Hard Work vs Smart Work: What’s Better?

hard work vs smart work

Is hard work better or smart work? We are always taught that working hard can help us achieve our dreams and aspirations. But finding what’s better between hard work or smart work is quite a debate. Often asked in interviews or group discussions, we often look for the question of ‘how to answer: the difference between hard work vs smart work’. Read this blog to know about which is better in the battle of hard work vs smart work, along with an interview answer, essay sample, as well as the key to blend both hard work with smart work and becoming efficiently effective.

Difference Between Hard Work vs Smart Work

Hard Work vs Smart Work

While working hard puts essential emphasis on putting in hours, smart work aims to find better and efficient ways to tackle different tasks. Check out the most important differences between hard work vs smart work:

Basis of Difference Hard Work Smart Work
Meaning Hard work can be simply defined as putting in strenuous hours for doing a certain task or tasks. Smart work refers to find effective and efficient ways to complete one or multiple tasks while also managing time and quality both.
Essential Focus Largely on quantity rather than quality Equally on both quality and quantity
Approach Conventional approach to handle any task without finding any other flexible ways to complete it Explores effective ways to accomplish work, be it delegating, prioritizing or organising the working process in a smarter way.
Process A simpler process is used with a direct approach to complete a certain amount of work in a particular amount of time. A flexible process is opted for with an essential emphasis on planning, delegating tasks, organising a team in a particular way and prioritizing schedules to achieve the set objectives.
Goal Accomplishment When it comes to time restraints, hard work might not be the perfect way to achieve a set goal. Since, smart work aims to manage time effectively, it can achieve end goals within the deadline and without compromising with the quality.

Hard Work vs Smart Work Examples

Hard Work vs Smart Work Quotes
Courtesy: Pinterest

As discussed, hard work is the key to success only if done smartly. However, to bring more clarity, let us understand hard work vs smart work through some examples.

Working Hard Working Smartly
You simply perform a task You get your job done in an efficient way
Follow only one way to do work Look for multiple ways to complete the task
Start with the task before planning You first evaluate, plan, and then work
Work with dedication but results are not visible Even with small inputs, results are visible
There is more physical stress Mental techniques used more, hence, less physical strain

How To Answer ‘Difference Between Hard Work And Smart Work’

Being one of the most common interview questions, you might be asked to elaborate upon the ‘difference between hard work and smart work’ by the interviewer. Here is the best answer for ‘hard work vs smart work’:

Answer #1

“I believe that hard work and smart work are both essential to bring effectiveness and efficiency to a task. While hard work makes sure that we are putting in the hours needed to accomplish certain things within time, smart work focuses on bifurcating the quintessential factors like who is the best person to do a particular task, when is the right time for doing it and what kind of hurdles we can anticipate. So, when blended together, we can find the best way to successfully complete a set task within time and ensuring its optimum quality.”

Answer #2

“I prefer smart work over hard work and the reason for this smart work has a more holistic approach to tasks than hard work. Despite yielding results, working hard incurs lots of time and energy while working smartly includes more work in a lesser amount of time. Working smart includes having better judgment, knowing what component of the work takes the longest time, and trying to reduce it in a creative and rational manner. Thus, smart work uses the key principles of management while also finding the best creative ways to approach work.”

Hard Work vs Smart Work PPT

Courtesy: Sarswat Malaram, Slideshare

Hard Work vs Smart Work Quotes

Courtesy: Life Marbles

Here are some of the most popular hard work vs smart work quotes:

  • “I don’t believe in luck or in hard work without the so called “work smart”. It’s not all about how you work hard but it’s about how you manage your time, resources, mind to work together for a better output.” ― Jayson Zabate
  • “You ain’t get nothing for staying low, lazy. The world only tremble at the feet of the few craziest doers ever lived.” ― Olawale Daniel
  • Hard work pays off and pays the bills.
  • Nothing in this world is handed to you. You have to go out and get it! Nobody said it would be easy but hard work always pays off.
  • Successful people are not gifted; they just work hard, then succeed on purpose.
  • “Beautiful pictures comes to mind when eyes are closed. They can be realistic too when opened. It’ll require a blend of hard work and strategic moments.” ― Adeyemi Taiwo Eunice
  • “Work hard, and you will earn good rewards.
    Work smart, and you will earn great rewards.
    Work hard and work smart,
    and you will earn extraordinary rewards.” ― Matshona Dhliwayo
  • “The early bird gets the first worm, but the wisest bird gets the fastest one.”― Matshona Dhliwayo
  • “Be humble, ambitious, and always strive to be the most competent worker wherever you find yourself. Don’t just work hard; think smart, work smart.” ― Emmanuel Apetsi

What does Smart Work mean?

Way back in the 1930s, Allen F. Morgenstern said, “Work smarter, not harder”. However, the discussion on hard work vs smart work arose even more, when Gordon B. Hinckley said, “ Without hard work, nothing grows but weed.” So, which one to choose? Hard workers are people who are goal-focused and study in-depth, without realising the limitation of time. Their rigorous concentration often misleads them as they do not realise how dynamic the circumstances can be. Here is exactly where smart work comes into play. Sharply using your brain and by administring your analytical reasoning skills you can achieve your target in comparatively lesser time with minimal usage of resources and energy consumption.

A job that takes hours to complete for someone who works hard, a smarter individual can finish it in less time. One of the classic examples of working smartly is Aesop’s Fables’ story of “The Crow and the Pitcher”. Smart work doesn’t indicate the absence of work but it is the ability to be spontaneous and use creative strategies. This boosts growth and also leaves time for other activities and creativeness. However. “Smart work” is highly subjective and various according to each individual. 

“I choose a lazy person to do a hard job because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”- Bill Gates 

Elements of Smart Work

There isn’t any secret strategy that one can use. Even though some people are born/raised with certain qualities, developing skills for smart work is possible but takes substantial time. Here are a few points that can help you build yourself. The elements of smart work include:

  • Coming up with creative and rational ways.
  • Being adaptable to situations.
  • Being spontaneous in your actions and thoughts.
  • Updated Knowledge of various prospects of your work.
  • Being bold but not rebellious with your moves.
  • Knowing the networks.
  • Being able to make appropriate decisions at uncertain moments.
  • Improvisation
  • Knowing how and where to invest time and money.
  • Knowing who’s who of your work or similar industries.

These were a few elements of smart work. We are given abundant resources to know the current world affairs/issues and learn newer things. It is important we utilize these to deliver ‘Smart work’. To build qualities one must-read books, newspapers, articles, blogs; research in the relevant fields; watch related movies/ series; understand what tactics are being used. 

Is Your Approach Really Smart?

Are you looking to understand smart work vs hard work? Merely working smart would not fetch you fruitful results in the long run. It is essential to work hard first because then only you will understand what you are doing and accordingly construct a smarter plan. It is unfortunate that people tend to switch to smart work without putting additional efforts in this fast-paced world and it might lead to a downfall. Just like preparing for competitive exams like GMAT, SAT, GRE, etc. students directly jump to problem-solving instead of focusing on the concepts that would require a little hard work.

When fighting for hard work vs smart work, let’s take a look at the main ingredients of smart work that would guarantee you speedy success when combined with hard work:

Working Hard Plus Intelligent Decisions
Do you think working round the clock would ensure you successful returns? When you want your hard work to really pays-off, it is equally important that you make smart decisions so that you get efficient outcomes using minimal efforts and resources.  

Know About your Goals
Before you even start working hard, it is of utmost importance that you have a clear vision of what your objectives are. When you do not know where your hard work is going, you end up wasting your time and energy. Always prepare a list of your short term and long term plans and trace your progress accordingly.

Manage your Time
Time is always precious and you have to be able to identify and schedule all your tasks precisely. Everything you do, ensure that you’re hampering your time and be aware of what type of tasks take the maximum time to complete. You would not want to ruin even your seconds doing anything wasteful, would you?   

Know the Impact of Your Work
Your aim should not be to achieve your goals anyhow but ensure fruitful and productive results. Do not execute your tasks blindly, rather know the impact your work and how does can this help you accomplish your targets. Keep a track on your working techniques and progress for profitable results.

Imbibe Smart Work as a Prominent Quality

Ever wondered how Elon Musk became the richest man in the world today? He was a game-changer and believed in working smartly and wasn’t a trend follower. In the contemporary world, with various opportunities and areas of work, competition is equally fierce and companies require efficient workers.  To reach the top of the pyramid of excellence, one must possess qualities that make them stand out.

Our study on hard work vs smart work proves that both the concepts go hand in hand and teachers need to understand that there is a line between making the students work relentlessly hard and allowing them to learn smart work. If you’re planning to work hard to build a career in your chosen field of interest, smartly take help from the experts at Leverage Edu in choosing the right university abroad which fits your career goals.

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  1. I love this blog because the blog clearly defines smart work and hard work. Thank you so much for giving us a clear definition.

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