I was always taught as a child to work hard and understand that hard work pay off. I agree with this. But what I’ve come to realize through more experience is that hard work teaches resilience, dedication, commitment, and perseverance; however, it doesn’t always get the job done the quickest or in the best way. Let me elaborate. There’s a difference between working hard, working effectively, and working efficiently. You can work hard paddling a rowboat on one side for hours and go nowhere. You can also paddle on both sides working effectively, or you can paddle in rhythm to work efficiently. All 3 will require your strength, but they increase in progress respectively. So, here are 3 areas in life in which you can work smarter rather than harder.
1. Job hunting.
If you’ve found yourself out of work because of Covid-19 or any other reason, you might be wondering to yourself what the best way is to find new work. Many people would tell you that looking for a job has just become your new job. My rebuttal would be, don’t treat this like a job. In that link it talks about what you should do instead to work smarter rather than harder. While it’s still important to take time and look for a new job, you have to remember that you’re looking for more than just a job, you need something that will fit your lifestyle, your financial needs, your family obligations, etc. Use leverage instead. Speak with friends that have careers in your desired field. Every application looks better when it’s being recommended by someone they trust. Use agencies and firms that connect potential employees with potential employers to use your time more effectively. Be creative and find new means to be more effective in your search.
2. Find shortcuts in your work.
Shortcuts are usually thought of as negative, but they’re only detrimental to work if you’re cutting out on the quality of the service or product. Finding programs to increase speed and productivity such as a credit card processing reseller program, are one of the best ways to improve the workplace. The quickest path between two destinations is a straight line. If you feel like your product or service that you’re providing has extra steps, find a way to expel a few of the steps and turn your process into a more efficient procedure. It’s also important to remember the difference between a career vs job. A job, you’re simply trying to get done. But a career you’re trying to build, better, improve, and excel in.
3. Increase your network.
It’s incredible how an increased network can benefit you as well as use your talents to the best of your ability. A friend once told me that you should only have to write your resume once. After that every job change should be through referral. The more people you know, the more doors become opened to you. In essence, if other people are opening doors, you no longer need to do it yourself. But always remember to return the favor.