This is why you should work harder, not smarterJun 20, 2020
Work smarter, not harder
I’m grateful that my parents strongly encouraged me to pay attention and work hard at school (which I did…at least some of the time!).
It gave me the gift of education – which stays with you for life – and later opened up career opportunities for me, after I studied hard for my CA exams to become a Chartered Accountant.
When you go into the corporate world, though, you may eventually realise that working harder instead of smarter can become an insidious trap.
Taking on responsibility
This is especially true if you don’t learn to delegate.
If you take on too much responsibility and too many projects yourself, you’ll ultimately become overwhelmed by your assignments.
There is practically no limit to how much work people will shoehorn onto you if you allow them to…and email has made it ever easier for them do so!
After a certain point incrementally working harder and harder makes only a marginal difference to your overall results.
It may even become counter-productive if it leads to overwhelm, burnout, a lack of motivation, or an inefficient approach to your burgeoning workload.
What got you to here…
A similar theme can apply in many areas of your life.
Working hard is admirable and can certainly help you to get ahead initially.
But there’s also a certain truth to the statement that ‘what got you to here, won’t get you to there‘.
Successful people see themselves as being in control of their own destiny, rather than dictated to by circumstance.
Delegation, prioritising the key daily tasks, and more discerning time management are therefore only one aspect of this concept.
Working smarter is also about what not to do.
And then what you really need is to take a step back and think or learn about strategy.
That is, to focus on asking the right questions, and making smart decisions on the few critical issues in life that really make a massive difference to your results.
I discussed this concept a little further in the short video here
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