I used to think that when it comes to getting things done and succeeding in accomplishing your tasks, but also getting ahead, you need to be willing to work really hard. And so, since I can remember, I have always been a hardworking person. I wanted to succeed; therefore I told myself ‘I must work very hard always, no matter what.’ In the Bible, in the book of Proverbs chapter 10 verse 4 it says, “Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth.” Now, you can imagine how motivated I got after I first read this Bible scripture.
So I worked hard and continued with my ‘motto’ but it came a point I realized, I wasn’t succeeding as I was expecting to be. In fact, I was also struggling to finish some of my tasks, even the important and urgent ones. I was working hard, but I was not working smart.
For me to be able to accomplish a lot, it required me to work really hard, but also to be smart with my actions, my time, my strengths and skills, as well as my associations. We must continue to work hard but we also must initiate and practice things that can help us to work even smarter and become more effective and successful.
- Concentrate on your strengths
In order to work smart, you must work more on your strengths, especially in the areas of your occupation, skills, and gifts. Work on the things that you are absolutely good at, skilled at; focus more on your expertise, things you are passionate about, and interested in. Your strengths, and special skills that you have will bring the best out of you, so focus on them more.
Spend your time doing things that you know they are in your special zone. If you can, delegate some of your tasks to other people so that you can have more time to focus on the things in your area of expertise, and only the important ones that require your attention, knowledge, and skills. You can also partner with someone who has strength on projects, tasks, or activities that you don’t.
- Prioritize things
Would you rather catch a big or small fish first? It’s a matter of a point of view. If you are a Banker then you know, even though all customers are very important, but big accounts are even more important; they keep the bank running, and the cash flow going and circulating.
Prioritize your tasks, goals, activities, projects. Work on your big and important tasks or projects first. Give them first place and more time and attention. It won’t profit you if you work hard but yet focus more of your time and energy on unimportant tasks, activities, projects, or goals. At the end of the day, your goal should be to give more priority to the things that matter in your life whether it is in your personal life area or in your profession.
- Walk with the Wise
In the book of Proverbs chapter 13 verse 20, it says that “Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.” Also in Proverbs chapter 27:17, it says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
Who is sharpening you? Surround and associate yourself with the people who are going where you are going, or who have been where you are going. But also know who is who, and who can help you with what. Your key people and your mastermind group also can help you work smart. Your good connections and your network can help you when you need relevant information, accountability, and other assistance.
- Do one thing at a time
After you plan your activities, action plans, and tasks well, then get rid of all the distractions, and focus on getting each task done until is completed. I have shared about this when I explained “The Law of Single Handling.” With single handling technique, you can optimize your output and productivity simply because you can concentrate single-mindedly on the single most important task from beginning to completion without distraction.
If you want to be more effective, concentrate on one task at a time, one thing at a time. When you do two or multiple things simultaneously, you will end up doing them halfheartedly. Give your 100 percent attention to whatever activity or task you are doing so that you can get maximum results.
I realized in order to succeed and accomplish more, working hard is not enough; I must also work smart. I can work hard whatever I want, but if I spend my time and energy on the things that bring me no profit, or that do not benefit me, then my time is just being wasted, my energy and skills is also being wasted, so as my potential to achieve great things is also being wasted and diminished. So work hard, but also work smart.
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To your success,