It’s a comparison not everyone cares to make. Working hard and working smart are two things that can be done at once; they are not two ends of the same spectrum, they are in fact too subtly different approaches to work and both have their merits with a lot of overlap occurring between the two. Hard workers are championed but hard workers who also practice S-M-A-R-T are more valuable and may see their work prove more fruitful. To break it down there is a rule for each letter. They are the following:
When working it’s often the point to reach an obvious conclusion, the work meanwhile can be anything that you might assume contributes to it. The trick here is to cut through the crass generalisations and buzzwords you might find yourself using and dedicate time to specific tasks. Dividing work up into specific tasks can help to make the work itself seem easier to complete and can improve efficiency. Don’t be afraid to draw yourself some boundaries. Create a path & follow it.
How do you know if a task has ended or even begun for that matter? This links with the first point as do all of the others covered here as it has to do with defining what your work actually is. It’s this sense of identity that can give the work itself meaning and therefore value. Knowing how to measure it gives you an idea of the level of quality you are working at and can help you assess the work and yourself.
Reaching for the stars is what we encourage here at The Job Auction and there is absolutely no reason that You shouldn’t, however when it comes to your already segmented tasks (specific) you should aim to ensure that the end goal is actually attainable. Making the tasks smaller might seem like underselling yourself but honestly conserving energy to focus on larger projects can help, its all about prioritisation and knowing what you can achieve and when. Know your limits, for only then can you exceed them.
R- Result Orientated
This one is perhaps the most obvious of the five because it is about the definition of your targets, ensuring that the work is not: ‘work’, simply for works sake, slugging away at something in the hope that something will happen. Think about what you intend to achieve and make sure all the work you do is aimed towards that. If there is something that has no bearing on what you want, cut it out of your to-do list immediately.
T- Time Bound
Another practical piece of advice here when it comes to tempering expectations: Know what can be achieved in the time you have. Time itself is limited and working into the night can be a practical solution for some but you do need down time. It all ties back in with making sure you have a plan. A schedule for work everyday will help you work more cleverly, knowing when to stop and start. Time allocation is important and if you know what is most important you can do it accurately. Actioning these points will help not only minimise your workload but also see a greater improvement in terms of quality when it comes to the fruits of your labour.