Sunday, January 23, 2011

Work Hard or Work Smart ?

Working smarter, not harder, is an age-old adage. Once we master the concept then our entire working life will be easier.
Recently I heard people sang the same song to me, “Argh, I have to work long hours, wish I have the luxurious time to go home earlier.”  Or other person told me, “ Well, we have to work hard now, there are lots of things that have to be done.”
Me ? I can’t say much, especially since I also have the same problem with them. There are a lot of things on my plate that have to be done. Sometimes at the end of the day, I felt that I just finish my 10K run, exhausted.
Then I remember, long time ago, when I worked at multi-national company, there’s a time when the company suddenly change the culture from working hard to work smart, from spend your time with your co-worker to spend time with the family, get a life-balancing.
Looking back to the old days and compare to the latest situation which happened to my friends, I just wondering why on earth suddenly they told me that they have to work hard now. What happened with the old days ? The competition at that time as tough as today.  Working hard ? Yes, we do work hard as hell as today, nothing changed. The differences only on how we balance our life, on how we work to get things done on time, on how we try to work effectively.
Therefore, back to the people who sang that song, I just noticed that the problem lay down on how they managed their time. Most of the time, they spend their time to attend the meeting, or sometimes they came late to the meeting and instead of focusing the subject to the topic of the meeting, they just discuss the issue which is not in the list. Sometimes I don’t understand for such a small issue they must held a  meeting ?
Besides that, I also noticed, that when they arrived at the office, after put their belonging they went down to find something to eat for breakfast, spend at minimum 30 minutes to chit-chat; and instead of going home on time, they just went out just for a little chit-chat or spend their happy hour time before going back again to the office to continue their work.
Hence, they complained that they don’t have enough time to spend with their family.
According to Wiki, there are 10 steps to follow, but the most important things is on how we make an outline of our task, differentiate it under  ‘important and critical’ and finally work on it, stick with the list that we have mark on important and critical.
Easy isn’t it ? And because it is so easy, even I am not being able to do that kind of things every day.  Not because I don’t know how to do it but merely because I am not discipline myself to follow the 1st step, list down my things to do for today.
So, Work Hard or Work Smart ? For me we have to do it both, work smart doesn’t mean that we don’t work hard. In contrary, when we work smart, we work hard to finish the most important and critical things first to be able to work other task done in time.