Hard Work vs Smart Work – What do you prefer?

Hey fellas, you might have heard this famous saying “Work is Worship”, but how to work? This question will definitely put you in dilemma. Actually, there are two categories when it comes to the way of work i.e. Hard work vs Smart work.

Again, there must be a number of questions hitting your mind.

What is the difference between hard work and smart work?

Is working smart relevant to hard work?

How is the smart work done?

Are both mutually exclusive?

Do they depend on each other?

You might be getting confused now. Isn’t it? So, let’s take a deeper look and compare Hard Work vs Smart Work.

Hard work and Smart work has numerous terminologies. It varies from person to person and according to their personal thoughts.
Hard work can be defined as the total amount of efforts (i.e. strength, dedication, discipline, and consistent along the way) put on to achieve some goal. On the other hand, Smart work is when you achieve the same goal with fewer efforts using the help of strategic planning & intelligence.

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Smart work can also be stated as:

S- Specific

M- Measurable

A- Attainable

R- Result Oriented

T- Time Bound

Aha! That’s interesting. Isn’t it?


How Successful People Work Smartly?

Working smart has tremendous benefits i.e. it provides better health, luxurious life, balance in work, empowers energy, improves self-esteem, boosts working productivity, and gives you the satisfaction with work. Have you ever wondered how tech giants work in a smart way? Well here are four ways that most tech giants follow to improve the productivity by working smartly.

  1. Take uniform breaks

On average, the human brain can endure focus for around 90 minutes and then needs about 15 minutes downtime to refresh. Regular breaks like this let you refresh your mind and reset your attention span.

  1. Take power naps

Recent research seems to indicate that taking naps allows for an improvement in cognitive function. They also improve creative thinking and aid in memory recall. Naps, in fact, benefit the learning process by helping you take in and keep more information.

  1. Spend quality time in nature

Sometimes spending some quality time in nature benefits you to lessen the stress and burden. It also allows you to relax, which in results helps you to easily focus on work.

  1. Understand when to quit

Spending an excessive amount of time on a purposeless task, that ultimately becomes a waste of time. The sooner you realize a task is pointless is the better and never feel bad about quitting it.

Steve Jobs himself wasted a significant amount of time on the LISA computer. He eventually realized it wasn’t going to have the impact on personal computing he had hoped. So he promptly stopped working on it and moved his attention to the Mac.


Which is more important?

Well, you can’t differentiate both of them at all, hard work and smart work is having the same importance in today’s daily life. Actually, it totally depends upon the situation. If your work is quite a time consuming then you can use your smartness there. But sometimes you really need hard work rather than smart work. Actually, hard work has its own importance. You might have observed earlier, there is always a great price for handicrafts rather than a machine made crafts. So u can’t rely on anyone. We need both equally.

hard work and smart work

Smartness is the need of time when people have more work and lesser time. This gives rise to the need for smart work but the importance of hard work cannot be neglected. Persistency towards our goal and regularity in working towards it is extremely essential for success. Since in today’s cut-throat competition, we have to put in hard work smartly for ensuring success.

If you get drown in opportunities, then at that moment, smart workers very carefully select the opportunities they engage with. Smart people are very well aware that in order to work smart, you need control. That is why most smart workers are entrepreneurs, managers and all other types of leaders. Smart workers want to get to the top of the value chain as soon as possible.

Let’s consider some very famous personalities, your idols, and your heroes. Did they just work smart and not hard? In reality, they worked so hard that we cannot even imagine from what they went through. People, who are successful in business life, work, or a profession typically go through hell before they can reap the rewards of success. Hard work always gets noticed, perhaps not in the short run, but eventually, people can’t help but notice hard work.

Working hard and working smart are not exclusive of each other. Smart work teaches you to be more productive with your time. But if you want to reach the zenith of success in your chosen field, then smart work alone won’t really help.

Start with Hard Work and then when you are good at it start working Smart.

There is a very famous proverb in English “hard work always pays off“. In this generation, we need a lot of hard work and smart work. Without these two, you will have to face a lot of problems in the future.

Make mistakes but be smart enough to learn from them.

According to today’s situation both need to complement each other because the replacement is not an option.


Let’s illustrate Hard work vs Smart work separately –

Nowadays we want to achieve success within a time frame. Smart work plays a vital role when it comes to saving the precious time and efforts but hard work is essential too. Here, we will cover a few examples for your better understanding –

  1. Arunima Sinha becomes the Female amputee to climb Mount Everest because of her hard work, Sachin Tendulkar is regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all time, only because of its efforts and his hard work. B. R. Ambedkar is well-known as the principal architect of the Constitution of India and a founding father of the Republic of India due to hard work. So, to become successful, hard work is essential but it should get done smartly. If you want to become a dancer then you can learn it online but for perfection, you just need to practice it.
  2. When NASA began the launch of astronauts into space, they discovered that the pens wouldn’t work at zero gravity because ink won’t flow down to the writing surface. To solve this problem, it took them one decade and around $12 million.
    They developed a pen that worked at zero gravity, upside down, underwater, on practically any surface including crystal and in a temperature range from below freezing to over 300 degrees C.
    And what did the Russians do? They used a pencilBut, Fisher Space Pens are more dependable than lead pencils and cannot create the hazard of a broken piece of lead floating through the gravity-less atmosphere.
  3. Now we move to another example. Suppose, if your contact directory contains 250 contacts and you want to call “Asking Minds” then basically you have two choices to do the task
    1. Either scroll the entire contact list
    2. Or directly search the same using the search feature

The 1st method represents the hard working. In which you have a chance to learn things i.e. you might get to know that you have few contacts which you thought you don’t have. On the other hand, 2nd one represents the smart work where you won’t learn anything from it because you were using the shortcut method to do it.



“Give me 6 hours to chop down a tree and I will spend 4 of them sharpening my axe.” – Abraham Lincoln.


Which gives you success?

Everyone wants to be a successful person in their life. But, what gives you success? That may put you in dilemma. So, depending on your goal and situation, the requirement varies. If you want to be successful in the long run, you have to put long hours into work. You may have to start early, as compared to others, and even need to stay longer when everyone else might be enjoying their life.

On top of that, many people work hard, but only a few become really successful because smart work is what makes the real difference. If hard workers have a vague idea regarding their goal and if they are not good at decision making or if they simply think that hard work will pay off, then no matter how hard they try, it is not going to affect their situation.

Actually, the combination of hard work and smart work is the best recipe for success. Hard work calls for dedication and discipline, keeping you consistent along the way. Smart work adds a flavor of ex-factor which quickens success rate. Missing any of the ones wouldn’t give the desired result. In wake of the speedy world, smartness can’t be bargained. Skills are sharpened with consistent hard work and application of skills at the right time and place is smartness. Life is full of opportunities, smart people identify them quickly and reap success applying hard and soul.

So, smart work and hard work are equally important to succeed.

To conclude, I would say, There is no shortcut to success. Try to be smart in making your decision in life and work hard towards fulfilling your dreams Also, try to balance between both of them and you may achieve great heights. When you step out to work with a passion to do your best, you will bring out the best in others as well. Lastly, you need to work hard as well as smart.

But there is one more thing I would like to include. In the journey towards success, if a particular work can be done smartly, give a break to hard work.

“Hard work always pays off but Smart work pays a bit more”

Read more such interesting blog: What was the manufacturing idea behind the most captivating candy pulse?


  • Nice.. but I want to add one thing. Hard work is simply putting extra effort in the right direction. And the using time consuming methodology is donkey work. There is no comparison with hard work. To get extra.. extra effort is needed. But the way to add extra effort is our choice. Which could be smart or time consuming long

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