Corporate life is becoming increasingly demanding with each passing day. Organizations, quite justifiably, are seeking a continuous rise in the productivity levels of employees, as a result of which the latter are often left struggling to balance their personal and professional lives. A person can start suffering from anxiety and stress-related problems in the face of heightened work pressure. While corporate houses would never accept anything but hard work from its employees, it is high time for the latter to find out smart and intelligent ways to complete their assignments in the best possible manner. In other words, one needs to master the way to balance ‘hard work’ and ‘smart work’. After all, the two are certainly not mutually exclusive!
At the very outset, we need to understand that achieving steep business targets does not necessarily translate to hard work. If a person is in a profession of his/her choice and loves the work that (s)he is doing, putting in long hours at office may not be perceived as strenuous by that individual. The concept of ‘hard work’, as perceived by employees, might not even be a factor if they enjoy their corporate tasks. ‘Smart work’, however, is at play here as well, for one needs to be shrewd and selective while looking for jobs that would ideally match their profiles and professional expertise.
While good career choices can do away with most of the problems related to hard work, spending too much time engrossed with office work is never a good idea for employees who wish to have a happy family life as well. Organizations would also give preference to a person who can successfully finish off an assignment in, say, an hour, as opposed to another employee who would take the entire day to do the same work. There has never been any alternative to hard work in the corporate world, but employees need to find ways to incorporate smartness in their work ethic too, enhancing their productivity levels in the process. Put in another way, one needs to work hard, but in a smart and efficient manner.
So, how does one adopt a ‘smart’ work strategy? Firstly, employees need to prioritize the tasks according to their importance and indeed, the designated deadlines by which the assignments need to be completed. An individual needs to have proper multi-tasking abilities, but (s)he should also be able to assess his own competencies and devise strategies to complete work-assignments, taking up as little time as possible in the process. Workers would, of course, have to be sincere and dedicated to their job, but incorporating that added dash of smartness in one’s work ethic can indeed do wonders.
When a person is faced with taxing targets at office, it is important for him/her not to get stressed out in the face of such apparent adversity. A subtle sense of humor can go a long way in helping a person keep a cool and clear head while doing his work. Admittedly, every moment is of the essence when an employee is striving to complete his task within a fast-approaching deadline. That, however, does not mean that one cannot take a few small breathers from work. Such breaks can often help employees recharge their batteries, so that they can get back at their work with renewed zeal and vigor. ‘Hard work’ demands that one should be fully focused while working, while ‘smart work’ requires that one should be able to arrange his/her work schedules in an ideal manner, within the stipulated time-frame. This, once again, shows that an employee, to be successful on the professional front, needs to arrive at the right combination between the two.
‘Smart work’, however, certainly does not mean shirking one’s responsibilities, or pretending to work sincerely only when corporate seniors are around. Only if a person is already sincere and hard-working, can (s)he even think of adopting dollops of smartness in his/her work regime. Employees who slog away at their work in a sincere yet inefficient manner are often looked upon as laggards, and their contributions to their companies (which, in any case, remain at a much lower level than ‘smarter’ workers) are often ignored. On the other hand, one who is smart, competent and has the ability to meet deadlines on a regular basis, is invariably appreciated by the management and automatically become eligible for promotions and corporate rewards.
Individuals need not ponder upon whether to choose a regime of ‘hard work’ or ‘smart work’. The ideal target should be to combine the two in a viable and effective manner. Hard work and smart work are, after all, two sides of the same coin.