Hard work Vs Smart Work Which is Better or Productive?

Hard work Vs Smart Work Which is Better or Productive?
Hard work Vs Smart Work Which is Better or Productive?

Hard work Vs Smart Work Which is Better: Do you prefer working hard or working smart when you are asked to do a given task? Most times, you might assume that these two concepts are vague and meaningless but we will analyze hard work and smart work so that you will understand when to apply either of them in completing your task. The major question that we will focus on now is: are you a hard worker or a smart worker?


The term working smart and working hard are two different ways in which we employ to solve a given task successfully in the course of our career. The major dilemma that you will likely face is in choosing between the two approaches that you will use because they are both valid ways to accomplish a given task. The choice is largely dependent on the job’s objectivity and the time frame in which you are required to deliver the task. Whichever way it is, there are no cutting corners as you are required to work diligently and efficiently irrespective of the approach that you choose.

Well, it is correct to say that working hard is dependent on the time frame required to deliver a job or for you to reach a set goal. On the other hand, working smart is adopting a more efficient and quick means of achieving your goal. The level of difficulty and the time factor is to be considered when making your choice on which one to use. It is proper that when you have ample time, you work harder and exert more energy to make sure that your client is satisfied with your job. However, if you are running against time, then it is wiser to find the quickest and most efficient way to make the work easier and deliver it on time.
For example, A student is given a mathematical task to solve a problem and submit it in the next class which is in 4 days. In this scenario, that student works hard to deliver the task because of the time frame and will most likely adopt the analog means of calculating the mathematics problem. This is unlike a student who is asked to quickly add up some figures. It is smarter to do the work by using a calculator or other device to give an accurate answer quickly.
Furthermore, as much as these two ways are legit ways of completing a task, it is important for work diligence and customer satisfaction that you fully appreciate the concept of working hard and working smart and also the comparison among them to help you to be more productive in your career.
In this article, we will explain hard work and smart work, the difference and we will give you our recommendations on how to work harder or smarter in a more efficient and productive way.

What is the Meaning of Hard work?

Hard work has a more descriptive meaning than a conceptual meaning and the meaning is more or less relatively tied to the individual performing the task. Notwithstanding, we will adopt a common explanation of what it entails in various circumstances.

If you work in an office, hard work is more inclined to how a person performs his task and it has some qualities in it. This includes when the person comes to work, how quickly you deliver a task, and when you leave the office at the close of work. It all sums up your dedication in your workplace.


On the other hand, in a different working environment, working hard generally entails the use of your strength and your endurance level to perform manual labor or a major mentally demanding task that you are given. In this field, you are required to use more of your physical energy, especially those laborers who work in the construction field or those who do related tasks.

Summarily, working hard does not have a common definition as it all depends on your work environment and your job description. Employers will usually but compulsorily require that you work hard for you to be promoted either in the office or in the field.

What is the meaning of Smart Work?

We are going to give you a scenario-based definition of what working smart means. When you talk about working smart, you should consider a guy who is using the latest technology equipment to deliver his task and achieve his aim. It is true that working smart requires more of your intellectual energy than your physical strength because it requires you to be more creative to devise means to deliver the task given.


The concept of working smart differs according to your various field. For example, there are educational apps that have made learning smarter and easier. Moreso, programmers who work smart no longer needs to write those long codes manually. They can easily adopt the drag-and-drop template from various websites that make website creation simpler and easier.

Summarily, it would not be invalid for you to say that working smart is likened to using an automated way to do a task. For example, one programmer writes codes manually, and the other programmer uses automated means to create the website. They all do the same task but in different ways and deliver the same product but it might be within different time frames.

Hard work Vs Smart Work Which is Better

Comparatively, there is no specific manner to distinguish between working hard and working smart in order to determine the one that suits you more. The most important factor that will majorly influence your decision is all dependent on your working environment and your job responsibility.

If you work in a factory or a construction company as a manual laborer, you are supposed to understand that you have to work hard in assembling products and mixing raw materials with the machine operation. The job requires you to naturally be a hard worker to excel in it. On the other hand, if you work in an app development or software company and you are in the ICT department, you are supposed to be a smart worker.

More so, your profession will intrinsically need you to be a smart worker just like lawyers in the courtroom or when carrying out a soliciting task for their client. They are required to be more of a smart worker than a hard worker.

The best way to appreciate it and take advantage of it is to understand the two processes. It is important that you should learn how to work hard first as you will understand some manual procedures then you can move on to become a smart worker and it makes your work delivery very efficient and accurate because you can apply both means to be more productive.

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What differences Between Hard-work and Smart Work?

Basically, irrespective of the differences we will highlight below, hard work and smart work have the same common goal and objectives which are geared towards making the company or business a success. If it is an individual task, then it could be to ensure ultimate client satisfaction with the task given to you.

Notwithstanding, it is important that we take into consideration some of the major differences so that you will know the best that you should always adopt when you are working on a task.

Different Expectations

Smart workers are those who have a full understanding of their tasks and can also come up with a quicker and more efficient way to deliver and reach the target easily. So when you are required to be a smart worker, it is expected that you are a problem-solver and your team can always rely on you to help them fix the issues as they come up. Surely, a smart person never runs out of ideas on various ways to tackle issues.

On the flip side of it, working hard means that you have to use your physical strength more than your mental power to accomplish the task given to you. It requires you to be patient, committed, and enduring in order to see it to the end. In as much as smart work takes only a little time to complete as compared to hard work which takes a longer time for you to finish it.


If you go to a factory or a construction company, you will observe that the workflow there is already determined and it is more or less a daily routine. The aim of this is to increase their production of goods or complete a construction project according to the contract time. So it is just like you already know that you are operating a machine today and everyone knows their daily task.

Smart work, on the other hand, is very flexible and it does not have a daily routine template like hard work. The essence of smart work is for improvements and developments of new products with new ideas. It might take time for smart workers to come up with a final result of their task as against hard work that delivers easily. This is because smart work involves testing some processes to make sure it fits the standard.


Hard work is built on using an everyday method to perform a particular task and produce the same expected result. If you go into a factory, you will find different machines and engines at different stages of production. Those machines have been designed to produce the same result. Thus, it goes from raw material mixing to finishing, and then to packaging the goods.

Smart work on the other hand is concerned with how to make improvements on the machines and products to make sure that the machine works more efficiently and customers are more satisfied with the product which increases sales for the company. Smart work will always look out for where the problem is and find a solution to it.


As we have said earlier, the personality of those who work smart differs from those who work hard. This is because smart workers are usually very creative and innovative and are more inclined to problem-solving and develop products. On the other hand, hard workers are those who love to follow a particular rhythm of work every day like a manual that directs them.

One of the advantages of hard work is that the constant repetition of the task makes it easier to be a master in the field, unlike smart workers that do not really do a particular task on a daily basis.


There is a standing perspective and that is the true position of things that hard work gives you experience but it takes experience to be a smart worker. You can actually look at it from the angle that you necessarily in most cases do not need to have an academic qualification for you to be a hard worker. The project managers on the site will only ask you if you are ready to work and they really do not consider any prior experience that you have before coming for the job.

The case is different when it comes to being a smart worker. You need training, and experience to become a smart worker. We are not equating smart work with academic qualification but you need to have the requisite balance in your mind before you excel as a smart worker.

For Example; in Hard work: If you are required to find the measurement of a string, you can use the logic of the program, while smart work will only use the string functions to find out the measurement of the string.

How you can Become a Productive Smart Worker

Now we have taken you through the differences between hard work and smart work, let us give you some of the working tips on how to become a smart worker which would help you to be more productive.

Be a problem solver

As we highlighted above, the core strength of smart work is the ability to develop, and improve products, and services for better satisfaction or for ease of working. So if you are keen on being a smart worker, you should be one who is willing to seek and identify the problems and possible improvements that can be made.

One of the ways to do this is to use the data report from the marketing department to know the current trends in the demands of the products in the market and the competition level.

Be a value-based worker

One of the ways to always remain relevant is to constantly have a value that you can always offer. If you want to become a smart worker then you have to be fully concerned with creating more value for that business and for your clients. The value could be in how you deliver your work, it could be in the satisfaction your client gets from patronizing or buying your products, and it could also be benefits or the problem that the product solves for them.

The value can be applied to carving out a well-laid-out plan to develop product creation, delivery, and communication to make sure that those complaints of your customers are solved or reduced reasonably.

Conduct Research

If you want to solve problems and create value for your business and your customers, then you should do research and gather enough data from the public. The data we are looking at is the market trends( what kind of products are users looking at currently), what is consumer behavior, and the economic factor that affects the buying factor of customers.

You can consider looking for untapped products in the market and develop them and make them more presentable to customers, then that is smart work. It takes a lot of planning, strategizing, and commitment to get this kind of task done. That is why we said that smart work isn’t about delivering a job but they believe in delivering value.

Make a Good Career Choice

Working in a good place cannot be traded for anything especially when you want to grow and develop yourself. When you are making a choice of where to work, it is advisable that you pick an industry that will help you to grow and give you a flexible environment to make input.

The above if done properly will position you to be value-driven and it helps to boost your confidence level and then you can comfortably work on problems and offer solutions to them. If you find yourself in an office that does not regard personal development but is only interested in hard work, then you should reconsider your career and move on to somewhere else where the work environment is very friendly for you.

Understand Time Management

It is easier to work hard compared to working smart because being smart requires some skills and training and even to the extent of some principles. One of them is the art of time management. Time is precious and an exact value cannot be placed on it but the value depends on how so well you were able to make use of the time.

If you are finding it difficult to manage your time effectively, then you should probably use an app or a calendar to help you deal with distractions. Additionally, if you are dealing with time management, you should also deal with procrastination equally because if you are guilty of procrastination, then you will lose on time management.

How to become a Productive Hard-worker

We are going to also give you tips on how you can become a hard worker and be more productive with your hard work to gain promotion and expertise in your field. The tips below will assist you to make sure that you are on the right track and always keep you in check.

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It takes a lot of commitment and motivation to keep being a hard worker because you can easily get drained physically and mentally. You always have to maintain a smile on your face while you work because if you are grumpy, it will surely affect your output and your productivity.

One of the best ways to stay motivated is to always be positive and give yourself short and long-term goals which you should be focused on achieving them. More so, you should also understand, that if you want to start working smart, you need to learn how to work hard first so that you always have the energy and driving force that keeps you flowing at all times.

Set up a Daily Routine

If you follow up on a particular task in the same manner consistently on a daily basis, you will end up being a master of the task that you always do and it becomes a habit for you. The daily routine is more clearer and defined if you have a goal that you want to achieve. The daily routine is just like a road map toward achieving that task.

Example: If you want to solve a worldwide problem, then you should have a plan on how to do it, understand the problem, the causes, who the victims are, and if they are alternative solutions to it.

Stay Focused

Once you have your goal clearly defined, the next task for you to accomplish is to fix your eyes on it until you achieve it.  That is what we mean when we say that you should be focused. Staying focused requires you to put away any form of distractions and concentrate on being more productive at your workplace.

This is because once you are distracted, it takes a lot of time for you to concentrate again on the same level as that task and remember that you have already wasted the time that you allotted to it initially and you will surely need to make up for it.

Take A Break

It is very important that as you are working hard that you should also have a work-life balance. You should give yourself some time to take a rest, travel, and go on a holiday to re-fill the energy that you have exerted already. You should make sure that you strike a balance between your work life.


Now we have gone through the whole discussion to distinguish hard work Vs smart work which is better for you. Go over it and know the choice to always make and make sure you strike a balance. It pays to work hard and work smart as well. They are just different methods of meeting your goals.

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