1+1+1+1+1= 5 is Hard work
1x5=5 is Smart Work
We've always said that 'Work smart and not hard,' but what a smart work is? Can smart work bring you success, and if so, why are so many of us still busy working hard to achieve our goals by putting our blood and sweat into action?
Image credit: Unsplash
It's pretty easy to understand what working hard entails when discussing the distinction between smart and hard work. You have to put long hours into work if you want to be competitive in the long run. You have to start early and sit up late.
Simultaneously, finding a precise definition of what working smart entails and how it is separate from hard work is challenging.
What is smart work?
Let's understand better with the 80/20 principle.
80% of results come from 20% of effort/time" — Vilfredo Pareto, Corso di Economia Politica
In simpler words, 80 percent of what you will get in life will result from 20 percent of your efforts.
For less time and more results, we can apply this formula in life by working smart.
The one-liner definition of smart work would be-
Smart work is putting in the minimal effort that causes the maximum effect.
But doing smart work isn't a cup of tea for everyone, particularly if you don't even know where to start.
Here are a few key points that will help you start doing smart work at the office.
1. Plan your work.
Planning the job well in advance is the first and foremost factor in doing smart work. Without proper preparation, you can only rush around doing multiple things at the same time. Therefore, preparing your work well in advance, particularly in your daily office work, will give your day a framework and make it more productive.
2. Avoid multi-tasking.
It is always better to concentrate on one task to ensure that you are entirely focused on it. It will help you accomplish the task in less time while still ensuring that your job is efficient.
3. Learn to say 'No.
By answering 'Yes' to each and everyone, you will put undue pressure on yourself and unable to meet the commitment. Thus it is better to say 'No' to specific activities that you cannot accommodate in your schedule.
4. Be in control of the situation.
You must always be in charge of the situation to function smartly. The more relaxed and confident you are, the better you can understand the work at hand and achieve the expected results. Make it a norm to remain calm and happy during office hours at all times.
The above points are indeed relatively conventional. Just like you, I was looking for something different, something extraordinary related to smart work.
Interestingly, I came across this excellent piece of a LinkedIn article authored by Blaz Kos. Based on an extensive study, he found 30 elements of smart work.
He ensures that we can become a much smarter worker if we bring half of these ideas into your own life. It will activate an entirely new dimension of your capacity for success and happiness.
Let's know them in the points below.
Train yourselves for creative work.
Learn the three primary life management skills- health, wealth, and relationships.
Value your time the most in life.
Also read: 9 Time Management Techniques For Better Engagement
Understand the structure and the territory in which you work.
Know what your desired outcome in mind is.
Choose the right industry for yourself.
Acquire competencies that are in great demand but in very short supply.
Look at the bright side of life, no matter how difficult things are.
Choose your battles carefully; select the right opportunities.
Think and research before acting on the opportunities.
Exploit the halo effect.
Focus on the tasks that bring the most significant long-term impact, connected with creating, delivering, and capturing as much value as possible.
Be innovative and bold.
Also read: How To Build An Interactive and Innovative Workplace
Have control over yourself and your emotions
Leverage other people's time. You have to learn how to delegate and how to leverage other people's time.
Leverage other people's money to make more money for investors and themselves with their new ideas, experience, or know-how.
Create some form of intellectual property (books, blog posts, YouTube videos, etc.) or buy some products like software. Or you become an active investor (real estate, ETFs, companies, etc.)
Stand on the shoulders of giants. It means get mentors, join the dream team, or do their work based on other masterpieces.
Be proactive and have emotional control.
Must read: The Leadership Power Of Managing Emotions
Keep networking open, and have no problem with asking for help.
Put yourself first, but respect all.
Not afraid to speak up but set strict limits with their bosses, clients, superiors, and even family.
Hang out with the best people possible.
Build on your strengths and abolishing the weaknesses.
Have a short-term and long-term perspective.
Positively use office politics.
Know that the right timing is everything. Thus, aim for perfect timing before speaking up.
Smart workers fail fast. Know when to cut your losses.
Be agile and adaptable.
Smart workers choose prestige over dominance. They give back to the community, as well.
What's new in the framework of smart work?
Although 'smart work' is a comprehensive idea, it will have three critical concepts behind it.
Everything is "smart" nowadays, from phones, wearable devices, technology at home to vehicles. The concept of smart work is similar to it, and now it is something closely linked to the idea of teleworking.
Smart work may also be a natural development of the latter, which has added greater agility and versatility to conventional work from home. Smart working allows you to work from almost everywhere. It might be a shopping mall, a park or from the airport.
Image credit: Unsplash
The concept of working smarter has also changed with the new generation of professionals coming into the workplace. Smart work is now highly determined by technology—no wonder why they are called digital natives.
Digital natives love interacting with people all around the world. Even in their workplace, their expectations are the same. They want information, communication, and collaboration.
Here arises a few questions.
How do you want your employees to be informed? What are the most common and effective ways to interact? How do your peers want to work effectively together? And what instruments do they need for this?
Or, how should you prepare for a smart work environment?
Employees should not have to dig for information. They must have direct access to the records, tasks, and agreements that are most relevant. However, you should fully customize the information you provide.
It should be just like your experience with Facebook- your settings, your interests, and your memories. Everything is at the place, easy to use with the help of data and systems. That is precisely what employees expect today.
It further requires that all business applications and data should be freely accessible on any device. Users do not like separate login codes or passwords anymore. Many organizations would be skeptical about it, considering that today's employees prefer to use their own devices.
Single sign-on technology can be a great option here. It can prevent confusion and doubts and also lead to employee happiness.
Although the employees' viewpoint remains the guiding principle of smart work, the managers must keep it manageable, safe, and affordable. Mainly, IT managers should consider modular work settings to comprehend how the employees use the environment thoroughly. They should have clear insights into which systems are popular and which ones are not. A pay-per-use cloud-based model can be a significant consideration.
Setting up a self-service platform is another way to keep it affordable. To reset a password, an employee does not have to call the IT service desk. It needs a lot of time, which IT professionals can put to other fair use.
The creation of a smart work atmosphere will make a massive contribution to employee satisfaction in your company. Whether you are a brand manager, HR professional, or IT specialist, you can make an enormous difference by deploying a smart work environment from the user's perspective.