life of a millionaire compared to them!

There are also many instances where people get a hundred times in return in comparison to the meager efforts they put in. Sometimes the only effort they put in is buying a lottery ticket or racing as a sperm to become a child of a super wealthy person!


If we remove the element of luck which undoubtedly plays some role in what you get in life, what is it that makes some people super successful. If it was only hard work, wouldn’t a laborer in a third world country be the richest person?

It is here where the Philosophy of Working Smart comes into the picture.

Working Smart  basically means analyzing and figuring out a way to get the maximum output by putting in the minimum input. In other words your goal is to get a result or a return that is many fold as compared to the effort you put in and the way to do it is to study and find the method that would do just that and then apply that method to get what you want.

Now, before we come to a conclusion about whether working smart is better than working hard, I want to tell you what people are actually rewarded for in the real world.  People are NOT rewarded for working hard or for working smart, they are rewarded for the VALUE they generate for their organization or their customers – plain and simple.

Whether it is hard work that leads you to provide maximum value or smart work, the market doesn’t care. It only cares about the value you are generating.

It’s clear that a person who works extremely hard in the wrong direction will get nowhere because they are not generating any value. A person who puts in a lot less work but is working in the right direction will naturally generate more value and thus even a little smart work in the right direction is a lot better than lots of hard work in the wrong direction.

Now it seems that the debate is over, right? It is evident that smart work is of more value than hard work. Not so!

Let’ take a look at some of the most famous people in history. It is clear they were working smart because were constantly making smart choices, whether or not they knew it! But does it mean they did not work hard? Heck the innumerable quotes on the importance of hard work comes from these people!

The truth is while these people worked smart and made the right choices, they also worked super hard. They worked super hard on working super smart. Along with working smart, they worked much harder than me or you can imagine, on the right things.

It makes logical sense doesn’t it. If a little smart work gets you much more results than a lot of wrong hard work, what would a TON of smart work fetch you? It would fetch you a return worth a hundred times or more. How do you accomplish a ton of smart work? Through Hard Work!!

People who have achieved the most success in life do not get entangled in the dilemma about whether they should work hard or work smart. They know that they need to do both!!

They realize that first they need to work hard on finding a smart way to do things most efficiently. Once they find the smart way that gets results, they then devote all their energies to scale up the smart work and work extremely hard trying to do so. In the process they generate tremendous value which despite their hard work is still much greater as compared to their inputs, leading to these people becoming multi-millionaires or even billionaires.

Whether it is master musicians, famous celebrities, great sportspeople or businesspersons, all of them have worked exceptionally hard at working exceptionally smart in order to have achieved the level of success that they have.

Here are six key points to remember.

  1. People are rewarded for the value they generate, whether it is through smart work or hard work
  2. A little smart work generates more value than tons of hard work in the wrong direction
  3. A lot of smart work generates far more value than a little smart work
  4. The way to do tons of smart work is by working hard once you find the smart way!
  5. To get even better at generating value, keep looking for smarter and smarter ways to do the same thing, don’t stop looking.
  6. Once you find an even more smarter way to do something, adopt that and then work super hard on implementing that way!

So, here is the final answer to the question, “Should You Work Smart or Work Hard?

Do Both!!



About the Author

The author of this article, Anubhav Srivastava is an author, motivational speaker and the director of Carve Your Destiny, a first of its kind inspirational documentary featuring some of the most famous personalities from diverse fields, who teach the viewers how they too can make all of their dreams come true. The movie itself has been seen on Youtube by close to 700,000 people. Anubhav has also been featured in numerous International and India Media outlets such as BBC , The Times of India, Hindustan Times,, Leicester Mercury and many others.

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